Archive for the ‘Robert Gibbs’ Category

Mark Levin Reminds Americans that Values Count

March 24, 2009

Republicans need to review the past in order to effectively move into the future.

And Republicans need to regain their core values fast in order to effectively work through the current Obama Administration’s march toward socialism.

The Republican past is not John McCain, much as he is loved and admired.

And though many of us think about Ronald Reagan, we must grasp the values and not the personalities we need now — a personality will rise in his or her own time.

Mark Levin’s book  “Liberty and Tyranny” is an effort to get us all to think again about the values we need.

Judd Gregg, who nearly became Barack Obama’s Commerce Secretary, seems to have regained his good thinking and is now speaking out about the Obama budget.

“It just seems inappropriate and irresponsible to spend so much that we send along a huge debt to our children and grandchildren,” he said today on the Fox News Channel.

Good Republican thinking.

“This is a massive spending document that increases government and taxes dramatically.”

So is that a good thing?

Republican cannot allow Rahm Emanuel, Robert Gibbs and the others to define them.  Democrats fear a united conservative movement and have worked hard to make the discussion about Limbaugh or Steele.

The discussion is not about who.  The discussion is about the values and how best to achieve them.

Republicans: If You Can’t Agree On Core Values Now, Commit Harakiri

 Republicans Must Hang Together, or One By One


 Liberated “Almost Commerce Sec” Gregg: Obama’s Harshest Budget, Debt Critic

 U.S. Seeks Expanded Power to Seize Firms

 Because of Obama, Our enemies sense weakness

Senators Ready To Abandon Missile Defense:

GOP sees signs of life in Northeast


WH Admits Limbaugh Attacks “Not Helpful”

March 5, 2009

The White House on Wednesday fessed up to lowering the quality of public discourse and acknowledged that its sniping at radio show host Rush Limbaugh has been “counterproductive,” even as Democratic political committees continued to use the issue in a political line of attack approved by the Obama administration itself.

“It may be counterproductive. I’ll give you that,” said White House press secretary Robert Gibbs, when asked about his repeated verbal jousting with Mr. Limbaugh and other media personalities who have criticized President Obama.

By John Ward
The Washington Times

Mr. Obama himself has regularly employed the term “cable chatter” to dismiss criticisms of his economic agenda that he thinks are uninformed or inaccurate. And his administration has often complained about superficial, back-and-forth debates that substitute for political discourse or journalism.

But Mr. Gibbs said he has been “feeding” the very beast that he and others in the White House have lambasted.

“There are days in which, yes, your head throbs from listening to arguments that aren’t necessarily centered on delving into some important issue, but finding two people at completely opposite ends of the spectrum to yell loudest in a seven-minute segment before we go on to something else,” Mr. Gibbs said.

“I certainly criticize it, and I even occasionally watch it,” he said. “I certainly believe that feeding it, undoubtedly, I’ll plead guilty to counterproductivity.”

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Stimulus: Obama Outsmarts Everyone

February 15, 2009

AM I crazy, or wasn’t the Obama presidency pronounced dead just days ago? Obama had “all but lost control of the agenda in Washington,” declared Newsweek on Feb. 4 as it wondered whether he might even get a stimulus package through Congress. “Obama Losing Stimulus Message War” was the headline at Politico a day later. At the mostly liberal MSNBC, the morning host, Joe Scarborough, started preparing the final rites. Obama couldn’t possibly eke out a victory because the stimulus package was “a steaming pile of garbage.”

By Frank Rich
The New York Times
Less than a month into Obama’s term, we don’t (and can’t) know how he’ll fare as president. The compromised stimulus package, while hardly garbage, may well be inadequate. Timothy Geithner’s uninspiring and opaque stab at a bank rescue is at best a place holder and at worst a rearrangement of the deck chairs on the TARP-Titanic, where he served as Hank Paulson’s first mate.

But we do know this much. Just as in the presidential campaign, Obama has once again outwitted the punditocracy and the opposition. The same crowd that said he was a wimpy hope-monger who could never beat Hillary or get white votes was played for fools again.

On Wednesday, as a stimulus deal became a certainty on Capitol Hill, I asked David Axelrod for his take on this Groundhog Day relationship between Obama and the political culture.

“It’s why our campaign was not based in Washington but in Chicago,” he said. “We were somewhat insulated from the echo chamber. In the summer of ’07, the conventional wisdom was that Obama was a shooting star; his campaign was irretrievably lost; it was a ludicrous strategy to focus on Iowa; and we were falling further and further behind in the national polls.” But even after the Iowa victory, this same syndrome kept repeating itself. When Obama came out against the gas-tax holiday supported by both McCain and Clinton last spring, Axelrod recalled, “everyone in D.C. thought we were committing suicide.”

Obama Team Gloats: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing

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Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner

Stimulus: President “Impatient, Combatative” Wants Air Time

February 5, 2009

President Obama is fed up.  He’s “impatient,” “frustrated” and “combatative” according to White House Press Corps members that asked questions of spokesman Robert Gibbs today.

The president has asked the networks for air time on Monday for a national address to discuss his position on the stimulus.

All the talk of bipartisanship now seems on hold.  At the Department of Energy today, the president showed what some observers called “dismay” at what the White House is calling a “failure to act” in the U.S. Senate.

Senators dipute that, saying this is the legislative process in action.

Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) said “This takes time.  We’re all trying to get the best stimulus bill.”

Republican and former Bush advisor Karl Rove said, “The biggest problem with this stimulus is that it just doesn’t create enough jobs.”

Rove said Obama “outsourced the creation of this bill to the House Appropriations Committee.  The problems in this bill belong to President Obama.  He made a leadership mistake.”

Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) said, “I like President Obama but giving TV interviews is not leading.  Having lunch with people is not leading.  Scaring people is not leading.”

He said the president was “AWOL on the stimulus,” using the military term for “absent without official leave.”

Graham is a military lawyer.

Stimulus: Obama Rattled? Others Sound Cool, Collected

Obama stresses urgency of now for stimulus bill

Obama Flaming Out On Stimulus Explantion

 Senator Critical Of President for Not Leading on Stimulus; Calls Effort “Crazy,” Bill “Monstrosity”

Lindsey Graham Boiling Mad:

Stimulus: Master of The Message, No Drama Obama Losing?

February 5, 2009

Barack Obama wasn’t a senator long enough to become an experienced and seasoned lawmaker.  He is not really a professional legislator.  He is a community organizer.  But he is a wonderful talker: and that has catapulted him, to a great measure, into the White House.

So he turned the task of making the stimulus over to Nancy Pelosi, who ignored the preident’s vow of bipartisanship and hushed or ignored House Republicans.

President Obama knew his oratorical gifts would get us through.

But now maybe not….


By Jeanne Cummings
At this crucial juncture in the push to pass an economic recovery package, President Obama finds himself in the most unlikely of places: He is losing the message war. 

Despite Obama’s sky high personal approval ratings, polls show support has declined for his stimulus bill since Republicans and their conservative talk-radio allies began railing against what they labeled as pork barrel spending within it. 

President Barack Obama speaks about business CEO's compensation ... 
President Barack Obama speaks about business CEO’s compensation in the White House in Washington February 4, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)

The sheer size of it – hovering at about $900 billion — has prompted more protests that are now causing some moderate and conservative Democrats to flinch and, worse, hesitate. 

The anxiety over lost momentum seemed almost palpable this week as the president in television interviews voiced frustration with his White House’s progress and the way his recovery program was being demonized as a Democratic spending frenzy. 

In Obama’s own words in an NBC interview, it’s his job to “get this thing back on track.” 

Already, he’s trying – rolling out Michelle Obama to talk stimulus Wednesday, Vice President Joe Biden on Thursday (at a train station, no less) and sitting down with key senators one-on-one. 

But this is unfamiliar turf for a team that achieved near epic status for its communication skills during the presidential campaign. They’ve rarely ever had to play catch-up. 

With the president’s gifted oratory and a technologically savvy team, the Obama camp was able to seize control of the national conversation as early as April and never fully relinquish it right through his Inaugural Address two weeks ago. 

To be sure, some of Obama’s headaches stem from the normal dysfunction that occurs when a White House is in transition. Phones don’t work, chains of command are fuzzy, and there are formalities that need tending to. 

But the Obama team also made its own mistakes. The president’s troubled cabinet nominees added to the cacophony that at times drowned out the White House economic messages in the past two weeks.
And it seems more apparent each day that the nascent Obama Administration isn’t fully prepared for the task at hand. 

The president’s decision to push through a massive stimulus bill, while perhaps unavoidable, is forcing the much-vaunted Chicago crowd to adapt at lightning speed to its more skillful adversaries on Capitol Hill, while at the same time taking a crash course on harnessing the full power of bully pulpit. If he doesn’t figure it out soon, Obama is likely to find out that his stimulus package looks very different than he had in mind indeed. 

The Jetsons versus the Flinstones 

Obama’s campaign was lauded for its visionary use of modern tools for old-fashioned politics. Through the Internet, it recruited supporters, collected dollars, rallied supporters and organized get-out-the vote operations. 

But when these modern heroes arrived at the White House, it was like the lights all went out.
Their contact with their millions-fold supporters was cut off, literally, as e-mail systems broke down and ‘The List’ of political supporters was blocked at the iron gate. 

To meet government ethics rules, the campaign operation and its grassroots army were forced to de-camp to the Democratic National Committee, robbing the president of one of his most potent political weapons just as the stimulus bill was under consideration in the House. 

But while the White House team struggled to adapt, it was business as usual on Capitol Hill for Republicans. 

They could practically sleep-walk through their attack plan once House Democrats began to fill in Obama’s broad outlines for a stimulus with a few pet projects of their own. 

It required two simple steps: Scream pork, call Rush Limbaugh

They even could have even used a rotary phone. 

The result: Every House Republican saw a free pass and voted against the first version of the bill.
The outcome is not surprising. Obama had roughly 90 people working at his headquarters on Internet outreach and new technology projects, observes Joe Trippi, a Democratic operative who broke new ground on modern campaigning during Howard Dean’s 2004 Democratic primary bid.

Even with closet-sized spaces, the White House can only accommodate about only about 200 or so people for jobs ranging from national security to health care reform to Internet guru.

The Obama team “built this incredible campaign and now they have these ridiculously primitive tools. The communication tools they mastered don’t exist in the White House. It’s like they are in a cave,” said Trippi. 

“Then there are the masters of the Stone Age and they are doing a good job,” he added.

Learning to play well with others

During the campaign, Obama had complete control over his message. Now, he doesn’t and that’s not an easy adjustment for any president.

Obama must suddenly yield turf to both Capitol Hill and outside interest groups who are trying to help. The results in both cases can be messy.

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White House Demonizes Senate Republicans on Terrible Stimulus Package; Why No Senate Dems Embrace This Stimulus?

White House Demonizes Senate Republicans on Terrible Stimulus Package; Why No Senate Dems Embrace This Stimulus?

February 5, 2009

It was clear yesterday that the White House was trying to demonize Senate Republicans on their slow response to the economic stimulus.  The president himself predicted “catastrophe” if the federal economic stimulus is not passed quickly.

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs seemed to carefully choose his words to paint Republicans as the the real problem here.

If the stimulus is so great why did the President of the United States have to write his own defense of the stimulus for the Washington Post?
See: President Obama Writes Why You Need the Stimulus

If the stimulus is so great why do 50% of Americans no longer think so?

And all the demonization of Republicans sounds good until you listen to Senate Democrats defend the stimulus bill.  There aren’t any.

Where’s Harry Reid?  Too busy to defend the president’s legislation as handed down by Nancy Pelosi and the House?

Senator Kent Conrad (D-NK) said today that he is making an alliance with Republicans to cut the most egregious provisions out of the stmulus.

Egregious parts of the stimulus, says a Democratic Senator.  While his president predicts castrophe if those same provisions are not passed….

There are Republicans expressing opinions on the stimulus, like McCain saying he’d rather have no stimulus bill than this one and Grassly saying we need to “look before we leap.” 
Grassley and others want more time to review the House version of the stimulus or they want a new bill all together….

President Obama keeps pressing on the gas, hoping things will go faster.

That makes Republicans ask even more, “What all is buried in here?”

Many are saying that few in the House even read through the stimulus — relying instead upon the president explaining the crisis and the spending solution.

“We’re not trying to prevent a package from passing. We’re trying to reform it,” Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said.

Maybe a time out is in order….

Obama White House Defends Stimulus, Ethics Rules, Lobbyist-Nominees

February 3, 2009

Two of President Barack Obama’s top nominees withdrew their named from consideration today because of tax irregularities.

Tom Daschle, the nominee as Secretary of HHS, and Nancy Killefer, who President Obama named to be the nation’s first chief performance officer, have both said they, in the past, failed to pay their taexes in full.

The current Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner also had that problem but his nomination was confirmed by the senate.

In the senate today, the president’s economic stimulus plan is being debated.

The White House invited several national journalists to interview President Obama today on the stimulus but questions about ethics are also expected….


Despite the tax problems faced by high-level nominees, and the exceptions made to the no-lobbyists pledge, President Barack Obama’s spokesman is defending the administration’s ethical standards.

Robert Gibbs told reporters Tuesday, “The bar that we set is the highest that any administration in the country has ever set.”

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs briefs the press at ... 
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs briefs the press at the White House in Washington, January 22, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)

During a briefing filled with questions about Tom Daschle’s decision to withdraw from consideration to be Health and Human Services secretary, Gibbs pointed to experts who describe the administration’s ethics rules as the strongest in history.

He also said those experts recognized that Obama would need to make exceptions to his pledge to run an administration free of former lobbyists.

Obama’s choice to become the No. 2 official at the Defense Department recently lobbied for military contractor Raytheon. And his choice as deputy secretary at Health and Human Services, lobbied through most of last year as an anti-tobacco advocate.

Obama White House: Media frustration

January 23, 2009

A growing media frustration with Barack Obama’s team spilled into the open at Thursday’s briefing, with reporters accusing the White House of stifling access to his oath re-do and giving Obama’s first interview as president to a multi-million dollar inauguration sponsor.

Veteran CBS newsman Bill Plante was one of the most vocal critics, questioning the White House’s handling of Wednesday night’s second swearing in – which was covered by just a four-reporter print pool that didn’t include a news photographer or TV correspondent.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs briefs the press at ... 
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs briefs the press at the White House in Washington, January 22, 2009.(Larry Downing/Reuters)


He also asked new press secretary Robert Gibbs why ABC, which paid millions to host the DC Neighborhood Ball, was granted the only inauguration day interview with President Obama – a move he equated to “pay to play.”

“We have a tradition here of covering the president,” said Plante, who is covering his fourth administration.

Gibbs defended the White House’s moves, insisting aides acted in a “way that was upfront and transparent” in allowing the standard pool into the swearing-in. And Obama himself seemed mindful of making a good impression, paying a surprise visit to the White House pressroom a few hours after the briefing.

It’s been a bumpy 24 hours for Gibbs and company, as members of the White House press corps have publicly expressed frustration with an administration promising openness and transparency.

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