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Can’t Walk It Back

- February 22, 2011

Realizing They Started A P.R. Debacle, Obama White House And DNC Try To Pretend They Were Never Involved In The Wisconsin Budget Dispute  

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OBAMA WHITE HOUSE TRIES TO PLAY DOWN ROLE IN BIG LABOR PROTESTS

Obama White House And Democrat Party Officials Tried To Dispel Claims That Obama And The DNC Were Involved In The Wisconsin Budget Dispute. “Over the weekend, the White House and Democratic Party officials pushed back against criticism from Republicans that Mr. Obama and his political network were meddling in the Wisconsin dispute.” (Jackie Calmes, “Wisconsin Puts Obama Between Competing Desires,” The New York Times, 2/20/11)

  • Claimed Reports Of National Democrats’ Involvements Were “Overblown” And Blamed Republicans.  “And, officials and union leaders said, reports of the involvement of the Democratic National Committee — specifically Organizing for America, the grass-roots network born of Mr. Obama’s 2008 campaign — were overblown to start with and were being inflated by Republicans sensing political advantage.” (Jackie Calmes, “Wisconsin Puts Obama Between Competing Desires,” The New York Times, 2/20/11)

Nearly Half Of American Voters Side With Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker Over The Unions. “A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 48% of Likely U.S. Voters agree more with the Republican governor in his dispute with union workers.” (“48% Back GOP Governor In Wisconsin Spat, 38% Side With Unions,” Rasmussen Reports, 2/21/11)

“OVERBLOWN?”

Politico’s Ben Smith: “DNC, Under The Bus.” (Ben Smith, “DNC, Under The Bus,” Politico, 2/22/11)

Smith: “I'm not sure about ‘overblown to start with.’ The first report was mine, and relied on Organizing for America emails and tweets and on a Democratic Party official in Washington.” (Ben Smith, “DNC, Under The Bus,” Politico, 2/22/11)

  • Smith: “[T]he White House now seems to be claiming that OfA went rogue.” (Ben Smith, “DNC, Under The Bus,” Politico, 2/22/11)

The [Charleston, SC] Post And Courier“The White House has since tried to distance itself from the protests, and small wonder.” (Editorial, “Protesting Needed Frugality,” The [Charleston, SC] Post And Courier, 2/22/11)

MEDIA REPORTS SHOW OBAMA WHITE HOUSE AND DNC PLAYING ACTIVE ROLE IN BIG LABOR PROTESTS

ABC News: “Obama, National Democrats Help Mobilize State Budget Protests.” (Devin Dwyer, “Obama, National Democrats Help Mobilize State Budget Protests,” ABC News, 2/18/11)

  • President Obama And The Democratic National Committee “Directly Interjected Themselves Into The State-Level Debates.” “The latest are being fomented by the national political establishment -- including President Obama and the Democratic National Committee -- who have directly interjected themselves into the state-level debates.” (Devin Dwyer, “Obama, National Democrats Help Mobilize State Budget Protests,” ABC News, 2/18/11)
  • OfA Has “Been Mobilizing Union Members And Supporters” To Protest In Wisconsin. “Organizing for America, Obama's campaign arm now under the umbrella of the DNC, has been mobilizing union members and supporters to rally against a proposed Wisconsin budget measure that would strip workers of collective bargaining rights and force them to contribute more for benefits.” (Devin Dwyer, “Obama, National Democrats Help Mobilize State Budget Protests,” ABC News, 2/18/11)

Obama “Thrust Himself And His Political Operation” Into Wisconsin’s Budget Battle. “President Obama thrust himself and his political operation this week into Wisconsin's broiling budget battle, mobilizing opposition Thursday to a Republican bill that would curb public-worker benefits and planning similar protests in other state capitals.” (Brady Dennis and Peter  Wallsten, “Obama Joins Wisconsin's Budget Battle, Opposing Republican Anti-Union Bill,” The Washington Post, 2/18/11)

  • Obama’s “Political Machine Worked In Close Coordination” With Labor Union Officials To Organize Protests. “The president's political machine worked in close coordination Thursday with state and national union officials to get thousands of protesters to gather in Madison and to plan similar demonstrations in other state capitals.” (Brady Dennis and Peter  Wallsten, “Obama Joins Wisconsin's Budget Battle, Opposing Republican Anti-Union Bill,” The Washington Post, 2/18/11)

"Organizing For America … The Remnant Of The 2008 Obama Campaign -- Is Playing An Active Role" In The Wisconsin Budget Fight. "The Democratic National Committee's Organizing for America arm -- the remnant of the 2008 Obama campaign -- is playing an active role in organizing protests against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker's attempt to strip most public employees of collective bargaining rights." (Ben Smith, "DNC Playing Role In Wisconsin Protests," Poltiico's "Ben Smith" Blog, 2/17/11)

DNC Chairman Tim Kaine’s Conversation With Union Leaders Signaled His “Direct Involvement In Coordinating The Effort.” “DNC Chairman Tim Kaine also reportedly spoke with Wisconsin union leaders and state legislators ahead of the protests, the Huffington Post reported, signaling his direct involvement in coordinating the effort.” (Devin Dwyer, “Obama, National Democrats Help Mobilize State Budget Protests,” ABC News, 2/18/11)

  • After Getting A Call From The Unions, The DNC Sprang Into Action. “The White House political operation, Organizing for America, got involved Monday, after Democratic National Committee Chairman Timothy M. Kaine, a former Virginia governor, spoke to union leaders in Madison, a party official said.” (Brady Dennis And Peter Wallsten, “Obama Joins Wisconsin’s Budget Battle, Opposing Republican Anti-Union Bill,” The Washington Post2/18/11)

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