January 20th, 2010
03:51 PM ET
4 years ago

Gibbs not pointing fingers after Coakley loss

A day after Martha Coakley's loss in a Massachusetts special election, a White House spokesman refused to point fingers.
A day after Martha Coakley's loss in a Massachusetts special election, a White House spokesman refused to point fingers.

(CNN) – While several Democrats Wednesday questioned how Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley managed to lose what was expected to be an easy Senate race in the bluest of states, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs isn't pointing fingers.

"I don't want to get into the blame game," Gibbs said at Wednesday's White House daily briefing. "I said earlier I think we all bear some responsibilities."

But echoing his own words from earlier in the week, when polls showed Coakley heading for a defeat, Gibbs said "there was a surprise and a frustration here."

While the White House is publicly refusing to assign blame on the Coakley campaign, a top adviser to President Obama on Tuesday rejected assertions that the vote was a referendum on the president or Democratic policies: "Campaigns and candidates matter," the adviser said.

Meanwhile, Coakley's top pollster, Celinda Lake, insisted Tuesday that the loss was part of an anti-incumbent fever that threatens to take down Democrats across the nation.

"There's a wave here. The first shore was New Jersey and Virginia," Lake told CNN Tuesday, referring to Democratic losses in the governor's races in New Jersey and Virginia. "The second was Massachusetts, and it's coming to the island now, so we'd better do something about it."


Filed under: Massachusetts • President Obama • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. John, Brooklyn, NY

    As a loyal Democrat, my primary blame rests on the Kennedy family. While, of course, they have certainly done their fair share of public service, I also believe that if ANY of them – Victoria, Joe, Bobby Jr., or Patrick – had decided to step into the race....it would have been an absolute cake walk.

    January 20, 2010 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  2. JohnP

    The dems sure are quiet today.

    January 20, 2010 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  3. Can You Hear Me Now?

    So, let's see if I have this straight: Gibbs carefully avoided throwing another losing candidate that Obama campaigned for under the bus. But an Obama administration adviser went ahead and did it.

    "Change you can ..." Oh, Shut Up!

    January 20, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. justj joey

    it ain't no "wave" growing out there. As the result of the elections in VA...in NJ...and now in Massachusetts, I would say we have a Tsunami building!!!

    January 20, 2010 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  5. JGB

    How can he? It's his boss, Obama that cost Coakley the win. The country wants this mess cleaned up ASAP and it started last night with Scott Brown.

    January 20, 2010 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  6. mikl

    Obama is the worst president ever. He is naive and stupid. I want my vote back. My family vote for this joker,but 2010 and 2012 will give as a real change.

    January 20, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  7. DA

    Okay...I will!!! She was a horrible choice. She thought she would be a slam dunk winner and even if that was the case, she should have acted like it was tough. I mean taking off during the holidays when your opponent is picking up speed? I have to say maybe MA is better off not having her in the chair!!!
    Now who else is at fault? Those stupid Democrats on the Hill!!! They had a mjority and when you have the power you use it. You don't play games and air your dirty laundry for everyone to see. I mean those dude could not get on one accord!! Stupid.
    I can't wait to see how they will be booted out in November!!!
    Oh and i'm a Democrat!!!

    January 20, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  8. Dar

    No, this was a vote against the Odumbo administration, we are sick of all of them and we are not stopping now. This was the first of many of congress going home. You have shown us your true colors and they are not what we thought they were. Sad, very sad.

    2010/2012 REAL Change is coming

    January 20, 2010 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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