At today’s White House briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was asked, by CNSNews.com reporter Fred Lucas, to comment on President Obama‘s use of the term “tea-bagger” in an interview for Jonathan Alter‘s book. Gibbs replied that he hadn’t read it.
I followed up by asking Gibbs if he could find out if the President was aware of the controversy, or if he had any comment about his word choice. Short reply: Not a tea bag’s chance in hell.
Fred Lucas: Thanks, Robert. In Jonathan Alter’s new book, the President is quoted as using a vulgar term to describe the Tea Party movement. Is the quote accurate, and does the President —
MR. GIBBS: I have — I barely have enough time to read my briefing books, and what I have — I have — no offense to Jonathan, but I have not read his book.
Chip Reid: But you’d only have to read one word to answer his question. (Laughter.)
MR. GIBBS: Chip, you go buy me Jonathan’s book so that he gets the royalty —
Chip Reid: Deal, deal.
MR. GIBBS: — and I will be glad to read the word.
Savannah Guthrie: You haven’t heard about this, though?
Fred Lucas: So is the answer then that you don’t know?
MR. GIBBS: The answer is I haven’t read the book.
…MR. GIBBS: Tom.
Tommy Christopher: Thanks, Robert. I have two quick questions. But first, are you able to get an answer on Fred’s question about the tea-bagger quote, if the President is aware that people are offended and —
MR. GIBBS: Again, I’ve not seen the book. I can’t imagine I’m going to ask the President that. But I will entertain it.
Tommy Christopher: if he has any comment on his word choice?
MR. GIBBS: I will check.
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