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That Depends On What the Meaning of "Must" Is

3:50 PM, Aug 19, 2009 • By JOHN MCCORMACK
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Apologies for the second nod of the day on the blog to Bill Clinton's famous locution,

TAPPER: On July 19 in his weekly address, President Obama said that health care legislation must include a health care exchange with a public plan as part of that exchange. Are we all wrong in -- in assuming that the word "must" also applies to public plan or did it only apply to the exchange?

GIBBS: I'd have to go back and look at the exact phrasing.

TAPPER: I can't believe that you haven't looked at the exact phrasing of that phrase. I mean, it's one of the most -- it's one of the oft most cited quotes in terms of people saying, "This is why people think that President Obama is backing off a public plan."

GIBBS: I haven't looked at it in the last few days.

BILL PLANTE, CBS NEWS: We've all got it cued up, ready to go.

GIBBS: I will pop popcorn and watch your newscast.

No, again, we can quibble about whether he phrased it one way that time. We can quibble about the way he phrased it when he stood here in front of you all in June and talked about not drawing lines in the sand. Again, I think the president has stated his position on that.