Robert Gibbs Hub

Watch: Robert Gibbs Expresses Confidence on 'DADT' Repeal


White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs expressed confidence about repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" as part of his 'First Question' online forum today on YouTube, saying the White House would get the job done.

Gibbs told reporters at the press briefing shortly thereafter:

“The president — I’m not going to get into a list of who — but the president has through the course of the past several days made calls to Democrats and Republicans on two very important issues: passage of the DREAM Act and repeal of ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.’ I think we are — on ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ — I think we are very, very close to seeing that repeal happen. We’ve had important endorsements over the past few days that I think in many ways is the result of the process and survey that the Pentagon issued last week. The president is hopeful and encouraging Democrats and Republicans to get behind that.”

This all happened prior to the flurry of activity in the Senate. No late word from the White House.


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Watch: Robert Gibbs Says Pentagon DADT Report Will Strengthen Case for Repeal


Jonathan Hopkins, a spokesman for the gay military group Outserve, spoke with MSNBC's Tamron Hall this afternoon about the pending release of the Pentagon report on Don't Ask, Don't Tell. The report is scheduled for release tomorrow.

Gibbs White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs also spoke about the report at a press briefing today, after the Washington Blade's Chris Johnson asked him if the President had seen it.

Said Gibbs: "I think the President strongly believed that this was an issue that can and should be solved legislatively, encourage the Senate to act legislatively on the Defense Authorization bill and particularly on changing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. That’s our position now and I don’t believe the release of the report will do anything but strengthen that case."

Watch both clips, AFTER THE JUMP...

In related news, a Pew survey was released today showing an overwhelming majority of the American public (58%) continues to support repeal:

"Large majorities of Democrats (70%) and independents (62%) favor allowing gays to serve openly. Republicans are divided (40% favor, 44% oppose). Among conservative Republicans, far more oppose than favor allowing gays to serve openly (52% to 28%)."

More numbers here.

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Watch: Robert Gibbs Won't Say Whether Obama Believes 'DADT' is Unconstitutional, Says it Should End in Congress


White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs appeared on Meet the Press yesterday, defending the Obama administration's baffling strategy on "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" which consists of insisting the law must go but then defending it in court at every turn.

MR. GREGORY: And yet, on that very day the president's Justice Department filed an appeal to halt a judge's ruling that would have struck down "don't ask, don't tell." So, if the president wants the law to go away, if he wants the ban to go away, why is he still supporting the law in the courts?

MR. GIBBS: Well, let's be clear, the president believes the law is discriminatory, unjust and, quite frankly, you have men and women who are willing to lay down their life for this country. They--those people ought to be able to serve. The law that was struck down that the president opposes, we, we've got a process. One, the House has passed repeal, and we hope the Senate takes up that repeal quickly. They didn't.

MR. GREGORY: But what if the Senate does? Is there faith in the Senate that's misplaced? What does the president do if the Senate doesn't act?

MR. GIBBS: Well, we have a process in place right now to work with the Pentagon for an orderly and disciplined transition from the law that we have now to an era that "don't ask, don't tell" doesn't exist. And I will say this, David, "don't ask, don't tell" will end under this president. The courts have decided, the legislature has, has--is beginning to decide, and the president is firmly in the place of removing "don't ask, don't tell."

And Gibbs dodges a question about whether the President believes DADT is unconstitutional:

MR. GREGORY: But does he believe it's unconstitutional?

MR. GIBBS: You know, David, he thinks it's discriminatory and it's unjust and most of all it harms our national security. It's...

MR. GREGORY: We know his position, though. But if you keep defending...

MR. GIBBS:'s time for the law...

MR. GREGORY: in the courts, how does it end? You can pronounce it dead, but how does it end if you keep backing it in the courts?

MR. GIBBS: Yeah, well, it ends with a vote in Congress. It's a law, and the most durable solution is to repeal that law. That's what the president asked the House to do and they did, that's what the president--I think there's enough votes to do it in the Senate. But, again, we have to get through Republican filibuster. It harms our national security. It's discriminatory, it's time for it to end. And I will say this, David, again, this president will end "don't ask, don't tell," and I think the courts--you're seeing from the courts that their deciding that "don't ask, don't tell," quite frankly, is--has--it's time for it to end, and that time is coming very soon.

Watch the clip, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Watch: Robert Gibbs Says President Will Be 'Actively Involved' in Senate Passage of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal


The Advocate's Kerry Eleveld hounded a statement out of Robert Gibbs yesterday that Obama will be "actively involved" in Senate passage of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" repeal when it comes up again, which will likely be in the lame duck session starting in November.


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Defense Sec'y Gates Warns of Abrupt Dismissal of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell', Says Courts Should Not Set Policy

Defense Secretary Robert Gates spoke out today on Judge Virginia Phillips' ruling barring enforcement of the military's ban on gays in the military:

Gates "Gates said Wednesday that abruptly ending the military's 'don't ask, don't tell' policy as a federal judge has ordered would have enormous consequences. A day after a judge in California ordered the Pentagon to cease enforcement of its policy barring gays from openly serving in the military, Gates told reporters that the question of whether to repeal the law should be decided by Congress, and done only after the Pentagon completes its study on the issue. 'I feel strongly this is an action that needs to be taken by the Congress and that it is an action that requires careful preparation, and a lot of training,' said Gates. 'It has enormous consequences for our troops.' The defense secretary said that besides the changes in training, regulations will need revisions and changes may be necessary to benefits and Defense Department buildings."

The BBC adds: "At the White House on Wednesday, spokesman Robert Gibbs described 'don't ask, don't tell' as 'a policy that is going to end'. But he declined to answer whether the Obama administration preferred to seek a stay of the injunction and appeal against the ruling."

The Department of Justice has until December 16 to appeal the ruling.

Robert Gibbs Remarks on Senate Filibuster of Defense Bill

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs remarked on the Senate Filibuster of the Defense bill as the vote went down:

Gibbs "Sixty is the new 50 and I don't mean age. To do anything in this town now you have to get 60 votes. And it is certainly not the way that many of the people who work in the Senate, including senators, thought that this is the way it ought to work."

Sam Stein adds: "Gibbs also stressed the 'frustration' he and other White House officials feel over the fact that funding for the "Pentagon and for our troops" had been delayed. He also re-affirmed the president's commitment to DADT repeal and the Dream Act. 'I don't think this is the end,' he offered, before punting on a question as to whether or not the package of legislation will be passed in the lame duck session after the November elections. 'Obviously there will be a whole host of issues including DADT that remain undecided. Our focus right now is trying to get the business of the people done as congress remains in session.' (A Senate aide confirmed to the Huffington Post that Reid will be bringing up the same package after the elections)"

Added Gibbs: "You have in the defense bill, obviously, very important funding for the priorities of our Pentagon and our troops,. The president also supports repeal of don't ask/don't tell and the DREAM Act ... And we're disappointed at not being able to proceed to the legislation, but we'll keep trying."


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