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The Stellar Work of Robert Gibbs

BEGIN TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: Here's Robert Gibbs. We have put together here a montage of the stellar Robert Gibbs. The Drive-By Media told us when he was nominated, or appointed to be the press secretary, that they didn't come any better. And this guy was top rate, first class, all during the campaign. Here is a montage of his answers yesterday.

GIBBS: I just don't want to get ahead of a process -- I think that the president -- I'm sorry, say that again? We'll check on that. Let me not get ahead of an economic team -- I shouldn't get ahead of the president. Let me get some guidance from the counsel's office. Some of the technical questions, obviously, we had Greg help you guys understand a little bit of that. Well, as Greg said, as relates to your first question, let me get some guidance from -- from Greg. We think it was done in a way -- hold on. (laughter) People don't usually laugh when I don't say something that's not funny. But out of an abundance of caution. Out of an abundance of caution. And again out of an abundance of caution. A similar abundance of caution, the oath was re-administered. No, because it was done, again, out of an abundance of caution.

RUSH: That's a montage of Robert Gibbs yesterday, numerous times he mentioned consulting with Greg Craig. He's got one going now, let's JIP it, join it in progress, let's see how he's doing today.

GIBBS: -- likely get worse before they get better, uh, but I believe and the president believes that Congress has to act quickly to ensure that this package gets on his desk by Presidents Day recess so that we can begin turning that economy around. Chuck?

TODD: Two questions. One, do you rule out asking for another stimulus package after this, this year, if the economy, if there is a determination that more spending --

GIBBS: Let's -- let's get one done and start -- start seeing that --

RUSH: Did you hear that? That was Chuck Todd saying, "If this one doesn't work, are you going to ask for another one?"

GIBBS: -- get into hypotheticals about what we might do later on in the year.

REPORTER: And other US officials have confirmed these -- these predatory drone air strikes. What is it about -- not confirming when the president was consulted --

GIBBS: I'm not going to get into these matters.

REPORTER: Compromise operational --

GIBBS: I'm not going to get into these matters.

REPORTER: Don't you think it's a justifiable curiosity --

RUSH: Boy, we JIP'ed this at the right time, didn't we?

GIBBS: -- things you should be justifiably curious about, but I'm not going to get into talking to you --

REPORTER: If other members of the US government are confirming this, why is it you can't comment?

GIBBS: I'm not going to get into these matters.

REPORTER: What concrete --

RUSH: He won't confirm the Obama war on terror was in Afghanistan, Pakistan today, won't confirm it, is that right?

REPORTER: -- 75% payout?

GIBBS: Well, we believe that --

RUSH: By the way, if you're a middle school in Green Bay listening, turn off the PA system.

GIBBS: -- spent. We believe that through a series of steps, we'll also have a financial stability package that will have credit flowing --

RUSH: Remember, now, right when we JIPped this, folks, he said things were going to get worse before they get better. That's inspiring. People waiting for their mortgage to be paid and their gas tank to be filled up. You seen the lines at the gas stations? People waiting for Obama or somebody from government to come pay for the fill-up, have you seen it?

GIBBS: -- as a part of this package. That's why the president believes and members of Congress shared in that belief today that it has to get done quickly.

REPORTER: Do you see any turn around in economic indicators that will be noticeable after 18 months?

GIBBS: Well, I refer you to the reports that we've put out about this --

RUSH: No, tell us yourself.

GIBBS: As I've said, as the president has said, this is -- it's not going to get better overnight. We didn't get here overnight. And --

RUSH: Eighteen months and he won't commit to it getting better in 18 months.

GIBBS: Our hope is that this work can be done quickly, that the money can get into the economy quickly. That's why we're committed strongly --

RUSH: Most of it doesn't get into the economy 'til 2011. It's in the CBO report. I'm not making it up.

GIBBS: -- to create jobs.

RUSH: Good grief.

GIBBS: -- and that all those tests can be met by this package. Yes, sir.

REPORTER: Robert, the president this morning expressed a degree of concern over the -- some banks that have remodeled their offices --

RUSH: Oh, good. I want to hear this.

REPORTER: These are some of the same banks that have gotten tax --

RUSH: Ask about remodeling the residence and how much the government's going to spend on that.

REPORTER: What did he have in mind there?

GIBBS: Well, I think as I've mentioned, as was outlined in principles that Larry Summers sent to Congress and that secretary designate Geithner have talked to the finance economy about, that, as we move forward with the financial stability package he's asked his team to ensure that --

RUSH: What?

GIBBS: -- safeguards and controls are put into place to ensure that --

RUSH: What?

GIBBS: -- money that's gotten doesn't go to line the pockets of people that may have gotten us into some of these messes.

RUSH: It didn't. It went to the contractors that did the work.

GIBBS: -- his economic team to come back to him on as we move forward on these -- these packages. The American people need to be reasonably -- the American people need to be greatly assured that their hard-earned money --

RUSH: Not totally.

GIBBS: -- is not going to the bonuses or the remodeling --

RUSH: It already did.

GIBBS: -- of an office

RUSH: What do you mean be reassured?

GIBBS: -- of a bank that's in trouble. That money needs to go directly to the American people in the form --

RUSH: You gotta talk to Treasury secretary. He's in charge here.

GIBBS: -- auto loan or small business so that it can meet its payroll. That's what the financial stability package should do. That's what he's asked his team to ensure --

RUSH: What about the mortgages?

GIBBS: -- that it's put together so that the next money that's spent to stabilize our financial system is spent differently --

RUSH: This is an answer, by the way, to a question about $1.2 million being spent to remodel an executive office at Merrill Lynch.

GIBBS: I'm not going to get ahead of the recommendations that the team are going to put together and --

RUSH: Still answering it.

GIBBS: Laura?

REPORTER: If the stimulus package winds up passing Congress with no or very minimal Republican support, will the administration view that as a disappointment?

GIBBS: Well, again --

REPORTER: It's not a hypothetical --

GIBBS: Yeah.

REPORTER: -- because even the committee vote it's a very real possibility in the House.

GIBBS: We've all spent a lot of time in Washington.

RUSH: You have?

GIBBS: I'm not going to prejudge the final outcome of a legislative vote based on the inner workings of a particular committee vote.

RUSH: Bob, this is your chance to pressure 'em.

GIBBS: We can all go back and look and find examples of --

RUSH: Take that down a minute. Let me explain how this ought to be done. This guy is supposedly stellar. So he gets a question: Will you be disappointed? She's setting him up. He's got a Drive-By reporter there throwing a softball at him. It's waiting to be knocked out of the park. Will you be disappointed if you get minimal Republican support? "Yes, we will. This is a package designed to save this country, to bring our economy around to create jobs, and it will be terribly tragic if a number of our Republican friends don't see that." "I'm not going to get into the future legislative outcome." Long way to go here, Bob, long, long way to go here. Well, I don't know, his natural impulse might be, "We don't care about the Republicans, we get passed whatever we want to get passed. We don't care about them." That's his natural impulse. What he shoulda said was, "Yeah, we'd be terribly disappointed if they don't do what's right with us."

This guy's going to get taken to the woodshed. Greg Craig is probably going to have a meeting with him this afternoon and say, "Look, you're passing up opportunity after opportunity here and you're going to have to learn how to deal with these guys. They're setting you up. They're giving you all the help in the world, Mr. Gibbs, they want you to break Barry Bonds' home run record in three press briefings and so far you've hit a bunch of foul balls. We're going to teach you how to knock 'em out of the park." Because at the end of the day -- mark my words on this, don't doubt me, and look at me -- the Obama administration is going to do everything it can to separate Republicans in the House and the Senate from their voters and what their voters want, mark my words.

BREAK TRANSCRIPT

RUSH: A couple of secret briefers of the press, in the White House pressroom. I guess a lot of administrations do this. They have people speak on the condition of background, but they're unnamed. They're called administration sources, and yesterday poor old Bob Gibbs outed one of them. Oh, yes, he did. He mentioned the name of one of the secret briefers. An unidentified reporter said, "Why do the American people not have a right to know the names of the senior administration officials who briefed us this morning on the Guantanamo and related matters?"

GIBBS: I hope that you all found the exercise that we did this morning helpful in further understanding the process by which the President had tasked his team to establish policies that he thinks enhances the security of the United States, and to do so in a way that helps inform you of the decisions that he's made and the decisions that he will make over the course of this, and do so in a way that's helpful to your job.

(shouted questions)

REPORTER: What about...?

REPORTER: You used the name of the -- one of those senior officials first, uh, first name several times in this briefing?

(the press pool laughing)

GIBBS: I do, Jonathan. Huh, huh, huh, huh, huh.

REPORTER: Are we allowed to repeat that, then?

GIBBS: Sorry?

REPORTER: Are we allowed to repeat that name?

GIBBS: If you want to go -- I -- I -- I -- I -- I -- I'm tempted to ask you to see if you can get one person's name into the paper so people will think you might be a Brazilian soccer star.

RUSH: Like Pele. I don't understand it. Don't worry about understanding it. You're not meant to understand it. Now, this next question came from Bill Plante, CBS News, and this upset Bob Gibbs, Robert Gibbs. Listen to this.

PLANTE: How was it transparent when it looks like pay-to-play when the president gives his own interview on inauguration night to a network which paid $2 million for the privilege of exclusive rights to that event?

GIBBS: The (gagging) uh, huh, uh -- we've done interviews throughout the transition process. Uh, we've done -- uh, we've answered, uh, questions from reporters, uh, and no interview is decided on by me or anybody else who works with the president, uh, based on who might sponsor an activity.

RUSH: Bill Plante didn't like this. Apparently what ABC did, they spend $2 million sponsoring a ball, one of the inaugural balls, one of the people's balls, not one of the official things. So Obama did his first official interview as president with ABC, and this is what Bill Plante was just saying. It sounds like pay-to-play.

END TRANSCRIPT

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