October 16th, 2009
04:06 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama aide fires back at Beck over Mao remarks

White House communications director Anita Dunn fired back at criticism from TV commentator Glenn Beck on Friday.

White House communications director Anita Dunn fired back at criticism from TV commentator Glenn Beck on Friday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - White House communications director Anita Dunn fired back at criticism from TV commentator Glenn Beck on Friday, saying that a Mao Tse-tung quote Beck took issue with was picked up from legendary GOP strategist Lee Atwater.

"The Mao quote is one I picked up from the late Republican strategist Lee Atwater from something I read in the late 1980s, so I hope I don't get my progressive friends mad at me," Dunn told CNN.

As for Beck's criticism: "The use of the phrase 'favorite political philosophers' was intended as irony, but clearly the effort fell flat - at least with a certain Fox commentator whose sense of irony may be missing."

On Thursday night's program, Beck showed exclusive video of Dunn discussing the communist leader, who was responsible for a cultural revolution in 1966 that included re-education camps and setting the army and students on witch hunts against his opponents.

Millions of Chinese suffered or died, most notably teachers, writers, political opponents or anyone deemed a "reactionary."

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soundoff (112 Responses)
  1. Shelly CO

    Fox has a BOX of losers including Beck. Most of them are BLOWING things to such ridiculous heights that the garbage is going to come back down on them. The gullible idiots who listen to them don't realize that Beck and Limbaugh are laughing their way to the banks.....thanks to the stupidity of their followers!

    October 16, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. AJ

    What's the difference were she got the quote ? She apparently really likes it and believes in it since she likes to repeat it. It's amazing how good Obama and his brood of radicals are at spinning their BS back and blaming others when they let slip their real agenda.

    October 16, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. Doug

    It has obviously never occurred to Beck or his slack-jawed viewers that if Obama was even 1/10th as evil as Beck says, then Beck, Limbaugh, etc.,etc., would all have been "disappeared" long ago.

    October 16, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  4. Cnn please post my comment! 1 love!

    yeah sure we will get real truth from Glenn who hates The America that will never vote a mormon for president, but would vote for an african-American...i tell you his vendetta against America is quite personal.....silly republicans think he is on their team...lol no this is personal this guy hates America and his own party...why? A mormon will never be party head and would never be voted President...there it is the cats out of the bag!

    October 16, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. Hammerer

    Dunn says she intended this as irony, seems like everyone in this regimen has used this excuse. Also her defenders list Rove and Gingrich along with Van Jones as others that has quoted Mao. Does this mean that she has the same beliefs as they do? Rove and Gingrich are two of the most hated by this group and she says she is the same as them?

    October 16, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. ThinkAgain

    Glenn Beck is in desperate need of medication ... all he does is cry all the time in front of a camera ... adn twist people's words to fit his own purposes ... that is just plain WEIRD!

    October 16, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  7. Scott L

    Robert Gibbs: "It is right there. You know it. I don't have specific examples but it is there. You guys know it to be true."

    Anita Dunn: "Whaaaaaaa I got sand in my bathing suit! Whaaaaaa! Whaaaaaaaa!!!!!"

    Barack Obama: "I'm just gonna sit back and let everyone else do all the work."

    Nancy Pelosi: "My legacy will forever live on and I will go down as the greatest patriot in the history of this country ringer of true freedom for the common little person who is here illegally."

    Tim Geithner: "Look, I'm in charge of the Treasury now, so just listen to me. I'll give you what you want, but I need you to do x,y and z. Just trust me. Don't worry about record deficits. We'll blame Bush."

    Harry Reid: "Even though Democrats have controlled congress for two years and even though Obama our savior has been in office for 9 months, all of this. Listen to me. ALL OF THIS is the fault of GEORGE BUSH. He has ruined this country and Republicans are scumbags who are worse than Hamas."

    October 16, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  8. YBM

    This whole Obama thing is real fishy. I am no Hillary Clinton fan but Obama should never have been able to beat her in the primaries. A first term junior Senator that spent his first two years voting present and his last two years campaigning for the office of President, against Hillary's experience and popularity? and winning???? That by itself smells, but then to win the presidency of the US??? This whole situation is rank. No thinking or intelligent person would have voted for this guy. I guess it shows the dumbing down of America is working. America is being sent the same way the Roman Empire went and for the same reasons. Only a lot faster. At least the Roman's had a thousand years or so.

    October 16, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  9. ThinkAgain

    I didn't realize that phoenix86 was in on the Presidential Daily Briefing ... how do you know that President Obama is doing "nothing" regarding repressed Tibetans and Iranians?

    Admit it, you just hate Obama and like Limbaugh and the rest of the GOP, you want our president and country to fail. How else do you explain your sudden concern with repressed dissidents in foreign countries?

    You are SHAMELSS!

    October 16, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  10. Craig, OK

    Beck is a Bozo. End of story.

    October 16, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  11. g

    solving bush and cheney problems are going to take alittle more though then what they put into them if you want to help tidetans stop buying cummunist china goods that means no wal mart

    October 16, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  12. jim in ga

    Why don't you go over there and help them; being that you are all knowing and such. Obama can't even get your senators to turn their backs on the Insurance lobbiests and do the tight thing for American Healthcare, so what, outside of the diplomacy he promised the Dali Lama he would try to initiate, do you expect him to do? Whatever it is, it will be more than George W. did; and a lot sooner.

    October 16, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Mickey, NY

    Beck? Beck WHO?

    October 16, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  14. Once Upon a Horse

    @ phoenix 86.....

    and Bush did...............????

    October 16, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  15. Joe In Vegas

    It doesn't matter how she explains herself. The Ditto-Heads, Beck-Babies, and Savage-Wieners only get their info from hate radio and Fox News.

    October 16, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  16. Emilio Schlabitz

    Ms. Dunn,

    I think you should not dignify Beck's comments. We all know who he is and what he stands for: popularity and money. It is not worth it. It only calls more attention to him, which is exactly what he wants.

    October 16, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. Gregory York

    How wonderful there is a Nazi Glenn Beck is attacking her. How shame Nazi he is.

    October 16, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  18. MJ

    Loss of irony? What was the comparision with – Mother Teresa? Wake up America! These are the people who are in the White House! Gives me the chills .... We have to stop this!

    October 16, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  19. Rose

    Dunn used the words. They came out of her own mouth and now she tries to cover it up. How stupid the White House is to pick a fight with Fox. Don't they have anything better to do. I guess Obama doesn't like it when some one disagrees with his agenda. It isn't just Fox that disagrees, a lot of people don't like the way he is handling things.
    The $250.00 olive branch he wants to hand the seniors is almost an insult. He wants to buy the seniors vote, it is not going to happen, we will not support his Obama Care agenda.

    October 16, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. JV


    Obama has an agenda but let the man atleast take care of things that are on the table now. Thats the problem...ppl want him to do everything and nothing at the same time.

    Beck is a POS and should say some of those things to ppl are will not treat him Obama like.

    October 16, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. g ontario

    glen beck says hewill not get flu shot hope he keeps his wood the man belongs in a strait jacket and rubber room

    October 16, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  22. D.

    Before I did not mind so much, but saying "it was a joke" seems like a BIG FAT LIE!!!!!! Saying such things usually work for Obama when he brushes off criticism, will it work here???

    October 16, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  23. matthewdetroit

    The woman is a liar and a socialist.
    Dont try to change your story now lady.
    You are a socialist.
    You read mao and you LIKE what mao believes in.
    You are a leftist babe. Accept it and stop hiding it.

    I dont mind that ALL of Baracks people are socialists or communists.
    What I dont like is that they ALL LIE about it because the american people would shove them out.

    But as long as they lie we all accept it as truth. Pretty funny.

    October 16, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  24. Preco

    Glenn who?..... If it is Glenn Beck, that guy apart from been cucko for cucko..? He is the most simple minded simpleton I have ever known who gets this kind of attention.
    Glenn Beck is the most uninformed commentator in the USA, his antics (weeping & outright creation of his own "facts") is appaling.

    October 16, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  25. Wake Up

    Is this really what the White House should be focusing on? Obama's is so paranoid. He is the left wing Nixon! Oh, except Nixon succeeded in foreign policy.
    Seriously though, any administration this worried about debate should creep people out.

    October 16, 2009 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
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