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Gibbs reacts to Steele’s Olympics criticism: ‘Who’s he rooting for?’

By Faiz Shakir on September 29, 2009 at 9:50 pm

"Gibbs reacts to Steele’s Olympics criticism: ‘Who’s he rooting for?’"

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As ThinkProgress reported earlier today, RNC Chairman Michael Steele held a conference call to criticize President Obama’s Copenhagen trip later this week, where he will make a pitch for Chicago to host the 2016 Olympics. “If the priority is the Olympics in seven years, okay, then tell the nation that’s the priority and that’s what we should be focused on because we’ll create jobs then and we won’t worry about it between now and 2016,” Steele said. Today in the White House press briefing, Press Secretary Robert Gibbs explained that Obama wanted to “talk directly with voting members of the IOC and make the strong case for the American side.” Asked about Steele’s criticism, Gibbs took a jab at the RNC Chairman:

QUESTION: Your response to Chairman Steele’s criticism about the President going to Copenhagen?

GIBBS:  Who’s he rooting for?  (Laughter.)  Is he hoping to hop a plane to Brazil and catch the Olympics in Rio?  (Laughter.)  Maybe it’s Madrid.

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Obama is taking only 18 hours out of his schedule to travel to Copenhagen to make a pitch for an event that could generate $22.5 billion in economic activity and the equivalent of 315,000 new full-time jobs in America. Regardless of how explicitly Obama is acting in America’s best interests, Republicans are anxious to take a political shot at him.

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