Patterico's Pontifications


Gibbs: Old Obama Was Full of Shit

Filed under: General — Aaron Worthing @ 6:05 am

[Guest post by Aaron Worthing; if you have tips, please send them here.]

The other day I noted Austan Goolsbee said that it was irresponsible to even toy with the idea of raising the debt ceiling.  And then a bit later, in a post about how the debt passed $14 Trillion, I noted that Obama was singing a very different tune back in 2006.  Here’s a highlight from his own words in opposing a measure to increase the debt ceiling:

The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies.

Which raises the question, is he lying now, or was he lying then?

Well, Robert Gibbs has clarified the issue.  Old Obama was full of shit:

Asked about that quote – and vote — today, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that it was important that “based on the outcome of that vote…the full faith and credit was not in doubt.”

Then-Sen. Obama used the vote “to make a point about needing to get serious about fiscal discipline….His vote was not necessarily needed on that.”

In other words, according to official spokesmodel Robert Gibbs, the only reason why Obama voted against raising the debt limit was because he knew it would happen anyway.  He wasn’t really opposed to it.  He just wanted to pretend he was, because he wanted to fool people into thinking he is some kind of fiscal conservative.

Now I will say for the record that I don’t generally credit what the official White House spokesmodel says anyway.  But, um, well, what do you expect Obama himself to say?  “No, actually I am full of shit now”?  Besides we have about two years worth of evidence establishing that he fundamentally doesn’t care about the debt.

I will end by saying something in response to Patterico’s post the other day talking about evidence that the Republicans might not even cut $100 Billion from the budget.  One should always take these kinds of reports with caution, but there is the real possibility of it being a trial balloon.  So let me suggest to everyone who wants fiscal discipline, to call your congresscritter, or email or whatever.  Be polite, but express that you will be very angry if there are not drastic cuts in the budget, and that you want us to start running a surplus.  And tell them that you are just about ready to go with a third party, if that is how you feel.  It may be too early to conclude they will betray us, but it is not too early to make it clear to them that you will not react well to that kind of betrayal.


Addendum:  Here’s Gibbs’ exchange in relevant part:

Q    I’ve got a couple questions, one domestic and one international.  The incoming Republican budget chief of the House, Paul Ryan, is saying that he will demand spending concessions from the administration in exchange for an agreement — a willingness to lift the national debt ceiling.  Would the administration be willing to consider such –

MR. GIBBS:  Well, look, Matt, I think we’re going to have to have a discussion — we are going to have a discussion about steps that are going to be taken to get our fiscal house in order.  We made some extraordinary decisions over the past several years, some in this administration, some in the previous administration, to deal with the financial calamity, to deal with the tremendous downturn in our economy and the job loss that it’s wrought.

But we are not here — I think it’s important to understand we’re not here because of a series of decisions that just got made in the last six months.  We’re dealing with a series of decisions that date back quite a long time, that the bills have continually come due for and we’re going to have to address them.
What the exact specifics of those look like, obviously that’s part of the process that we’re going to go through.

But I hope that everybody approaches not just the exercise of fiscal responsibility and fiscal restraint seriously, but I think it’s important, as you heard Chairman Goolsbee say this weekend, it’s important to approach the upcoming vote, as you mentioned, on the debt limit, in a way that’s responsible and in a way that doesn’t threaten the full faith and credit of our government.

Let me pause for a moment there.  I am getting sick and tired of hearing this cliché—full faith and credit—in regards to our debts.  That phrase in the constitution had nothing to do with debt specifically, but instead was about honoring the laws and court decisions of other states.  But that is a nitpick, really, like the people who are upset about me spelling alot in the slang way.

Anyway, later in the briefing, we get the relevant passage:

Q    You referenced Austan Goolsbee’s comments about the debt ceiling and I wanted to read you this quote from a senator. “The fact that we’re here today to debate raising America’s debt is a sign of leadership failure.  Leadership means the buck stops here.  Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren.  America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership.  Americans deserve better. I therefore intend to oppose the effort to increase America’s debt limit.”

I suspect you know who I’m quoting.

MR. GIBBS:  Joe Biden? (Laughter.)  I know, Barack Obama in 2006.

Q    That is Senator Barack Obama in 2006 voting against raising the debt ceiling.

MR. GIBBS:  And I think what is important is — understand that raising the debt limit was not in question in the outcome –

Q    It passed 52 to 48.  It was close.

MR. GIBBS:  — in the outcome of that vote.

Q    It was a close vote — 52 to 48.

MR. GIBBS:  Well, we’ve had closer.  I think it’s important that the outcome — based on the outcome of that vote, as I mentioned, the full faith and credit was not in doubt — the full faith and credit of our government and our economy was not in doubt. And the President used it to make a point about needing to get serious about fiscal discipline.

And we, as I said earlier, are dealing with the legacy of decisions that have been made over the past many years — not paying for a prescription drug benefit, not paying for wars, not paying for tax cuts — that changed our fiscal situation much more markedly than anything ever had.

So I think it is up to — and it’s important for Congress, because we know not to play politics with this, not to play games, to find a way to raise that debt limit, understanding that we have to — as I mentioned to Matt, we’re going to have to take some serious steps to get our fiscal house in order.  But we understand, we know what happens, we know the catastrophic actions with things like Social Security and Medicare if you threaten the solvency of the government.

Q    But isn’t that what he was doing?

Q    So he only voted that way because he knew that it was going to pass?

MR. GIBBS:  And I think, clearly, he was sending a message.

Q    But he knew it was going to pass — that’s why he voted against it?

MR. GIBBS:  Again, his vote was not necessarily needed on that.

Q    So I guess, then, just extending that, it would be okay for other senators to do the same thing this year, as long as they know that ultimately –

MR. GIBBS:  There may be some that send a message.  But I think what is important is that the ultimate bottom line is we shouldn’t upset the notion of that full faith and credit.  We shouldn’t, as some have rhetorically done leading up to this, suggest that that’s a good way to deal with this, is simply to let — to not pass that extension.

We understand, as Austan said — and, look, Austan is a very bright economist.  The effects of something like that, as he said last weekend, would exceed anything that we saw in the financial collapse in 2008.

[Posted and authored by Aaron Worthing.]

29 Responses to “Gibbs: Old Obama Was Full of Shit”

  1. sorry for the harsh language, but sometimes you have to use the curse words to get your point across, including your anger.

    Aaron Worthing (b1db52)

  2. When obama was either in the state legislature or the federal legislature he could vote irresponsibly because his vote didn’t count and he was inconsequential…..and we voted this nitwit POTUS?

    J (2946f2)

  3. Aaron,

    And when you call your congressman – he’ll ask you where was your money, volunteerism, your support during all this time or is it now painful enough for yah that you want something for free

    and they will be right….

    EricPWJohnson (c5f1fc)

  4. Teh One’s statements and messages cease having any meaning the moment they are uttered, subject to future revision.

    JD (57c1da)

  5. Oh, good Allah. Between IMP and SEKS and crissyhooten and EPWJ ….

    JD (57c1da)

  6. Gibbs the glib was saying the old Obama was lying but the new and improved is telling the truth. Who knew?

    When the republicans say they will rollback social security payments and federal salaries and pensions back to the levels of only 2008 is when you might cautiously believe they are serious.

    cubanbob (409ac2)

  7. eric

    how about he take my vote and be thankful for it?

    And for the record, look at this blog. I have done plenty to promote republican candidates across the board, especially tea partiers.

    Aaron Worthing (b1db52)

  8. You are not a true and pure conservative, because yu did not support Scozzafava.

    JD (57c1da)

  9. OK, so Gibbs is implying that Obama was not really saying the need to raise the debt ceiling in 2006 represented a failure of leadership, just a need to focus on fiscal discipline, one of Obama’s demonstrated strengths.

    Does the fact that the national debt increased by $5 trillion in the four years since Democrats took over congress, well over 50%, represent a failure of leadership? Don’t answer. That was a rhetorical question.

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  10. EPWJ might be the ideal replacement for the gibbering gibbon.

    Icy Texan (d20d10)

  11. EPWJ? Elvis Presley-Waylon Jennings?

    Ira (28a423)

  12. Ira, yes with less talent.

    SPQR (26be8b)

  13. ***
    Like the wise Indians said, “He speaks with a forked tongue!” And please use the present tense–not the past tense–when referring to Comrade Obama and his ilk’s lying. It’s a 24/7/365 event. Except for leap years–when they pick up the extra day for lying.

    John Bibb (193f6e)

  14. “One should always take these kinds of reports with caution, but there is the real possibility of it being a trial balloon. So let me suggest to everyone who wants fiscal discipline, to call your congresscritter, or email or whatever.”

    This morning the chatter was maybe $50-$60 billion and the excuse was they’re well into the fiscal year already. Questioners noted they knew that ahead of time so why promise what they can’t deliver. Day 2 and the GOP is back peddling already. Hypocrites, as usual.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  15. Was he Senator Obama full of shit then or is President Obamam full of shit now? Or is Barack Obama full of shit when ever he opens his mouth?

    However the GOP had best grow some testicular fortitude and start cutting, NOW. They have been given this oppotunity by us voters to demonstrate SOMEONE in Washington is finally serious about fiscal responsible governance.

    If not, we are doomed.

    Bugg (9e308e)

  16. “Back peddling”? The GOP is selling backs? Or do you mean “back-pedaling”?

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  17. IMP seems very agitated. Maybe we will get some new stories from the serial fabulist.

    JD (57c1da)

  18. @15 – Both. They’re vote is always for sale, as usual.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  19. I would say that he was telling the truth then, and raising the limit was a failure of leadership, and he is full of shit today, because it is his leadership that has failed.

    Wayne (df63da)

  20. “They’re”

    DCSCA – “Their” I thought you claimed to be educated.

    daleyrocks (e7bc4f)

  21. Both. They’re vote is always for sale, as usual

    In what language is a vote the same thing as a back?

    Some chump (4c6c0c)

  22. @18- That’s all you got, eh… but yeah, I’ll cop to the typos.

    DCSCA (9d1bb3)

  23. What’s missing from the Obama transcript:

    The fact that Obama was crossing his fingers behind his back the entire time he was talking on the Senate floor.

    MarkJ (42fe5b)

  24. And when you call your congressman – he’ll ask you where was your money, volunteerism, your support during all this time or is it now painful enough for yah that you want something for free

    and they will be right….

    Comment by EricPWJohnson

    Aarons right, EPWJ. People who are angry at the idea of Congress only cutting a small fraction of what must be cut should call their congressman.

    I never worked for my congressman’s campaign, but I’ve given the party plenty of time, money, and sweat. If they were arrogant enough to ask me to work before they listen to my opinion as to how they will vote, they would be very poor politicians.

    Aaron’s right. Blogs should really ramp up a coordinated calling campaign. This is a trial balloon and we should deflate it ASAP.

    As aggravating as I found some primary results in 2010, I know this is where we can benefit from it, and I’m not going to let it go to waste. Scare the incumbents

    Dustin (b54cdc)

  25. When will the Most Interesting Man in the World add to his infamous list of exploits? So far we have the following amazing experiences:

    – as a wee lad growing up in London, he hawked Fleet Street papers during Thatcher’s time in office;

    – played kickball in the snow with the US embassy staffers in Moscow;

    – met Werner Von Braun in his underwear while he was in his college dorm. Also gave Von Braun advice regarding rocket propulsion;

    – was a Navy SEAL, and also participated in a frogmen operation in a Latin American country;

    – worked at NASA and Enron at the same time;

    – worked as the men’s room attendant at CBS – met Gunga Dan many times. Gave advice to Gunga many times as well (of course!).

    Did I leave anything out?

    Dmac (498ece)

  26. Ooooh! I forgot one: he works as a “reporter” at a shopper weekly somewhere in the US.

    Dmac (498ece)

  27. Dmac – you probably missed a few but that’s enough for us to get started.

    Didn’t Obama always vote “present” when he was in the Senate? If he didn’t, he probably should have. Then he would absolved of any lying.

    PatAZ (537b43)

  28. #

    You are not a true and pure conservative Republican, because yu did not support Scozzafava.

    Comment by JD — 1/6/2011 @ 6:53 am

    There, I fixed that for you so that it is more accurate.

    skh.pcola (f4773e)

  29. My point being, candidates with an “R” appended to their name is no longer sufficient evidence of a conservative philosophy. Not that it ever has been, of course, but the past couple of decades have seen conservative Republicans selling out their base. We Tea Partiers aim to change that busted paradigm.

    skh.pcola (f4773e)

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