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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