WH Press Sec. and all around cool guy Tony Snow once again took care of petulant reporters at a WH press gaggle, this time with NBC’s David Gregory.
Here’s a transcript of Snow’s exchange with Gregory:
Q Okay. There’s so much emphasis by the President on his resolve and on the consequences of failure, which seems to dovetail to the political strategy of casting the vote as not a referendum on his leadership or his conduct in the war on terror, leading the war on terror, but on a choice between two parties and their visions. And I’m curious whether, in this document, there’s any reflection on the fact that this White House, this administration failed to anticipate a violent terrorist-based insurgency in Iraq, and also failed to adapt once it learned of its presence? And shouldn’t that be put before the voters this fall?
MR. SNOW: I think you’ve admirably expressed the Democratic point of view, but I don’t think —
Q Actually, Tony, I don’t think that’s fair, if you look at the facts. If you look at the facts.
MR. SNOW: Well, I do, because — no, because, for instance —
Q No, no, no. No, I don’t think you should be able to just wipe that, kind of dismiss the question —
MR. SNOW: Well, let me —
Q It’s not a Democratic argument, Tony.
MR. SNOW: Let me answer the question, David.
Q But hold on, let’s not let you get away with saying that’s a Democratic argument.
MR. SNOW: Okay, let me — let’s not let you get away with being rude. Let me just answer the question, and you can come back at me.
Q Excuse me. Don’t point your finger at me. I’m not being rude.
MR. SNOW: Yes, you are.
Q Don’t try to dismiss me as making a Democratic argument, Tony, when I’m speaking fact.
MR. SNOW: Well, okay — well, no —
Q You can do that to the Democrats; don’t do it to me.
MR. SNOW: No, I’m doing it to you because the second part was factually tendentious, okay? Now, when you were talking about the fact that it failed to adapt, that’s just flat wrong. And you will be — there has been — there have been repeated attempts to try to adapt to military realities, to diplomatic realities, to development of new weapons and tools on the part of al Qaeda, including the very creative use of the Internet. So the idea that somehow we’re staying the course is just wrong. It is absolutely wrong.
So that’s why — I apologize for interrupting, but I think it’s important to challenge that presumption. Now, did we fully anticipate —
Q If you want to challenge that presumption — no, no, wait a second. If you want to challenge that presumption, why don’t you describe in some detail how you accurately anticipated the insurgency, and what was done to deal with it at the time.
MR. SNOW: I was just about to go back to that part.
MR. SNOW: See, there were two assumptions. I was taking —
Q No, you described me as rude in making a Democratic argument and said —
MR. SNOW: Well, that’s because I kept trying to answer the question, and you kept jumping in. We need to come to an accommodation, because I’m perfectly happy to take on both sides.
Here’s more via E&P.
Keep up the excellent work, Tony. It ain’t easy trying to keep the press version of a daycare center under control, but you do a good job of it
Gregory, you may recall, is infamous among conservatives for his child-like outburst at former WH Press Secretary Scott McClellan back in February during the height of the “Quailgate scandal.”
Hat tip: Allah
Wed AM Update: ST reader Francis W. Porretto provides a flashback to a press conference in France back in 2002 where Gregory threw a loaded, slanted question at the President.
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