June 2nd, 2009
04:51 PM ET
14 years ago

Gibbs says no slight meant to Nancy Reagan

(CNN) - The White House meant no disrespect toward Nancy Reagan when it failed to invite the former first lady and vigorous supporter of embryonic stem cell research to a bill signing ceremony on the subject, press secretary Robert Gibbs said Tuesday.

"I think she speaks in real personal terms about the issue," Gibbs told reporters. "And I think her candor and her courage have been heartening and we certainly meant no slight to her whatsoever."

On Monday, Vanity Fair published an interview with Reagan on its Web site in which she suggested the Obama administration missed an opportunity by not inviting her to witness the president sign the bill allowing federal funds to be directed toward stem cell research - a policy Reagan has long promoted despite objections from many in the Republican Party.

"I would have gone, and you know I don't like to travel," she told the magazine. "Politically, it would have been a good thing for him to do. Oh well, nobody's perfect. He called and thanked me for working on it. But he could have gotten more mileage out of it."

Gibbs' comments also come the same day Reagan attended a White House ceremony as President Obama signed legislation authorizing the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission.

She'll also attend the unveiling of a new statue of President Reagan Wednesday morning at 10 a.m. in the Capitol Rotunda and then share a private White House lunch with Michelle Obama.

Obama issued an apology to Reagan earlier this year after joking in a press conference that she held séances during her years in the White House - an apparent reference to reports she consulted with astrologists when her husband was president.

Filed under: Nancy Reagan
soundoff (299 Responses)
  1. arnie

    Nancy Reagan to appear at WH, lunch with Michelle Obama

    June 2, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  2. MatthewDetroit

    Keep supporting your shadow of Chavez called Obama.
    Takes over GM and completely lies that he does not want to run it.
    Fires the President CEO because he wont listen to him.
    Hands the Union a piece bigger than any bond holders received.
    Completely lies about taking it over while he ripsoff the bond holders.
    Lied about supporting Israel, he is throwing them under the bus.
    Lied about stopping Iran from having nuclear, now he is saying okay.
    Lied about taking over the banks but he is taking possession and not letting them pay back their loans.
    Let the black panthers go that threatened people at a Pennsylvania voting station.
    Now on his apology tour he keeps placating the arab countries.
    Claims he will have open talks with Iran. Does not see anything wrong with them having Nuclear. Claims they will inspect. Joke.
    2 Trillion in additional debt added to the country this year alone.
    He complained about President Bush adding 500 billion to the debt per year but this guy is like a high school girl with her dads credit card.
    He is going to ruin us all.

    June 2, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  3. K

    Why don't you all just support whoever has been or is in the White House. This is exactly what is wrong with America, we all want to go online and make comments about people, but of course we don't want to do anything to make "change". As far as I can tell, all our Mothers' worked hard to raise us to the best of their abilities. I know someone is thinking I have freedom of speech, well then speak don't crucify.

    June 2, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  4. JT

    Sounds like a personal issue on Nancy Reagan's part to me. She should be glad that she is now not the only face representing the fight for stem cell research. Many, many are.

    Also, She was so concerned about getting stem cell research going again -– that she voted for......John McCain? Makes zero sense.

    June 2, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  5. W. Art

    Reagan should have apologized for selling arms to the enemy...

    I'm sure Nancy have "slighted" folk in her day. Keep living, we're all going to overlook someone, rather intentionally or unintentionally.

    June 2, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  6. arnie

    At least he apologizes. Better than the last crew who got everything wrong even in the second term and try to call right!

    June 2, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  7. MatthewDetroit

    You are wrong Mike.
    I dont really believe in the old bird, but a waste of tax payer dollars is an arrogant guy named barack and his wife michelle wasting our money flying to newyork when they could just as well go out in DC. They could hold off on trips to NY until he is there for business.
    That is what a waste is Mike.
    Spending 400 million to study gay men in Brazil.
    Spending 300 million to study hookers in China.
    That is what a waste is Mike.

    June 2, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  8. Barney Frankie

    Old Bag.

    June 2, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Matt

    Oh well. Get over it Nancy.

    June 2, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  10. Why?

    Barnes, Why would you suggest that Mrs. Reagan would puke at a lunch table with Mrs. Obama? Is it because Michelle is a wonderful mother, wife, educated, beautiful, articulate, groomed, exceptionally bright? What would be the reason Barnes? Perhaps it's because she's ______ Oh no that would make you a racist.

    June 2, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  11. Champly

    CNN folk need some education. When Nancy said she thought Barry could get some "mileage" out of inviting her she was referring to publicity fo stem cell research. What is really "nasty" is not Nancy, but those who have CNN centric brains.

    June 2, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  12. Terry Anthony

    To Denver Mom.... I dont know when but I can guarantee it will be bfore DUMBYA did. Wait... He did nothing wrong. Whatever. Thousands of soldiers dead. A Vacation while America goes through the worst terrorist attacks in history. PRESIDENT Obama (It urks me how you show no respect for this PRESIDENT but respected PRESIDENT BUSH) Dont even get me started about Halburton. Heck, Pres Obama may not get things right the first time these first four years. I totally agree. He is too busy rectifying the numerous issues our previous selected president left for us. Dang that C average in college.

    June 2, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  13. Thomas

    Tim, Seattle June 2nd, 2009 4:16 pm ET

    @ Phoenix86 "Republicans are respectful of former Presidents (democratic and republican alike)."



    Tim, the DUMBEST and most HYPOCRITICAL blogger...EVER!

    June 2, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  14. donttreadonme

    dan June 2nd, 2009 4:19 pm ET
    everyone needs to read the recent artical by PAUL KRUGMAN entitled "REAGAN DID IT"
    You mean the op-ed piece by the Ultra-liberal Krugman (who wrote the "The Conscience of a Liberal") printed in the neo-lib NewYork Times would wite an opinion slamming the 'Father of Modern Conservatism" what a suprise. No bias here.

    Limbaugh is writing a book about Obama I'm sure that will be a great read as well.

    June 2, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  15. Libertarian

    So Nancy Reagan supports stem cell research because it could have benefited Ron. Cheney supports gay marriage because of his daughter. Sounds like "Conservatives" know how to recite the GOP platform until it hits home....then they "center up".

    June 2, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  16. MatthewDetroit

    Barack is all about the political show.
    He is going to a concentraton camp in Europe. His Uncle who was in the military for the US back in WWII said that Barack should stay away from the site. He said that all it is is a big picture op for Barack.
    Barack originally lied exaggerated and said it was Aushwitz.
    He is great at kissing babies, and then letting half aborted babies die on a table.
    He is a terrible person.
    He does not believe in the constitution nor does he believe in the bill of rights.
    4 years and out I hope. Although even then the damage he is causing will be almost impossible to change. He is ruining the country.

    June 2, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  17. Melissa

    Oh well. We don't always get what we want and we're all human. People forget. Thats life.

    June 2, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  18. Judy

    I just saw Mrs. Reagan at the White House with President Obama today. They seemed to be getting along just fine to me. This is just another CNN media-gernerated controversy.

    June 2, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. Thomas

    Here we go again June 2nd, 2009 4:27 pm ET

    She did not need to be there. Republican's only care about issues when it affects them directly. Cheney's opinion about gay marriage is radically different then his parties because his daughter's gay, Mrs. Reagan cares about stem cell research because her husband had Alzheimer's, Bush cared about student tests because he could never pass one. Limbaugh cares about male enhancement because…..

    Democrats need to get over their hatred of everything – it gets very old. Nancy Reagan is a former first lady and was an advocate of stem cell research, and should have been invited. Yet another arrogant slight of someone by the Obama Administration. It's becoming commonplace.

    June 2, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  20. Tim

    That's why they invited her to have lunch with Michelle, to patch up the hard feelings caused by the disrespect.

    Also, Cheney 1 Obama 0. 2/3 of the country do not want Gitmo detainees in the US.

    June 2, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Edd8e deRoulet

    boo-hoo, who cares in the grand scheme of things if she is invited?

    June 2, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. Doug from Allentown, PA

    Reformed Republican Wrote:
    "...For dems it's sometimes more important to do the right thing than win a few "feel good" points..."

    Who are you kidding? You cannot possibibly be that stupid or brainwashed. Can you?

    I also seriously doubt you are a reformed Republican. Most people who say that on these posts are die-hard Democrats.

    June 2, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  23. Ricky

    Who really cares. her husband is gone and it looks like any second she will be right there with him.

    June 2, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  24. Thomas

    Fortytude June 2nd, 2009 4:08 pm ET

    "I would have gone, and you know I don't like to travel," she told the magazine. "Politically, it would have been a good thing for him to do. Oh well, nobody's perfect. He called and thanked me for working on it. But he could have gotten more mileage out of it."

    Whaat? Reagan admits Obama doesn't do stuff just for political reasonins? Ronnie slobberers must be so sad.

    Why don't you have a little respect for a former President and a deceased person? Don't you have any manners?

    June 2, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  25. I give up

    reading all the liberal thoughts on this page doesn't give me much hope for change. you people are pathetic and imature.

    June 2, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
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