Obama's Press Secretary Takes on Another CNBC Host

By DANIEL MACHT
|  Tuesday, Mar 3, 2009  |  Updated 9:45 PM EDT
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Obama's Press Secretary Takes on Another CNBC Host

To each his megaphone.

Barack Obama’s press secretary has called out by name another member of the media for criticizing the president’s economic policies, TV Newser reports. One more time, and it'll be a trend.

Two weeks ago Robert Gibbs took on CNBC host Rick Santonelli for his televised rant against Obama’s housing plan.

 “I would be more than happy to buy him a cup of coffee – decaf,” the Obama spokesman had said.

This time CNBC’s “Mad Money” host Jim Cramer provoked Gibbs.

Cramer had told Matt Lauer Tuesday morning that he thought Obama’s economic policies were “radical.”

“This is the greatest wealth destruction I’ve seen by a president,” he said. 

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That brought a strong response by Gibbs in a press briefing later in the day.

At first Gibbs seemed like he might not engage Cramer.

“This is where I,” he chuckled, “have to probably be careful.”

But then he hit back.

“Without understanding the basis of what Mr. Cramer said, I’m not entirely sure what’s he’s pointing to to make some of the statements that he’s made,” Gibbs said. “You can go back and look at any number of statements that he’s made in the past about the economy and wonder where some of the back up for those are too.”

Gibbs went on to say that the president’s plan was to fix the economy. It wasn’t always the case anymore, he said, that “if it was good for Wall Street it was good for Main Street.”

When lobbed a follow-up on the topic, Gibbs acknowledged that he might "get in trouble" if he continued the spat.

But he couldn’t resist.

“If you turn on a certain program, it’s geared to a very small audience," Gibbs said. "No offense to my good friends, er, good friend at CNBC. But the president has to look out for the broader economy and for the broader population, many of whom are investors, but not exclusively.” 
 

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