Former Vice President Walter Mondale said on CNN that President Obama relies too much on teleprompters — which Mondale called “idiot boards” — when speaking to the American people.
In a discussion of whether Obama projects empathy in his speeches, the 82 year-old Mondale said the president “has got to connect with the American people.” When CNN host Wolf Blitzer asked why Obama has not shown more empathy, Mondale answered, “I've seen places where he's done it. The Milwaukee speech, I thought was terrific. I think some of these backyard events are terrific. But I think he — he's very bright — as a matter of fact, brilliant. And I think he tends to — and he uses these idiot boards to read speeches on television and I think he loses the connection that he needs emotionally with American voters.”
“You're talking about the teleprompters that he always has when he's delivering a formal speech?” Blitzer asked.
“Yes, right,” Mondale said.
“And he's reading it, basically from the teleprompter,” Blitzer said.
“You don't think that works, is that what you're saying?” Blitzer asked.
“Yes,” Mondale answered. “You know if you're looking at the teleprompter, you're here, you're here, you're here, and your audience is right there. And I think he needs to do more of that.”