Veteran CBS newsman Bob Schieffer on Sunday morning unloaded on a top White House official, comparing the Obama administration’s handling of the ongoing Internal Revenue Service scandal to former President Richard Nixon’s initial strategy for dealing with Watergate.
The assertion came after White House senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer said the president will continue with his objectives and will not become bogged down by the IRS debacle, the Benghazi affair or other missteps.
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“I don’t want to compare this in any way to Watergate … but I have to tell you, that is exactly the approach the Nixon administration took. You’re taking exactly the same line,” Mr. Schieffer said.
He then castigated the White House for taking credit when the federal government does something right, but passing the buck when problems arise. Republicans and other critics have made similar claims that Mr. Obama seems to have little knowledge of what’s happening in his own federal government.
“When the executive branch does things right, there doesn’t seem to be any hesitancy for the White House to take credit for that,” Mr. Schieffer said, citing the killing of Osama bin Laden as an example. “When these [scandals] happen, you seem to send out officials many times who don’t even seem to know what’s happened.”
He even demanded to know why Mr. Pfeiffer was making the rounds on Sunday talk shows, rather than a higher-ranking official.
“Why are you here today? Why isn’t the chief of staff here today?” Mr. Schieffer asked.