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Obama's Gibbs tells CNN's Wolf Blitzer-- Lieberman GOP convention speech "pathetic"

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ST. PAUL, MN.--In an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on "The Situation Room," Obama top strategist Robert Gibbs on Wednesday has harsh words for Sen. Joe Lieberman, the Independent Democrat who addressed the GOP convention Tuesday, attacking Barack Obama for not--contrary to his assertion--reaching across party lines.



GIBBS: It's actually -- it's pathetic what Senator Lieberman did here last night. He can pick whoever he wants to. But do everybody in this country a favor, don't walk out on stage and make things up about another candidate because you can't fill your air time thinking of good things to say about the candidate you've decided to pick.

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Full Transcript

THIS IS A RUSH FDCH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

WOLF BLITZER, CNN ANCHOR: Robert Gibbs is a senior adviser to Senator Obama. He's here in St. Paul watching this convention unfold.

Robert, thanks very much for joining us.

ROBERT GIBBS, OBAMA SENIOR ADVISER: Thank you for having me, Wolf.

How are you?

BLITZER: Good, thank you.

Gloria Borger is joining me in the questioning, as well.

Let me play a few sound bites, some of the direct attacks on Senator Obama, from last night, and we'll get you to respond quickly to each one.

Here's one that Senator Fred Thompson leveled against the Democratic nominee. Listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

FRED THOMPSON (R), FMR. PRES. CANDIDATE: The Democrats present a history-making nominee for president. History-making in that he's the most liberal, most inexperienced nominee to ever to run for president.

(APPLAUSE)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right. So go ahead. I suspect we're going to be hearing a lot more of that line. Go ahead and respond, Robert.

GIBBS: You know, look, there's a lot of hot air coming out of a lot of different speakers here at the Republican convention. But I want to echo what Senator Obama said today in Ohio. And that is, what you didn't hear from these speakers last night is the plan to make our economy work, to create jobs, to stop sending those jobs overseas, and giving tax breaks to companies that do that, making health care more affordable. I think people in this campaign want to hear how we're going to help solve their problems, not just tear each other down like we hear every four years.

I think that's what's different about this campaign. I think people want us to think and act big. And I think that's what we try to do at our convention, and it's a little disappointing to be here in St. Paul and just watch actors like Fred Thompson tear people down.

BLITZER: Here's the line of attack from Senator Joe Lieberman, former Democratic vice presidential nominee. He's now an Independent.
He calls himself an independent Democrat. But listen to this.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SEN. JOSEPH LIEBERMAN (I), CONNECTICUT: In the Senate, during the three and a half years that Senator Obama's been a member, he has not reached across party lines to accomplish anything significant.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

BLITZER: All right. Go ahead.

GIBBS: You know, Wolf, let me take a big whack at that. I think Joe Lieberman ought to be ashamed of himself. He looked into the camera and he was speaking to the American public about cynicism in politics.
And then walks out on the very stage behind me and just makes something up, and lies about Barack Obama. I wish I could say something softer, but that's actually what it was.

Joe Lieberman knows that Barack Obama worked with Dick Lugar to keep dangerous nuclear weapons out of the hands of terrorists, worked with conservatives like Tom Coburn to open up transparency in the budget process. And quite frankly, he knows that we worked with John McCain to make sure lobbying and ethics laws were a lot tougher. They didn't allow lobbyists to walk up to Joe Lieberman and hand out gifts and free meals.

It's actually -- it's pathetic what Senator Lieberman did here last night. He can pick whoever he wants to. But do everybody in this country a favor, don't walk out on stage and make things up about another candidate because you can't fill your air time thinking of good things to say about the candidate you've decided to pick.

BLITZER: Those are tough words. But I hear you saying that Senator Lieberman is a liar?

GIBBS: He walked out last night and didn't tell the American people the truth.

And here's what's worse about it, Wolf -- he knows that. He knows that he walked out last night and said things that just simply weren't true. It's beneath Joe Lieberman, parts of that speech that he gave last night. He can pick whoever he wants to vote for in this campaign.
But do us all a favor, do Americans a favor, and tell the truth about each of the candidates.

BLITZER: Does Senator Obama believe that Joe Lieberman, in the next Senate, should, assuming the Democrats retain the majority, should continue to be in the Democratic caucus and have a chairmanship of a powerful committee?

GIBBS: Look, you know, I don't know the answers to that. A lot of that -- we're waiting to see what happens to the Democratic Senate. We haven't spent a lot of time, or quite frankly any time, focusing on who will be committee chairs next year.

What we want to do is elect people to the Senate that will help Barack Obama and Joe Biden move through an agenda for change in this country, to help us create jobs, make health care more affordable, stop shipping our jobs overseas. There's a lot that will be on the president and Congress' plate and we want everybody to pitch in for the change that we need in this country, rather than four more years of John McCain and George Bush.

BLITZER: All right. Gloria has a question, Robert.

GLORIA BORGER, CNN SR. POLITICAL ANALYST: Let's talk a little bit about Sarah Palin, the vice presidential pick. What surprises you the most about this pick, Robert?

GIBBS: Oh, you know, look, I don't know that -- I've been in politics enough this year alone just to know that if you don't think today surprises you, wait until tomorrow. Look, they can pick whoever they want. I don't even think we're focused on who the vice presidential nominee is for the Republican side. We're focused on who their presidential nominee is, his lack of ideas and plans to get this economy moving.

And you saw last night a very passionate endorsement by President Bush, passing the torch to John McCain for four more years of the same.
We're focused on John McCain. We're not focused on Governor Palin, who I assume will give a very moving and eloquent speech tonight here on the floor.

BLITZER: Robert Gibbs is in St. Paul watching it together with all of us.

Robert, thanks very much for joining us.

GIBBS: Thanks, guys.

----------END----------

5 Comments

IT WAS PATHETIC CONSIDERING OBAMA HELPED
LIEBERMAN GET RE-ELECTED BY FLYING OUT TO HIS
HOME STATE!
LIEBERMAN HAS IDENTITY PROBLEMS, WHY DOESN'T HE
BECOME A REPUBLICAN, WHY DOES HE STATTLE THE
FENCE!
THE GOP LOSES BIG IN NOVEMBER!
THE NEW PITBULL SOCCER MOM IDEA WON'T WORK!
SHE LOOKED CUTE, BUT SHE CAME OFF LIKE A THUG!

What pathetic is Gibbs being offended when I heard the same thing coming out of the mouths of all Obama staffers, democrats commenting.

I am a Hillary supporter still and was offended by all the dirty politics and childish antics played by Obama supporters, as well as Obama himself, the only person bring race into election is Obama himself, kinda reminded me of OJ trial.

My 12 year old recognizes the comments on both sides for what they there why cant Obama and his staff/supporters recognize they are behaving no differently Republicans.

Just what how is Obama going to make all the changes what are his solutions, if he wants the Hillary supporters votes then earn them, dont sit around and complain republicans are "thugs" and no issues are discussed review your convention speeches, SAME OLD THING.

The previous commentator was wrong. Who even knew of Obama when Lieberman had to run as an independent. There was NO chance he was going to lose. Obama deserves no special credit. And Lieberman is NOT a Republican, not a chance. It's only on Iraq that he agrees with Republicans.

The previous commentator was wrong. Who even knew of Obama when Lieberman had to run as an independent. There was NO chance he was going to lose. Obama deserves no special credit. And Lieberman is NOT a Republican, not a chance. It's only on Iraq that he agrees with Republicans.

LIEBERMAN KNEW OF OBAMA, THAT'S WHY HE ASKED HIM
FOR HELP WHEN HE WAS SEEKING RE-ELECTION!
LIEBERMAN LOST AS A DEMOCRAT, HE WON AS AN
INDEPENDENT!
N. SIRKIN WAKE UP AND SMELL THE COFFEE!
MCCAIN AND PALIN WILL LOSE IN NOVEMBER!
THANKS GOP OBMA HAULED IN 10 MILLION IN
FUNDRAISING MONEY YESTERDAY!
TELL THE PITBULL THANKS ALSO!

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on September 3, 2008 6:05 PM.

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