October 16th, 2009
04:06 PM ET
5 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. Amanda

    But what do you expect from that clown Beck ? That insufferable pompous racist ass.

    October 16, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  2. Ray

    YBM – I am a thinking, intelligent person, and I voted for Obama. Leaders who are able to inspire such a large grassroots movement come along maybe once in a lifetime. The first time I ever listened to what he had to say, I knew he would be accomplishing great things.

    Experience or time does not always make the best candidate for any job, you should know that! New leadership skills and ways of thinking usually come from outside of the system. He was elected because he inspired us all to do better; for ourselves and for the country. It was the American people taking their country and government back.

    And if you don't like or believe in the democratic process....maybe you should be living somewhere else?

    October 16, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  3. Susan

    The moment I try to come back to Republican party after seeing all mess by Democrats, I get to see Glenn Beck program and then I stick with the lesser evil.
    Democrats and Republicans are all politicians. They care abt themselves but I have to choose between the best among the worst.

    October 16, 2009 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  4. Rob from MO

    Politicians and political strategists from the left, right and center have been quoting Mao's political acumen favorably for decades. He was an evil guy but a brilliant strategist (Karl Rove, anyone?). Acknowledging this does not imply an endorsement of Mao's actions or policies. Beck is getting pretty desperate for anti-Obama stuff when he resorts to this type of nonsense.

    October 16, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  5. George

    A tempest in a teapot. But, anyone who wants to rank a dictator who killed millions in relocation camps as one of their "favorite philosophers" better expect some criticism. And, trying to pass the buck to a GOP member just doesn't cut it...

    October 16, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  6. Ted Tartaglia

    Beck makes Rush look intelligent. Who cares about either one of these losers?

    October 16, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  7. brownvan

    To paraphrase General George Patton: (Rommel)...I read your book. There is nothing wrong with studying the philosophy of any world leader. It does not mean she is a Marxist. Only a pinhead would limit their world view to people they agree with.
    Beck needs to go back on his meds – as do his viewers.

    October 16, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  8. bess

    quoting Mao is one thing; saying he's one of your favorite philosopher's is very different.

    October 16, 2009 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  9. matt; honestly

    Did anyone ever think that Fox news has the highest numbers because they are the one and only extreme conservative news network, and the more liberal audience is divided among the other news networks? If you add all of the other news networks together, I bet the viewers are greater than that of Fox.

    October 16, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  10. jobless recovery

    45000 people do NOT die because they don't have health insurance. that is a bs left wing blog item that has been disproved. How many people die for being fat, lazy and drunks? How many gang killings happen because teacher unions keep minorities together in awful schools? How many soldiers may die because Obama took money away from them for Ted Kennedy's museum?
    You people are so gullable. When will this country wake up out of this trance of stupidity that King Obama has put them in???

    October 16, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  11. Lila

    Stephen...hahaha. Wrong article. The only boob being discussed on this thread is glenn Beck.

    October 16, 2009 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  12. kman821

    When are intelligent people (CNN, are you listening?) going to quit pretending they are covering real news, when they base their articles on anything that a simple-minded, bubble-butted gas bag like Glenn Beck pulls his "news-worthy nuggets" directly out of his posterior passage and then disseminates them on cable television?

    October 16, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. Raymond

    Jobless Recovery

    I used to listen to Beck's radio show faithfully. To say that he criticized Bush for years is definitely an exaggeration...

    I heard him critique Bush a couple of times. It's nothing in comparison to the witch hunt that is being carried out now.

    October 16, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  14. Lila

    To the coward(s) posting as Dominican Mama and Sniffit....

    Nice one. Very grown up of you...

    You stay classy ;-)

    October 16, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. Caesar the Great

    Does the WH realize that the more they talk about these people the more free publicity they are giving them? I am all for freedom of speech and Beck is extremely controversial, but no different than some of the more left opinion shows were during the Bush administration.

    October 16, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  16. victim of republican greed

    I believe Beck also felt it was un-American to criticize Bush.

    October 16, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  17. TH

    Go Glen Beck!!! Your so right dude!! Glen Beck is the man!

    October 16, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. Michael Hsu

    Maybe Anita needs to visit the "re-education" camps set up by her great idol.

    October 16, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. mike

    Why does this administration whine so much?

    October 16, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  20. Linda C in Cal

    Thank you Fox for exposing the truth..."a communist praising a communist"...Anita Dunn is finished...Adios!

    Go Beck!

    October 16, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  21. Ron

    She looks like the offspring of Darth Vader Ginsburg and Richard Nixon. What is with the glasses on the head?

    October 16, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. jobless recovery

    The white house is so devoid of soliving problems that they attack a cable network? anyone else disgusted by this fraud of an administration?

    October 16, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. Francis K. Ibara

    Beck was well repected before but now he is just the opposite. He is in the same boat as Hannity and Limbaugh. Fox New is good with the exception of these idiots.

    October 16, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. WhoCares?

    Beck is such a dense tool.

    October 16, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. bob in illinois

    Please stop reporting everything Glenn Beck says or does. He is a bigot, and he is anti-American. Leave the little bug alone, and he'll go away!!

    October 16, 2009 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
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