Robert Gibbs on MSNBC: ‘If We Have to Negotiate with 5-Year-Olds,’ ‘Government’s Over’


Former White House Press Secretary and MSNBC contributor Robert Gibbs told anchor Thomas Roberts on Friday that he does not believe President Barack Obama should have to negotiate with Republicans in Congress to end the government shutdown. “If we have to negotiate with 5-year-olds,” Gibbs said, “government’s over.”

Roberts began by suggesting that he thought the House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) has succumbed to a form of Stockholm Syndrome and is now defending the tea party “captors.”

Gibbs agreed and said that he believes the House GOP should put a “clean CR” to a vote which would, if it passes, likely end the government shutdown.

Later, Roberts played a clip of Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Rand Paul (R-KY) discussing strategy and agreeing that Democrats refusing to negotiate is not going to be seen as a politically viable strategy by the American public.

RELATED: ‘We Are Winning’: White House Official Claims ‘It Doesn’t Really Matter to Us’ When Shutdown Ends

“So, that’s an unfortunate private moment caught on tape between the two Kentucky senators,” Roberts said. “What does that expose?”

“It’s almost as if they are trying to convince the troops to continue to fight this fight,” Gibbs said.

Roberts then played a clip of Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) who said Gibbs advised President Obama to “sit back and watch this.” Graham called that advice “stupid.”

“I will now pin a badge of honor on this jacket that Lindsey has said I’ve given him the stupidest political advice,” Gibbs reacted. “But I don’t think the president is going to negotiate and I don’t think the president should negotiate.”

“We have a hostage situation,” he continued. “If we start negotiating with 5-year-olds about whether they should clean their room, because they want ice-cream before they clean their room, then government’s over.”

Watch the clip below via MSNBC:

[Photo via screen grab]

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An experienced broadcaster and columnist, Noah Rothman has been providing political opinion and analysis to a variety of media outlets since 2010. His work has appeared in a number of political opinion journals, and he has shared his insights with television and radio personalities across the country.