Robert Gibbs declined to answer repeated questions today about Obama's use of the offensive term, "teabagger" to refer to Tea Party activists, as reported in Jonathan Alter's new book, "The Promise: President Obama, Year One."
"I barely have enough time to read my briefing books," Gibbs told reporters at today's press briefing. "I have not read the book."
As he tried to move on, CBS' Chip Reid offered to laughter: "You only have to read one word."
Asked again later in the briefing, Gibbs parried, but finally promied to report back:
The Dow fell nearly 1,000 points today and MSNBC's Savannah Guthrie informed White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs of it at the daily press briefing. Her question was the first he had heard of it, and he answered the question with generalities about the "Treasury monitoring Europe and the Greek crisis," according to reporter David Corn, who was at the briefing.
A few days later, Gibbs said at one of his briefings, “This is the most transparent administration in the history of our country.”
Peals of laughter broke out in the briefing room.
That happened on April 19.
I imagine that some reporters laughed because of the White House's stingy and selective doling out of scoops--shockingly, the New York Times has a special relationship with Obama--and the fact that Obama "has severely cut back the informal exchanges with the press pool." Politico reports that "Bill Clinton did 252 such Q&A sessions—an average of one every weekday. Bush did 147. Obama did 46, according to Towson University Professor Martha Kumar."
But the administration's stonewalling on national security matters is much worse.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said the healthcare bill will pass by next weekend.
"We'll have the votes when the House votes, I think, within the next week," Gibbs said on "Fox News Sunday."
Gibbs added that those on next week's Sunday talk shows "will be talking about healthcare not as a presidential proposal but I think as the law of the land."
Gibbs is making clear that the vote House Democrats face next weekend is whether or not to make the Senate bill--with its tax on union health care plans and special deals for Nebraska, Florida, and Louisiana--"law of the land."
During an interview on MSNBC Thursday morning, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs defended the Obama administration’s handling of Christmas Day bomber Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab. Gibbs argued that the administration was right to treat Abdulmutallab as a criminal defendant, instead of as an enemy combatant. “Just because you make somebody an enemy combatant [it] doesn’t make them talk,” Gibbs argued.
As Bill Kristol notes at the Washington Post, Vice President Biden couldn’t be bothered to express any support for the Iranian opposition the night before the Green Movement’s largest protests in months. It appears from various reports that the tens of thousands of protesters that turned out today faced a well-prepared security apparatus and regime supporters bused in from outlying areas. Visit
MSNBC White House correspondents Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs some hard-hitting questions today.
Hinting that intelligence is perishable, Guthrie asks Gibbs, "Did you lose an opportunity to interrogate by Mirandizing too soon? This was not a product of reflection that went all the way to the top."
In a White House briefing where the president showed up (because Howard Kurtz wrote a column) to talk about his bipartisan health-care summit and getting beyond politics to solve problems, the White House press secretary used the dumbest political story of the week to take a shot at a former governor and Fox News Contributor from the podium.
Many political observers are coming to see that the ex-state senator from the South Side is running his federal administration in Washington much the way they run things back home: with a small....
...claque of clout-laden people from the same school who learned their political trade back in the nation's No. 3 city, named for an Indian word for a smelly wild onion.
That style is tough, focused, immune to any distractions but cosmetic niceties. And did we mention tough. A portly, veteran Chicago alderman once confided only about 40% jokingly, that he had taken up jogging to lose weight but quickly gave it up as boring because "you can't knock anyone down." That's politics the Chicago way.
Obama and his top advisers Rahm Emanuel, Valerie Jarrett, and David Axelrod all hail from the Chicago school. Press secretary Robert Gibbs is an Alabaman who worked for North Carolinian Democrats, but he's adapted to the Chicago method with ease. Together, this band of operatives has not deviated from the themes and goals of Obama's 2008 campaign. They do not admit errors of substance. Faced with a troublesome midterm election, Obama did not search out new figures and guides for his party. He reached back to his 2008 campaign manager David Plouffe.