- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The White House on Wednesday admitted that their public comments about conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh and cable news personalities in recent days has been “counterproductive.”

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that he has been guilty of “feeding” a public debate about the Obama administration’s economic agenda that both the president and his top officials, as well as Mr. Gibbs himself, have been dismissive of.

Both President Obama and Mr. Gibbs on Wednesday derided what they have come regularly to refer to as “cable chatter.”

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

Republicans leaders on Capitol Hill, who have been forced to watch as Democrats gleefully proclaimed Mr. Limbaugh to be the leader of the Republican Party, pounced on the comment.

“Now that the Obama administration has declared their own distractions, diversions and manipulations strategy to be counterproductive, House Republicans would like to see this administration join us in our bipartisan national conversation about job creation, stimulating small business and middle-class tax relief,” said Brad Dayspring, spokesman for House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, Virginia Republican.

“They should apologize to the American people for supporting these tactics and get back to work,” Mr. Dayspring said.

The Libertarian Party also criticized the White House for their focus on Mr. Limbaugh, who has said he wants Mr. Obama’s economic policies to fail.

‘“With polls showing more and more Americans oppose his agenda, Barack Obama needs a distraction. He gets it by having his operatives pick a fight with a colorful radio personality,” said Libertarian National Committee spokesman Donny Ferguson.

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