February 26, 2010 at 5:27 pm EST | by Chris Johnson
Gibbs: ‘Don’t Ask’ repeal off to ‘strong start’

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs today, responding to a question from a DC Agenda reporter, said he believes the process for repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” is off to a “strong start.”

Without elaborating, he confirmed the White House has talked to members of Congress about the need for repealing the military’s ban on service by open gays. The full exchange follows:

DC AGENDA: Robert, I have a question on “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Yesterday, Sen. Carl Levin told reporters he doesn’t know whether there’s sufficient support in Congress right now to repeal that law at this time. Considering the president stated that he’s going to work this year with Congress to end “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” what is the White House doing to get lawmakers to come on in support of that effort?

ROBERT GIBBS: Well, look, what – what the president has done is work with Secretary Gates and Adm. Mullen, the military and the Pentagon in setting forth a process for evaluating, studying and ultimately repealing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” If you heard – you’ve heard – you heard for the first time ever the chairman of the Joint Chiefs discuss the need to repeal “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” and I think that is a very strong start for a process that the president believes will end – believes will end in overturning – rightfully overturning that law.

DC AGENDA: But is the White House working directly with lawmakers, though, to get them on board in support?

GIBBS: Look, we have – I think many have been – we have talked to many about the process for this. We have talked to them prior to making some of these announcements and prior to some of this testimony.

Chris Johnson is Chief Political & White House Reporter for the Washington Blade. Johnson is a member of the White House Correspondents' Association. Follow Chris

  • Peculiar, isn’t it, how Gibbs, yet again, did not answer the question that was asked which included words soley referencing repealing “RIGHT NOW”…and that the “process for evaluating, studying and ULTIMATELY repealing” DADT Gibbs is crowing about would not end until AFTER midterm elections which, unless the whole world is wrong, means there wouldn’t be enough in the Senate and/or Congress open to repeal to make it happen, study or no study. It’s time to admit Gates played us, boys and girls, regardless of whether or not it was on Obama’s instructions. PLAYED!

  • “Played” is right. Gibbs admits to the play-writing required of all political theatre when he says “…we have talked to many about the process for this. We have talked to them prior to making some of these announcements and prior to some of this testimony.”

    They’ve formulated the playbook of our lives, and again, it says “WHEN IT COMES TO BASIC HUMAN RIGHTS IN AMERICA, WE WILL DO WHAT WE WANT TO DO – BUTT OUT.” So, HRC, are you helping write the playbook? Or getting played by the Players… I’m sick of the playing. What a cesspool Washington is.

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