Plouffe calls out GOP candidates for criticizing Obama's Martin comments (Updated with clarification)
The president jumps into the Trayvon Martin controversy without all the facts being known, essentially calling for the shooter to be arrested and convicted, and yet it is GOP cadidates criticizing the president who are "reprehensible" according to Obama advisor David Plouffe?
White House senior adviser David Plouffe did not mince words Sunday when talking about the reaction by Republican presidential candidates Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich to President Barack Obama's comments on the Trayvon Martin shooting.
"Those two comments are really irresponsible. I would consider them reprehensible," Plouffe said on CNN's "State of the Union." "I think those comments were really hard to stomach, really, and I guess trying to appeal to people's worst instincts."
While the GOP presidential candidates said the incident was a tragedy, Santorum and Gingrich were particularly critical of the president's response to the shooting in which Martin, an unarmed 17-year-old, was shot and killed by a George Zimmerman, a neighborhood watch volunteer. Zimmerman claimed he shot Martin in self-defense.
A somber Obama on Friday commiserated with the Martin family and urged authorities to fully investigate the shooting.
"If I had a son he would look like Trayvon," Obama said. "I think (his parents) are right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness it deserves and we will get to the bottom of exactly what happened."
Santorum said the president politicized the events, while Gingrich characterized Obama's comments as "nonsense."
This is the second racial incident in which Obama has jumped the gun and either criticized "stupid" police as he did in the Gates controversy, or local authorities as he did last Friday in the Trayvon Martin tragedy. The former Constitutional law professor doesn't get it. When the president weighs in on a flashpoint controversy like this, he colors everyone's perception - including police, local courts, and his own DoJ.
In the Gates matter, his statement about police acting stupidly was given before it came out that Mr. Gates, who had every right to be on his own property, had no right to become belligerent and refuse to cooperate with police. In the Martin tragedy, a witness - ignored in the first hours after the incident occurred - has stepped forward and said that Martin attacked the shooter. This is consistent with injuries noted by police on Zimmerman when they arrived on scene.
There is certainly room for debate about whether Zimmerman felt his life was in danger from an unarmed 17 year old boy which calls into question his justification for using lethal force. But if the shooter was attacked by the young man, it would seem to take race as a motive for the shooting out of the picture - making Obama and other African American racialists pushing the theme that this was a racially motivated white on black killing appear to be hysterical idiots.
For that, they need little help.
Washington Monthly's Jesse Singal calls me out for "lying" about Obama's remarks regarding the Martin tragedy.
I will acknowledge being guilty of hyperbole and exaggeration - something Washington Monthly engages in when calling me a liar. Writing that Obama was "essentially calling for the arrest and conviction" of the shooter, was, I freely admit, not a quote, but rather reflected my opinion of the consequences of the president's actions and his ill-timed and ill-chosen remarks.
Only little children and liberals believe that bringing DoJ into this incendiary local matter doesn't guarantee Zimmerman's eventual arrest and conviction for...something. Manslaughter, violation of Martin's civil rights - it only matters in the sense that the hysteria ginned up over this horrible incident will ensure that authorities will shape their investigation to satisfy the howling mob. When so much is unknown - and perhaps unknowable - about what actually happened, prosecutors will find some way to appease those who are emotionally unhinged and might respond to a call for "retaliation" or vigilante action. Like it's never happened before? Just ask Sacco and Vanzetti.
Mr. Singal prefers to take a politicians words at face value. For myself, it doesn't matter whether it's a liberal or conservative, I tend to question the motives and intent of politicians - especially presidents - who inject themselves thoughtlessly into controversies like the Martin tragedy.
I have every right to interpret Mr. Obama's intent as much as Singal or any other liberal who, I believe, constantly and consistently deliberately misinterprets the intent of conservatives. In this case, writing that the president would be pleased to see Zimmerman arrested and convicted is as valid an interpretation as anything ever written by Mr. Singal about the right.
Of hyperbole, I plead guilty. Perhaps Mr. Singal would now plead guilty to the same for saying that I was "lying."