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« Paul Announces Palin Endorsement | Blog Home Page | Democratic Senate Candidate Rips Obama Budget »

White House Making The Case For Divided Government?

Here's a sentiment you might expect to hear often in the midterm election campaign Republicans: Democrats alone can't be trusted to tackle the tough challenges facing the federal government. Oddly enough, though, it was White House press secretary Robert Gibbs who found himself making that argument today.

Gibbs was discussing the president's plan to appoint a bipartisan deficit commission, which, as part of the budget rollout today, would be expected to find billions in savings to bring the deficit to within 3 points of GDP. Why, he was then asked, can't Democrats find those savings on their own, given their strong majorities in both chambers? Gibbs' exact response: "One party is not going to get -- one party is not going to be able to solve all these. The American people want both parties to work together to solve these. We can make those tough decisions if people are willing to work together to do that."

NBC's Chuck Todd quickly jumped on that remark, pointing out that the remark seemed to be at odds with the political message before elections. "I'm going to vote for a Democrat in November," Gibbs responded. "But, Chuck, the American people want -- today is an election day, okay? Go back to what the President said: If every day is election day, then I can assure you we'll never solve any of the big problems."

In response to a tweet from yours truly about this exchange, White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton took issue with the characterization that Gibbs was making Republicans' case for divided government. "[W]hat gibbs explained is that americans sent people of both parties here to do is actually govern," Burton responded via Twitter.