Obama Mum on Closing of Tiller’s Clinic

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At Wednesday’s daily White House briefing, I asked press secretary Robert Gibbs if President Obama had any response to the closing of the Wichita clinic that Dr. George Tiller ran before he was murdered by an anti-abortion crusader. Gibbs replied, no. Nothing about this being the sad consequence of a tragic event. Nothing about how this means that an anti-terrorist has won. Just nothing. Obama has a strong record of supporting abortion rights, but pro-choicers may be disappointed by this silence.

I also asked Gibbs about Newt Gingrich’s recent dig at Vice President Joe Biden, in which the former House speaker said the “elite media” has had to “prop up Joe Biden and pretend he actually knows what he’s doing.” Gibbs offered up the routine praise for Biden, noting that the veep is one of Obama’s “most trusted” advisers. “We are lucky and grateful to have him,” Gibbs said. Gibbs, though, did not take a swipe at Gingrich. What might that mean? That the White House wants to play nice with Gingrich, who a few weeks ago met with Obama (with Al Sharpton present) to discuss education policy. Or that the White House doesn’t see Gingrich as a useful political piñata. Maybe both.

 

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily bluster—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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