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Robert Gibbs to Obama on government shutdown: ‘Sit back and watch’

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Former presidential press secretary Robert Gibbs offered some words of advice for President Obama on how best to handle the blooming government shutdown: Take it easy, sit back and wait it out.

Specifically, Mr. Gibbs said during a Tuesday MSNBC appearance that the White House's best move is to "sit back and watch." He also put all the fault for the government shutdown on Republicans, declining to cast fault at the Democrats in the Senate who refused to discuss the House funding bill that passed and was sent their way.

He continued, advising the White House: "I don't think there's anything for you to do. I don't think there's anything you should do. I don't think they will negotiate in any way on a temporary fix to this," Politico reported.

Mr. Gibbs also mirrored the blame-the-tea-party approach that's been circulating among Democrats on Capitol Hill.

"The tea party got the Republicans into this," he said in the Politico report. "And some other faction of the Republican Party or the rest of the tea party is going to have to get themselves out of it."

Mr. Gibbs suggested Mr. Obama stand fast and refuse to talk about any Obamacare concessions to get the government back and running. It's not his job to fix the budget impasse — it's the job of those who started the mess, suggesting again the tea party crowd, he said.

"I don't think anything can happen unless or until we have several days of this shutdown," he said, Politico reported. "I mean, if you're a Republican and you think this is a great strategy, there's no reason for you to cave today. And if they don't cave today, it's probably hard to see how this unwinds before either the weekend or the beginning of next week."

Mr. Gibbs guessed the shutdown would last between five and six days.

"And Republicans will probably evaluate after that," he said.

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