The clash between the White House and Supreme Court sparked anew this afternoon as White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs challenged Chief Justice John Roberts’ criticism of the president’s State of the Union address.
“It didn’t seem like a pep rally to me,” Gibbs said today at his daily briefing with reporters, responding to Roberts telling law students this week he didn’t seen the point in the high court attending the State of the Union.
The spat started at the address when President Obama said he strongly disagreed with the court’s decision in the Citizens United case on campaign finance. At the time as cameras zoomed in for the rate moment of judicial branch criticism, Justice Samuel Alito mouthed “not true.”Roberts said the speech environment is “very troubling,” adding, “I’m not sure why we’re there.” When reporters asked about this today, Gibbs bristled.
“I don’t know why they’d feel uncomfortable, they made the decision,” Gibbs said. “The president would have said that in that room had they been sitting in that row or not been there at all.”
Gibbs cited polls showing most Americans oppose the court’s 5-4 Citizens United decision opening up political donations to corporations and stressed that the White House is working with Congress on their attempts to fix the problem with legislation. (More about that here.)
“The president fundamentally disagrees with that decision,” Gibbs said.