The Campaign Spot

Gibbs: We Can’t Be Expected to Weed Out All the Silly Spending

Jake Tapper of ABC–quickly becoming the toughest questioner in the White House press pool–pointed out that Obama managed to get Rep. Henry Waxman to remove $200 million in the bill set aside for family-planning services; he asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs why the president can’t do it for other porky items, like the funds set aside for “smoking cessation” efforts. (Some portion of $500 million, by my reading.)

“Let’s focus on the larger picture” is Gibbs’ mantra. “If we get focused on this number and that number, and two-one-hundreths of one percent of the spending . . . while we’re discussing this, in the past forty-eight [hours], 70,000 people have gotten a pink slip.”

Tapper: “Why not take the money marked for ’smoking cessation’ and give it to people who are out of work?”

Gibbs: “The vast majority of this bill does that . . . We can’t afford to wait. We have to act.”


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