playing dumb

Does the White House Really Not Know If a DADT Repeal Bill Exists?


Activist journalist Kerry Eleveld has never been satisfied with the stock answers Press Secretary Robert Gibbs delivers when quizzed on Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. So she keeps asking them. For the LOLs. From yesterday’s presser (Eleveld is the one asking the Qs):

Q Yesterday you said the President was working with the Pentagon to ensure a change in “don’t ask, don’t tell.” In the past you’ve repeatedly said that congressional repeal was the only sort of durable solution to overturning the policy.

MR. GIBBS: Right, right — well, go ahead, finish —

Q A couple questions. So first of all, do you —

MR. GIBBS: I’m not — let me clarify. I think I see where you’re going —

Q I wonder if your comments yesterday indicate a shift in policy. I also wonder, if not —

MR. GIBBS: No, no — and I realize now that you bring it up — the administration — (laughter.) What are you talking about? I don’t know what you’re — (laughter.) All right. For the remainder of the day, I’ll be working back there just — (laughter.) Sorry. I’m in trouble now.

I see — what I meant was, working with the Pentagon on how to do through this through a statutory — through Congress. The administration continues to think that that’s the only binding way to remove a policy that he thinks is unfair.

Q So in that case, are you guys in discussions with any senators at this point to introduce “don’t ask, don’t tell” repeal bills?

MR. GIBBS: Let me check with Legislative Affairs. I think — I don’t know if one’s been introduced —

Q It has not.

MR. GIBBS: Has not?

Q It has not, and —

MR. GIBBS: Let me check on this discussion’s —

Q — Senator Reid is looking for guidance with you guys.

MR. GIBBS: Let me get some clear direction from them. Again, I just want to repeat that this is a proposal that the President is supportive of doing statutorily.

Q Do you plan to set out a timeline for a repeal at any point?

MR. GIBBS: Let me talk to those guys about that, but again —

Q I mean, a timeline is something that you guys have continually said, if we don’t have a timeline for — if you don’t have a deadline in this town, nothing gets done.

MR. GIBBS: Right. You should — I should bring you up to the Senate. (Laughter.)