April 29th, 2009
03:03 PM ET
6 years ago

Obama took 'seven seconds' to decide to endorse Specter

Gibbs made it clear he viewed the 100 day marker as an artificial one.
Gibbs made it clear he viewed the 100 day marker as an artificial one.

(CNN) – How long did it take President Obama to decide to endorse Sen. Arlen Specter's candidacy in the Pennsylvania Democratic primary?

"My sense is it probably took him less than about seven seconds," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday during a press gaggle aboard Air Force One. "The President offered his support to Senator Specter and it's a commitment he'll keep. [Specter's] made a decision of how to best represent the people he represents in Pennsylvania and we're happy that he did so."

Gibbs also made it clear he viewed the 100 day marker as an artificial one.

"We're playing along with the game," Gibbs told the press about the administration's acknowledgement of the 100th day. "You guys create the wave and we'll try to surf it a little bit."

"I don't think he waits for some specific milestone in days to reflect on what he's faced or the decisions that he's made or what lies ahead. I think he does that on a fairly regular basis," the press secretary told reporters. "I think he's happy with what we have started to achieve, understanding that we have a long way to go, that the American people are more concerned with what we're doing each and every day, not simply what we're doing on the 100th day or the 101st."

President Obama participated in a town hall meeting Wednesday in Missouri and is set to hold a press conference later tonight.


Filed under: Arlen Specter • President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. SR

    He should have maybe taken a little longer ...

    April 29, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  2. SLM

    Just goes to show you Democrats will take anyone in their party, quality doesn't matter. They can have Specter and Franken too. As long as they vote to waste our tax dollars, they'll take them.

    April 29, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  3. Scott L

    He can have him. :-)

    April 29, 2009 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  4. Chi Town

    Arlen's done...

    April 29, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. My The Best Man Win

    Man.... I like this brother [Obama] ..... I really do ..... but I'm going against him on this one.

    Retired Navy Admiral Joe Sestak is the better long term prospect for the Democratic party. He is currently the Congressman from Pennsylvania 7th Congresstional district which includes Philly. He'll be getting my vote and my money.

    Sorry Mr. President but I think you've not picked the right guy. I'll be working to defeat you in the primary but look to welcome you on board to take Admiral Sestak to the Senate in the real election.

    April 29, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  6. Jim in Florida

    "Gibbs also made it clear he viewed the 100 day marker as an artificial one."

    Then why are you running out the puppet Obama to hold a 100 day in office choreographed "press conference"?

    April 29, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    And it'll take the GOPers less approximatelly 3 seconds to have something nasty to say about this article...ready? 3...2...1....

    April 29, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  8. roger dowdle, lockhart, Tx

    Pres. Obama was probably stunned for 6 of those 7 seconds-after all, a 29 year member os the repubs changing party is unheard of! The G. O. P. used to be Grand Old Party, now it seems to be Grumpy Old People.

    April 29, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  9. Mississippi Mike

    Hey Gibbs, Specter admitted that he switched parties to try to get re-elected. Did you forget to read that memo, too?

    April 29, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  10. Cowboy in West Texas

    Seven seconds – wow – I would hope my President would think before he makes decisions. Nice job Gibbs in making your boss look like an idiot!

    April 29, 2009 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  11. Cowboy in West Texas

    BTW – if the 100 days is artificial – why the press conference tonight?

    April 29, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  12. crystalm

    Thank you Mr. Gibbs, what the people want to see is that President Obama is doing what he needs to do for the American people each and every day that he's in office. Why would measure him by 100 days. I don't remember the media making such a fuss about any other presidents first 100 days. Please can we focus on what's at stake here. People losing their jobs, homes, murdering their families,etc. Please stop being so petty like the GOP group!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 29, 2009 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  13. Bob in Pa

    I wish he would take more than 7 seconds befor he heaps his 2010 budget on the wallets of America.

    This thing is going to choke the economy. Just in letting Bush's and Obama's $400 (get me elected promise) tax cuts will bruise the middle class so bad they won't be able to sit for a month.

    April 29, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  14. j

    Both are winners . Obama knows Specter and understands the politics involved. Besides, this is the ONLY real shot Specter has at re-election. – Another black eye for the Republicans.

    April 29, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  15. dominican mama 4 Obama

    Pres. Obama hit the ground running. I believe his biggest accomplishment, beyond policies, is how he's positively impacted the morale of the nation. The future is still not decided, but I believe we have a more positive outlook because he is at the helm.

    April 29, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  16. Enlightened Voter

    Senator Spector has always been a moderate republican who as a PROUD liberal Dem I have always voted for (the only one i have ever) I will proudly support his switch. He cares more for the people than the party and why wouldn't he make this smart political move? I don't blame him one bit.

    April 29, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. fearful for my country

    Yup, the Democrats probably spent 7 months looking for his weaknesses and then about 7 weeks to blackmail him and then finally 7 days to buy him off. The man is worthless now. I hope no one votes for him, he is tainted goods.

    April 29, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  18. KATHLEEN

    I am a Democrat and an Obama supporter, BUT I DO NOT trust
    Spector at all! He was a Democrat, turned Repug, turned Democrat
    because HE KNOWS with the assinine party he belonged to was
    and is going down the tubes.

    I detest "opportunists! I say get a young Democrat from Pennsylvania
    who has true and honest Democratic, fair views-NOT an 80 year old
    OPPORTUNIST!!!

    I think a good "litmist" test for these so called snakeskins, would be
    one question, DO YOU WATCH FOX NEWS? But, the only problem
    with that is that they would not admit it. That's right, the LIE!

    April 29, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  19. Rick

    Senator Spector is not representing the people who voted him into office.
    He ran and was elected on the Republican ticket. Finish the job you were elected to do as a Republican, Senator Spector.

    It should be against the law to switch parties mid term.
    He should be forced to resign his seat.

    Wait until the next election cycle and THEN switch your party affiliation.

    Even Lieberman waited until the election cycle before he switched parties to run as an Independent.

    April 29, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  20. Raymond

    Not widely reported.... it took Obama 7 minutes to remember which of the 57 states Arlene Specter represented.

    April 29, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  21. phoenix86

    Pelosi and Reid must have been with Obama when he heard the news...

    April 29, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  22. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Obama had his mind made up when he offered his support to Specter in exchange for his vote on the stimulus bill. If you live in pa you have known for years that specter would loose to Toomey in the primary.I have been predicting Obama,s support since Specter voted in favor for the stimulus. It just goes to show that senators will do anything to keep a seat.

    April 29, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  23. LIP

    Give us a break Robet Gibbs. Seven seconds, after reading that Biden has been personally working on Specter for 6 years to switch parties; as if Obama didn't know it was coming. Now the work is nearly finished. First, it was necessary to get rid of Stevens in Alaska with fraudulent charges, mission accomplished. Second, it was necessary to line up a few liberal judges and a miscount for the Franken/Colman debacle in Minnesota, mission nearly accomplished and third it was necessary to get Specter to switch parties, mission accomplished. They have almost arrived at the magic number for robbing America blind. A little promise to save Specter's ass in the 2010 elections is all it took for him.

    April 29, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  24. anita

    doubling down on duplicity:
    what else is new with Obama?

    April 29, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  25. Rick CT

    Certainly well thought out considering there is another Dem already in the race (whom Obama trashed in 7 seconds).

    April 29, 2009 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
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