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White House Chief of Staff on Obama Economic Policy: ‘Sometimes You Can’t Defend the Indefensible’

By Doug Powers  •  June 17, 2011 02:48 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

I’m not yet sure if this was caught on tape, but if it was you can bet you’ll see it in a GOP ad in the near future:

It was supposed to be the White House’s latest make-nice session with corporate America — a visit by Chief of Staff William M. Daley to a meeting with hundreds of manufacturing executives in town to press lawmakers for looser regulations.

But the outreach soon turned into a rare public dressing down of the president’s policies with his highest-ranking aide.

One by one, exasperated executives stood to air their grievances on environmental regulations and stalled free-trade deals. And Daley, the former banker tasked with building ties with industry, found himself looking for the right balance between empathy and defending his boss.

At one point, the room erupted in applause when Massachusetts utility executive Doug Starrett, his voice shaking with emotion, accused the administration of blocking construction on one of his facilities to protect fish, saying government “throws sand into the gears of progress.”

Daley said he did not have many good answers, appearing to throw up his hands in frustration at what he called “bureaucratic stuff that’s hard to defend.”

“Sometimes you can’t defend the indefensible,” he said.

What better way to celebrate the one-year anniversary of Recovery Summer™?

Really though, White House staffers have been defending the indefensible for a long time, so this lack of effort makes Daley look lazy. Wasn’t there an ATM nearby to blame? Come on, Bill, please stick to the script.

Incidentally, the White House Communications Director got a chilly reception at the Netroots Convention. That “enthusiasm gap” is turning into a massive crevasse.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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Categories: Barack Obama, Donald Trump, Media, Media Bias