Here we go again - another Obama administration/media personality feud in the works.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has no problem addressing media critics of President Barack Obama - even on an individual basis. Since Obama was sworn in as president, Gibbs has addressed criticism from conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh, CNBC mercantile exchange floor reporter Rick Santelli and now CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer.
During the March 3 White House press briefing, Tom Costello of NBC News asked Gibbs to respond to remarks from Cramer, who was described as "not a conservative," made on NBC's March 3 "Today" show that he "thought the president's policies, his agenda had contributed to the greatest wealth destruction he's ever seen by a president."
"This is where I have to probably be careful," Gibbs said in response. "Let me build on what the president said and that is, without understanding the basis for what Mr. Cramer said. I'm not entirely sure what he's pointing to, to make some of the statements that he's made and you can go back and look at any number of statements that he's made in the past about the economy and wonder where some of the backup for those are too."
"But, umm, look, some people are on TV every day to comment on the tracking poll, the ups and the downs," Gibbs continued. "There were other people that were elected to try to fix the problem and try to reinstitute an economy that works for everyone."
Gibbs said the notion that what was good for Wall Street was good for Main Street was no longer valid and Obama's job was to "fix what was broken." He said the president was focused on the long term and not focused on the day-to-day. He contended the president's priority was to fix the economy for not just those who work on Wall Street.
Since Obama took office on Jan. 20, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) has lost more than 1,000 points, including a nearly 400-point drop on Feb. 10 after a disappointing speech by Obama's Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner on sorting out troubled assets. Cramer pleaded with the administration to take note of the possibility it might have something to do with that.
Costello followed up by asking Gibbs if perhaps it wasn't those who work on Wall Street that were losing confidence in the market, but instead those investors that live on Main Street, that were causing the market to fall.
"I'm going to get in a lot of trouble if I continue," Gibbs said. "The president - again, if you turn on certain program, it's geared to a very small audience - no offense to my good friends, or friend at CNBC. But the president has to look out for the broader economy and for the broader population - many of whom are investors, but not exclusively investors."
On CNBC's March 2 "Mad Money," Cramer's remarked Obama's handling of the economy was "amateur hour at our darkest moment." He also attacked the administration for a "total lack of control" and said he wonders "where's the authority."