More on Motown: Press Secretary Robert Gibbs fielded a number of questions on this morning’s GM bankruptcy announcement- primarily revolving around the terms and duration of the government’s auto ownership. When he was pushed on the issue, Gibbs defended that “I took a few of those [economic] classes,” and, in response to some snide reaction from the crowd, “I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way.” (One reporter threw Michael Moore into the mix, pausing to identify him as “Michael Moore…Roger Rabbit, whatever–” to laughter that actually didn’t drag Gibbs into the circus.) Gibbs then offered up a basic defense of the administration’s decision on GM restructuring: “If investment far exceeded the assets, the fixed costs–that would be a terribly irrational business decision.”
Rose Garden Eavesdropping: As POTUS touched down in Marine One from a brief visit to the National Naval Medical Center, some presidential chatter could be heard from the southern wall of the Brady briefing room. “You’re early!” a FLOTUS-sounding voice exclaimed as the South Lawn landing was about half-hour ahead of schedule. POTUS could be heard calling for handler Reggie Love multiple times, and this spontaneous pooler might have heard some Bo barks in there. Some WH visitors were apparently on hand to greet the returning POTUS, and they exchanged pleasantries. “Mr. President?” one called. “That’s me,” he said. Sorry kids, no state secret leaks this time.
“I’ll Pass”: Gibbs pulled something of a fast one today as he was avoiding comment on Congressional involvement in the auto industry. In response to a follow-up on an earlier query, Gibbs jabbed that “just last week” reporters were asking about complaints from the Hill that Congress was not involved enough in the process. CBS’s Chip Reid clarified: “They do both.” Gibbs closed the deal with, “I guess I’ll come back in any given week to whichever scenario we’re pursuing at that time.” And then he moved along….