Friday, March 5, 2010

Thank God for Jake Tapper...

...if he wasn't in the White House briefing room to ask the tough questions, who would?

From yesterday's press briefing transcript:

TAPPER: And then another question. The president, when he was running for president, told the Concord Monitor that you have to break out of the 50-plus-one pattern of presidential politics; we're not going to pass health-care reform with a 50-plus-one strategy. He was talking more about building consensus. And I understand that the health-care reform bill, the first iteration of it passed the Senate with 60 votes, with a supermajority. But is he not pursuing a 51 - 50-plus-one strategy for this final step?

GIBBS: No, because -- he's talking about electoral strategy, not vote-counting in the House --

TAPPER: But he did say “we’re not going to pass health-care reform with a 50-plus-one strategy."

GIBBS: We're not going to -- we're not going to get it through -- we're -- you're not going to get legislation through Congress if only 50 percent plus one in the country think it's a good idea. That's why, if you look at poll after poll, people want -- people want health-care reform and the debate on health-care reform to continue. They want to see progress made. They want to see Democrats and Republicans work together to get something done. That's what the --

TAPPER: Well, Robert, the polls indicates that the American people are very divided about this bill. In fact, pluralities disagree with it, this bill.

GIBBS: And majorities believe we have to keep going. And if you break out individual concepts of what's contained in the president's plan, some of which are Republican ideas, they poll in the upper 60s, so --

TAPPER: Right. But on this specific bill, can you say anything other than the president is doing anything other than pursuing the 50- plus-one strategy?

GIBBS: I don't believe he's pursuing that strategy. I think there are far more than 50 percent of the people that live in this country know and understand that we have to change, for them, the cost of health care. Yes.

TAPPER: They don't support this bill.

GIBBS: Well, we're working on that Jake.

Gibbs is so bad at this.

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