MR. GREGORY: [I]f 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?Gibbs doesn't say whether Obama thinks the law is unconstitutional.
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.Yes, there's a process for repealing statutes, and there's also a process for challenging statutes in court. If the statute is unconstitutional, the courts should declare it a nullity. If the President think the process is repeal by Congress, then he must think the act is constitutional. Right?
MR. GREGORY: ... Is there faith in the Senate that's misplaced? What does the president do if the Senate doesn't act?a process...
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."Yes! Gregory asks my question!
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...In other words: NO, he does not. Say it!
MR. GREGORY: We know his position, though. But if you keep defending...What?! So, then you mean the court is wrong and that justifies appealing, right?
MR. GIBBS: ...it's time for the law...
MR. GREGORY: ...it 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.Durable? Rights enforced in courts are not sufficiently durable? Is that your position? Or is it that there is no right at all? Maybe the President is being pragmatic and political about rights, and the point is that when courts find rights that Congress isn't ready for, those rights don't hold up too well and therefore it's better to pretend those rights don't exist at all. Or maybe that's all rights are in the President's eyes — whatever the majority — as manifested by Congress — is willing to respect as it goes along doing everything else it wants to do. Come on, Gibbs! Tell us whether the President thinks there are any rights here!
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.Oh, really? What makes you think that?
But, again, we have to get through Republican filibuster.Which is why you obviously don't have the votes. How do you propose to "get through" the filibuster? Clearly, the judicial case is the easy way to end DADT. Why doesn't the President stop fighting against the rights the court found?
It harms our national security. It's discriminatory, it's time for it to end.Then stop fighting for it!
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.Empty, stammering assertions! Exasperating evasions!
David Gregory never forced Gibbs to say whether the President thinks the act is unconstitutional and never forced him to justify fighting for DADT in court. Unlike his predecessor Tim Russert, Gregory lets the guest filibuster until it's time to move on to the next topic. Gregory is sharp, but he's too nice. Too empathetic. He doesn't push on and on with the questions until the obfuscation is painfully embarrassing.