The Washington Times - March 14, 2013, 01:39PM

The president’s spokesman continued to push back today against an outcry in the press that the decision to halt White House tours because of sequester is a stunt aimed at maximizing public reaction.

On Thursday, the Washington Post’s editorial board was the latest to accuse the White House of ending the tours as a way to inflict harm on the public and force lawmakers on Capitol Hill to field phone calls from disappointed tourists.

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“The decision to drop White House tours always had a whiff of what’s known as Washington Monument syndrome,” the paper wrote. “The ham-handed tactic is employed when government is faced with budget cuts and officials go after the services that are most visible and appreciated by the public.”

The editorial went on to label the closed tours as “bureaucratic hostage-taking.”

White House spokesman Jay Carney once again lamented that the tours have been shut down, saying that the Secret Service made the decision and the sequester forced the agency to close the tours instead of worrying about furloughs and the elimination of overtime.

The closed tours are unfortunate, Mr. Carney said, but no more unfortunate than children missing Head Start classes or air traffic controllers facing furloughs