Ellison Calls for Resignation of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs
Rep. Keith Ellison called for the resignation of White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs after he said the “professional left” would only be satisfied with the Obama administration after “we have Canadian healthcare and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon.”
In an interview with The Hill, Gibbs vented further: “I hear these people saying he’s like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested.” On people who said that President Obama was too centrist, he said, “They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.”
Rep. Ellison told The Huffington Post, “This is not the first time that Mr. Gibbs has made untoward and inflammatory comments and I certainly hope that people in the White House don’t share his view that the left is unimportant to the presiden. I understand him having some loyalty to the president who employs him, but I think he’s walking over the line.”
Ellison said that Gibbs’ resignation was warranted. “That’d be fair, because this isn’t the first time. And, again, people of all political shades worked very hard to help the president become the president. Why would he want to go out and deliberately insult the president’s base? And why would he confuse legitimate critique with some sort of lack of loyalty. Isn’t this what the far right does? Punishes people who are not ideologically aligned with President Bush?”
On the claim that the “professional left” would only be satisfied after the Pentagon was eliminated, Rep. Ellison said, “I know of none. So I think that was an inflammatory remark that is emblematic of his careless use of language and is an example of why he may not be the best person for the job.”
White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said the “professional left” that Gibbs referred to were cable commentators. Gibbs said in a statement to The Huffington Post that his comments were “inartful” and “change hasn’t come fast enough for many Americans.