“Coup-La-La!”: Reacting to Sunday’s ouster of Honduran President Zelaya, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that in the days leading to the coup, the administration “was attempting to prevent the type of unrest” that the Latin American nation saw over the weekend. He later called it a “severe disruption in any sort of democratic norm” and said the WH has not changed its recognition of the president of Honduras. He declined to offer further details as more diplomatic posturing gets underway.
Wishing We Were All in England?: Continuing to frustrate a call for more details on POTUS’s healthcare bill wish list, Gibbs maintained that the legislation was in the hands of Congress. Several reporters asked whether the Obama campaign pledge to not raise taxes on those below the top bracket is still operable, to which RG repeatedly noted, “We’re going to let the process work its way forward.” “So it’s not?” several replied in unison. As Gibbs brushed off the challenge, CBS’s Chip Reid countered, “There’s nothing hypothetical about reaffirming a campaign promise.” Obama “has laid out pretty clearly what his financing mechanism would be,” Gibbs argued. When NBC’s Chuck Todd tried one last time, not even appreciative groans welcomed RG’s dismissive joke about the combative issue: “I love us playing out Wimbledon without the benefit of a grass tennis court.”
Who’s the Activist Now: The Supreme Court’s ruling today in favor of white firefighters in Connecticut brought POTUS’s high court nominee into the spotlight again, as Sonia Sotomayor’s verdict was overturned. When Gibbs pointed out that her ruling was “based on judicial precedent” and that today created a “new interpretation,” TWT‘s Jon Ward asked if Gibbs was casting today’s announcement as “judicial activism” — the buzz phrase that has energized the anti-Sotomayors. RG didn’t take the bait, only using “interesting” multiple times to describe the finality of the case.
It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over: Following on the Guardian Council’s repeat ruling in Iran today that the presidential election results were valid, Gibbs said administration officials “continue to have concerns about the way the election was conducted. More importantly, so do Iranians.”
Elsewhere in the News/Tabloids…: Gibbs had brief comment on the continued developments of the post-MJ era, defending the POTUS’s response to the death of the pop icon by saying again, “I think he’s, through me, expressed his thoughts on the death of Michael Jackson,” and that private condolences (including the presidential letter sent to the Jackson family) will be kept private. In other news… on today’s sentencing (150 years) today of Ponzi scheme operative Bernie Madoff, Gibbs said he thought the judge wanted to send a strong signal to those who invest money on behalf of others and the “amazing responsibility” involved.