Obama Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Leaving, Misled on Abortion

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 5, 2011   |   12:43PM   |   Washington, DC

Robert Gibbs, the press secretary for President Barack Obama, will step down from his position and become a top advisor to the pro-abortion president and his 2012 re-election campaign.

Gibbs says he plans to leave the position next month and will likely turn over the main podium and his standing as the lead conduit between Obama and the press to Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton.

In an interview with the New York Times, Obama said Gibbs “will continue to shape the dialogue politically for many years to come.”

“We’ve been on this ride together since I won my Senate primary in 2004,” he added, saying he thought Gibbs needed a break. The departure is one of many for the Obama administration, which will also see pro-abortion Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel leave as he runs for mayor of Chicago, Obama’s hometown.

“Robert, on the podium, has been extraordinary,” Obama added. “Off the podium, he has been one of my closest advisers. He is going to continue to have my ear for as long as I’m in this job.”

However, Gibbs’ performance on the podium left a lot to be desired for pro-life advocates.

In October 2009, he misrepresented — twice in one week —  federal law on abortion funding. Gibbs told a CNS News reporter, “there’s a law that precludes the use of federal funds for abortion. That isn’t going to be changed in these health care bills.”

However, the Hyde Amendment was not a part of the ObamaCare bill and Gibbs’ remarking prompted Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, to tell LifeNews.com at the time: “Again today, for the second time this week, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs repeated the ‘Hyde Amendment myth.'”

“His assertions are without foundation in fact, because there is no current federal law that would prevent government funding of abortion under the proposed public plan that would be created by H.R. 3200 or S. 1679,” he said.

Gibbs followed that performance up in November 2009 by refusing to say whether Obama would support limiting abortion funding.

In March 2010, Gibbs had a rough time defending the private signing of the controversial executive order that Obama claimed would stop abortion funding in ObamaCare, but doesn’t. 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.

He later got testy with reporters asking him probing questions on the weakness of the order.

Gibbs also was stymied by the press after Obama said in a morning meeting that he would have no abortion litmus test for the Supreme Court and then proceeded to outline how any nominee must support unlimited abortions.