White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs should be fired for failing to convey President Barack Obama’s message, says firebrand progressive Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL).
Responding to a question on MSNBC Wednesday on whether he agrees with Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN)’s call for Gibbs’ resignation, Grayson said Gibbs “shouldn’t resign, I think he should be fired.”
The Florida Democrat, who became a progressive folk hero when he declared last year that the GOP health care plan amounted to hoping people “die quickly,” was responding to Gibbs’ comments earlier this week that the “professional left” that is attacking Obama’s policies should be drug-tested.
“People I know have referred to him as ‘Bozo the Spokesman’,” Grayson said of Gibbs. “Hes’ not conveying the value of the president’s strategies or his plans or his programs. … He’s so far in over his head, he’d have to reach up to touch his shoes.”
Grayson said Gibbs is focusing his frustration on the wrong people and the wrong issues.
“I’d like to see Gibbs show some frustration over 15 million unemployed Americans. I’d like to see him show some frustration over 40 million people who can’t see a doctor when they need to. I’d like to see him show some frustration over the Republicans, who have blocked the president’s plans and his programs,” Grayson said.
Grayson’s unrestrained remarks come as political observers suggest Gibbs’ days as the lead spokesman for the White House may be numbered.
In a Washington Post column Wednesday, Scott Wilson notes that Gibbs has managed to anger many Democrats of late, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was angered at Gibbs’ admission that the Democrats run the risk of losing control of Congress this fall.
For months, speculation has abounded that Gibbs will eventually move from his current post to become a less-visible senior adviser to President Obama.
He already essentially plays that role, sitting in on virtually every major meeting regardless of subject matter and receiving rare bureaucratic carte blanche within a disciplined West Wing to jump from policy lane to lane. After seven years with Obama, Gibbs is also one of the president’s longest-serving advisers.
So is it time to make the move official? The trouble he keeps getting into for his increasing candor may suggest that it is.
For his part, Gibbs has responded to the speculation over his future by declaring he isn’t going anywhere.
“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t plan on leaving, and there’s no truth to the rumor that I’ve added an inflatable exit to my office,” he quipped during Wednesday’s White House briefing.
The following video was broadcast on MSNBC, Aug. 11, 2010 and uploaded to YouTube by user RepAlanGrayson.