Discuss as:

Book says Roger Ailes called Obama 'lazy' and Biden 'dumb as an ashtray'

Stephen Lovekin / Getty Images

Roger Ailes, president of Fox News Channel, is the subject of a new biography in which he's quoted as saying President Obama is "lazy."

Fox News chief Roger Ailes doesn't mince words in a new biography: President Obama is "lazy" and Vice President Joe Biden is "dumb as an ashtray."

But it's not just Democrats who get withering reviews from the conservative media icon. Ailes suggests that Sen. Marco Rubio is too soft and Newt Gingrich is a "sore loser" and an unprintable reference to male anatomy.

The blunt characterizations appear in Vanity Fair's adapted excerpt of "Roger Ailes: Off Camera," by Zev Chafets. Ailes cooperated with the book, which will be published March 19.

Michael Reynolds / EPA

Fox News chief Roger Ailes is quoted in a new biography as saying he likes Joe Biden but thinks the vice president is "dumb as an ashtray."

The comment about Obama was reportedly made during last year's presidential primary season as Ailes was briefed about Democratic operative Hilary Rosen's remark that Ann Romney had never worked a day in her life.

“Obama’s the one who never worked a day in his life. He never earned a penny that wasn’t public money. How many fund-raisers does he attend every week? How often does he play basketball and golf? I wish I had that kind of time," Ailes said, according to the excerpt.

"He’s lazy, but the media won’t report that,” he said, then added that Obama had admitted being lazy in an interview with Barbara Walters.

In a 2011 interview with Walters, Obama said, "There is a deep down, underneath all the work I do, I think there’s a laziness in me," adding, "It’s probably from, you know, growing up in Hawaii, and it’s sunny outside and sitting on the beach.’”


During the briefing on Rosen, Ailes also was told that Gingrich -- a former Fox commentator -- complained the network's support for Mitt Romney had hurt his chances.

"Brush him back," Ailes told his spokesman, according to Vanity Fair. "He's a sore loser and if he had won, he would have been a sore winner." Then he followed up with an off-color five-letter insult.

At a Fox Latino staff meeting, Ailes revealed he liked Rubio but didn't know if he was vice-presidential material.

"He's a nice guy and that role requires kicking the crap out of your opponents," he said.

"I have a soft spot for Joe Biden," he added. "I like him. But he's dumb as an ashtray."

Asked whether Ailes stands by the remarks, Fox News issued a statement: "Vanity Fair excerpts a fraction of a 272-page book so it would be impractical to comment without having read the entire body of work in context.”

The book says Ailes, 72, revels in his role as a free-wheeling tough guy but also has a fatalistic streak and think's he'll be dead within a decade.

Chafets wrote that he asked Ailes what he thinks heaven will be like.

“I’m pretty sure that God’s got a sense of humor,” he said. “I think he gets a laugh out of me from time to time, so I suppose things will be all right.”

Asked what would happen if God was a liberal, Ailes replied, “Well, hell, if God’s a liberal, that’s his business...But I doubt very much that he is. He’s got a good heart.”