McClellan’s Evasive Maneuvers

Today in the White House press briefing, Press Secretary Scott McClellan tried a few different tricks to cajole reporters into not asking difficult questions of him. McClellan was taking tremendous heat for refusing to comment on Rove and the leak investigation despite having done so numerous times before (the video will be available here later today; we’d urge you watch at least the first 10 minutes).

McClellan repeatedly turned to the aid of two evasive maneuvers: 1) highlight his personal relationship with reporters as someone that could be trusted, and 2) highlight that he was more than well aware of what he has said in the past and cannot wait to explain himself at some later date. Here are some examples of each:

McClellan Emphasizes Relationship With Reporters

“We know each other very well.”


“You and everybody in this room — or most people in this room, I should say — know me very well, and they know the type of person that I am. And I’m confident in our relationship that we have.”

McClellan Wants To Talk But Can’t

“I remember very well what was previously said. And, at some point, I will be glad to talk about it, but not until after the investigation is complete.”

“I’m well aware, like you, of what was previously said. And I will be glad to talk about it at the appropriate time.”

“I am well aware of what was said previously. I remember well what was said previously. And at some point I look forward to talking about it. But until the investigation is complete, I’m just not going to do that.”

“Again, I’m going to be happy to talk about this at the appropriate time.”