White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs was nearing the end of a press conference 1/14/10 when a reporter asked him about comments made by radio commentator Rush Limbaugh about citizen donations for disaster relief for Haiti. Gibbs did not hold back in his response. And Limbaugh stood by his statement.
It is Limbaugh’s contention that the Obama administration is using the Haiti crisis for its own political gain. He urged people not to contribute to relief efforts on the White House website, and said that they’ve already contributed in the form of paying taxes.
When asked about it, Gibbs said, “Again, I’d refer you back to the — again, I think in times of great crisis there are always people that say really stupid things. I don’t know how anybody — I don’t know how anybody could sit where he does, having enjoyed the success that he has, and not feel some measure of sorrow for what has happened in Haiti. I think to use the power of your pulpit to try to convince those not to help their brothers and sisters is sad. My sense is that most people, though, because they understand we’re part of an amazing world, won’t listen, and instead will seek to help those that they know, because through no fault of their own, have suffered an unspeakable tragedy.”
Gibbs’ exchange with reporters is available on the White House website.
On his radio program, Limbaugh said he meant what he said, and reiterated his belief that everything is seen as a political opportunity by Obama.