- Texas man arrested for powder-letter hoax
- Islamic State opens ‘marriage bureau’ for single jihadists
- Drone almost blocks California firefighting planes
- Tornado rips off roofs, downs trees near Boston
- GOP: Environmental rules keeping agents from accessing border
- John Kerry: Millions displaced by religious fighting in 2013
- Federal appeals court rules against Virginia’s gay marriage ban
- White House says Russia ‘losing’ war in Ukraine
- Hamas turns to North Korea for weapons deal, Iran for money
- Syrian casualties surge as jihadis consolidate
WH admits Limbaugh attacks unhelpful
Question of the Day
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.
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.”
Mr. Gibbs made the remark Wednesday after several weeks in which he pointedly blasted one cable television reporter, ridiculed the audience of a cable network and questioned who was in control of Republicans. But it served to keep the issue in the news yet again, in what appears to be an intentional strategy.
The White House has pushed Mr. Limbaugh’s comments about Mr. Obama’s policies into the public debate beginning with Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, who on CBS’ “Face the Nation” show Sunday brought up the talk show host without being asked.
The morning after Mr. Limbaugh spoke to a conservative conference in Washington, Mr. Emanuel called the talk show host “the voice and the intellectual force and energy behind the Republican Party.”
Mr. Emanuel highlighted Mr. Limbaugh’s comments that he wants the Obama administration’s economic policies to fail.
Politico reported later in the week that Mr. Emanuel consorted with top Democratic operatives, including regular CNN contributors James Carville and Paul Begala, to try to make the flamboyant radio personality the face of the Republican Party.
White House spokesman Bill Burton said he disputed the Politico report but would not specify his point of contention.
Mr. Limbaugh has said he wants the president’s economic policies to fail because he thinks they will harm the country, and that he wants the country to succeed.
But on Monday, Mr. Gibbs said Mr. Limbaugh was “wishing and hoping for economic failure in this country.”
About the Author
- GOP sees little outreach in health care debate
- Obama nears decision on Afghan strategy
- Obama: 'No faith justifies' Fort Hood attack
- Obama: No religious faith justifies Fort Hood shootings
- Democrats torn on Afghanistan, women's rights
Latest Blog Entries
By David Keene
Allowing states to innovate could reduce dependency on bureaucracy
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Illegal immigrants demand representation in White House meetings
- Iraqi Christians rally at White House: 'Obama, Obama, where are you?'
- Tennessee Gov. Haslam slams White House for secret dump of illegals in his state
- White House defends Kerry failure to broker Middle East cease-fire
- NAPOLITANO: What if our democracy is a fraud?
- Romney would win popular vote in rematch against Obama: CNN poll - Washington Times#.U9ZSgi7-CXU.twi
- Russia violating 1987 nuclear missile treaty
- RAHN: When money mischief goes global
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world
Fighting in Iraq