White House Can’t Defend Decision to Sign Abortion Executive Order in Private
by Steven Ertelt
March 24, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — The White House struggled today to defend a decision by President Barack Obama to sign the phony abortion executive order in private today. No members of the media were allowed into the Oval Office as Obama signed the order purportedly banning abortion funding but condemned by pro-life groups.
White House Press secretary Robert Gibbs had a difficult time defending the decision during an exchange with reporters.
Q. You also have an event today where you’re signing — the President is signing an executive order on abortion that is a pretty big national issue. Why would that be closed press, no pictures?
MR. GIBBS: We’ll put out a picture from Pete [the official White House photographer.]
Q But what about a picture from the actual national media, not from —
MR. GIBBS: Oh, the picture from Pete will be for the actual event.
Q Right, but what about allowing us in, for openness and transparency?
MR. GIBBS: We’ll have a nice picture from Pete that will demonstrate that type of transparency.
Q Not the same, Robert. Never has been.
MR. GIBBS: I know you all disagree with that. I think Pete takes wonderful photos.
Q Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, don’t twist this —
Q — not an attack on Pete.
MR. GIBBS: Well, I don’t know why you’d want to attack Pete, Chuck, but I’m going to stand up here and defend Petes —
Q Its not transparent and its a vital issue.
MR. GIBBS: And you will have a lovely picture from Pete. Again, I don’t —
Q You really think thats all its worth, is a photograph, on an issue this important?
MR. GIBBS: No, I think you’ll be able to see the President sign the executive order.
Q Not hear anything anybody has to say?
MR. GIBBS: You’ll have a nice picture.
Byron York, a conservative writer at the Washington Examiner, noticed the glaring lack of transparency.
"The Obama White House did not allow the press to cover the president’s signing of the executive order created to win Rep. Bart Stupak’s vote for Obamacare," he said.
"Reporters tried to appeal to the White House’s professed commitment to openness and transparency. Gibbs was having none of it. The White House wanted to limit coverage of the executive order, so in the spirit of openness and transparency it simply shut the press out," he continued.
Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council told LifeNews.com that Obama is right to be embarrassed about signing the fraudulent executive order.
"In a stark contrast to yesterday’s festivities, White House officials seem embarrassed by their agreement with Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Mich.) and put the ceremony where shady deals belong – behind closed doors," he said.
"The White House was right to keep the event low-key because the signing doesn’t change anything. The order is, as Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards pointed out, ‘a symbolic gesture’ that has absolutely no bearing on what the legislation does and does not fund," he added.
Susan B. Anthony List president Marjorie Dannenfelser added: "Todays decision to sign the Executive Order behind closed doors reveals much about the seriousness of this President and Democrats’ commitment to keep abortion funding out of the newly passed healthcare legislation. If the Executive Order solution were real, then the signing ceremony would have to be on the White House lawnsomewhere big enough to fit the massive, bipartisan consensus that exists opposing taxpayer funding for abortion."
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