GIBBS SETS THE RECORD STRAIGHT…. Following up on an earlier item, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked this afternoon about Dick Cheney’s criticism of President Obama on U.S. policy in Afghanistan.
“What Vice President Cheney calls ‘dithering, President Obama calls his solemn responsibility to the men and women in uniform and the American public,’” Gibbs said. “I think we’ve all seen what happens when somebody doesn’t take that responsibility seriously.”
That’s a pretty good response, actually.
Now, if you watch the whole clip, you’ll notice that Gibbs repeatedly references a request for additional troops and resources for the conflict in Afghanistan from Gen. David McKiernan in early 2008 — a request that Gibbs argues Bush/Cheney put off for the next administration to deal with.
Is that what happened? Pretty much, yes. Jason Zengerle pointed to this Rajiv Chandrasekaran piece from a few weeks ago, which noted McKiernan’s request: “A military official familiar with McKiernan’s thinking said his request for 30,000 troops last fall was tempered by a belief that the Bush White House would reject it outright if he asked for more. As it was, Bush tabled the request, leaving it to Obama.”
Here’s hoping the press doesn’t respond to Gibbs’ pushback against Cheney by comparing the White House to Nixon again.