Washington (CNN) - White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs is standing by his critique of what he called the "professional left."
"I think I have both my feet firmly planted on the floor and nothing in my mouth to speak of," Gibbs said Wednesday during his daily briefing, after being asked if he had put his foot in his mouth.
In an interview with The Hill newspaper earlier this week, Gibbs went public with his private frustration over harsh criticism from his party's base.
"I hear these people saying he's [Obama's] like George Bush," Gibbs told the paper. "Those people ought to be drug tested."
Washington (CNN) - A liberal group that last week said the White House has a "loser mentality" is continuing to round up support for using the parliamentary maneuver called reconciliation to pass a health care public option.
"Robert Gibbs had a loser mentality when he said 50 votes don't exist in the Senate for the public option when well over 50 existed before," Progressive Change Campaign Committee co-founder Adam Green told CNN. "We're going to prove him wrong."
The PCCC has added five senators to its list of those who have expressed support for using reconciliation - which requires a simple 51-vote majority in the Senate - to pass a public option. The number of senators who support the cause now totals 30.
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin's office is among the five senators to submit a statement to the PCCC this weekend.
"The White House obviously has a loser mentality - but America rallies around winners," the leader of a liberal group said Tuesday. (Photo Credit: Getty Images/File)
Washington (CNN) - The leader of a liberal group slammed the Obama administration Tuesday, saying the White House "obviously has a loser mentality."
Progressive Change Campaign Committee Co-founder Adam Green was reacting to a statement by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs on the issue of a public option in a health care bill.
Washington (CNN) – A liberal group is stepping up its offensive against White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, urging its members to sign a pledge claiming they will not to support the former Illinois congressman if he ever runs for public office again.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee launched a television ad in December questioning Emanuel's handling of the health care issue.
On Monday, the PCCC initiated a pledge campaign in response to a January 12 New York Times article that detailed how Emanuel met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and helped broker the decision to abandon a public option in order to garner the support of Independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman. The Connecticut senator had just gone on a Sunday morning talk show to announce he would not vote for the Democrat's health care bill, and thus, could not be counted as Reid's 60th vote. The PCCC said Emanuel "undermine[d] progressives behind the scenes."
"There's nobody in Washington, D.C. who caves at the slightest hint of a fight with corporate interests more than Rahm Emanuel," PCCC co-founder Adam Green said in a statement. "We're making clear to Rahm that when he undermines progressives and the overwhelming will of the American people on issues like the public option, he will pay a political price back home."
The pledge Web site says the PCCC's goal is 1000 signatures; as of Monday afternoon, about 950 PCCC members had signed the pledge, and the group planned an online ad campaign in Illinois to boost awareness of the campaign.
NEW YORK (CNN)– A group of liberal activists is taking up the health care fight in a new ad and "emergency petition" targeting President Barack Obama for "campaign" promises it says he made regarding a public insurance option.
The minute-long commercial features a former Obama campaign volunteer coordinator for Maine, Ben Katz, reminding the president what he campaigned for in the northeastern state.
"You campaigned on a public health insurance option. We worked hard for it. We worked hard for you,” Katz says in the ad released by The Progressive Change Campaign Committee, a liberal political action committee with the express goal of electing progressive candidates to federal office.
"Polls show the people of Maine overwhelmingly want the public option. President Obama, Olympia Snowe isn’t representing Maine on this issue. We need you to fight. Tell Olympia Snowe to represent her constituents, and that anything less than a public option is not change we can believe in," Katz says.
Accompanying the ad is an "emergency petition" for the public option that the campaign plans to deliver to the White House.
"Every day, insurance companies deny care and let people die. Getting one Republican senator's vote is not worth delaying reform - too many real lives are at stake," the petition reads.
Senate Democratic leaders met Thursday night with White House officials to consider including a government-funded public health insurance option in a health care overhaul bill. The bill also has a provision allowing states to opt out of the public option.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - The leader of a massive push for the inclusion of a public option in health care reform legislation told CNN Wednesday that the group will begin running an ad in Montana in the coming weeks targeting the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Max Baucus.
The spots, likely backed by a six-figure buy, will pressure the Montana senator to support the public option, and highlight his campaign contributions from the insurance industry.
Baucus does not support a public option, and on Wednesday said that he would be introducing legislation without the provision in his committee, and moving forward with or without Republican support for the health care bill.
The Progressive Change Campaign Committee has already released spots targeting Democratic Sen. Ben Nelson and Republican Sen. Chuck Grassley, who have both been considered possible swing votes on a final bill.
The group, which staged a protest of former Obama volunteers outside the White House earlier this week, has drawn attention for its online petition pushing President Obama to stand firmly behind a public option.
The petition had drawn 80,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning, including those of 400 former Obama campaign staffers, 25,000 former Obama volunteers and 45,000 Obama campaign donors, according to Adam Green, PCCC's co-founder. The organization has seen its membership grow by almost 15 percent in the past week, he said, to over 160,000.