On today's CNN Newsroom segment at 1:00 PM (ET), anchor Kyra Phillips interviewed White House senior advisor David Axelrod. Phillips asked about the Senate's rejection of an $80 million request from President Obama to close the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba:
PHILLIPS: All right. Let's push forward, then, and talk about Gitmo. You know, your party voted overwhelmingly not to give the president the money for Gitmo. I mean, 90-6. Is it the bad economy, or is there truly a huge divide in convictions on this?
AXELROD: No, I think that members of the Senate were asking for a plan. We'll give them a plan as to how we're going to move forward. I think the president offered a framework for that today, and we're going to work with the Congress on whatever path that we take here.
The bad economy, Kyra? I'm unaware of any senator, Democratic or Republican, who used a bad economy as justification for stripping what in Washington passes as chump change from a more than $90 billion spending bill. Along with Obama, Congress has been squandering money like the proverbial drunken sailor and all in the sacred name of "stimulus." Only today, KMOV in St. Louis carried an Associated Press story reporting that Missouri is using $250 million, more than three times the Gitmo funding total, of federal economic stimulus money just to pay state income tax refunds.
The principal reason senators, including a big majority of Democrats, shot down Obama's $80 million request was identified yesterday at Bloomberg.com in a piece by Brian Faler and James Rowley, "Senate Rejects Request for Money to Close Guantanamo:"
Some Democrats said they agreed with Republicans that the White House hasn’t adequately explained its plans for Guantanamo. Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Daniel Inouye, a Hawaii Democrat, called the decision to drop the funding “rather easy” because “the administration has not yet forwarded a coherent plan for closing this prison.”
So, no, the bad economy, which we all know was inherited by The One and he's fixing just as fast as he can, isn't the reason most members of his own party gave Obama a hard slap yesterday. It's because his inexperience is once again showing.
Maybe Kyra is just too courteous to have suggested that as a possibility.