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. KC

    Blew again Obama (wow, what is that 12 times this week and it's only Tuesday). Still awaiting acknowledgement of the death of the young soldier at the hands of a Muslim-want-to-be. Wait, that's right we're kissing their proverbial rumps this week (again).

    June 2, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |

    i live in NJ and went to a broadway play and dinner with my family of 5 (wife and three kids). It only cost me about $400. Went on half price day and went to Carmine's (great good BTW). Maybe the president should survive on my budget.

    June 2, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  3. Jim

    so, so, so many republicans who are name calling, spreading disinformation and flat out lying.

    i suspect if they ever have any factual information, no one will recognize it as such and no one will believe them then, either.

    June 2, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  4. WhoCares?

    I don't think the main thing on Obama's mind is "getting more mileage out of it".

    The dude is a busy man.

    June 2, 2009 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  5. MatthewDetroit

    Ask barack why he is letting prisoners go.
    Ask clinton why he never prosecuted anyone on the uss cole.
    Ask barack why once President Bush's White House went after the responsibles of the USS Cole bombing that barack dropped it again.
    LIMPWICK barack has not guts.
    He makes the country weaker and harms the american way of life.
    He is not american and does not support america.
    He is a manchurian candidate and not a proper president.
    Tell the clown to start driling for oil and stop making excuses why he wants the US to be a third world country.

    June 2, 2009 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  6. jamest

    Just what is your cause? IGNORANCE??????

    Joe in NJ June 2nd, 2009 4:49 pm ET

    "Andrea June 2nd, 2009 4:26 pm ET

    Nancy Reagan did not speak out about stem cell research until it directly affected her. "

    Most people don't take up causes until it directly affects them.

    Michael J. Fox – Parkinson's disease
    Jenny McCarthy – autism
    Katie Couric – colon cancer

    June 2, 2009 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  7. SB in Texas

    Faux News misses you on their boards. Go back. You are probably one of their superstars. You really don't do research, and you really are uninformed. You are sniping and criticizing, but you have no independent thoughts. You are merely parroting what you have heard at Faux. Reading your posts (and I am sorry I did) makes me feel like I need to shower the filth off.

    June 2, 2009 04:55 pm at 4:55 pm |
  8. loretta

    Obama does not want any one to get more tv time than him.. Nancy Reagan is a class A lady as Laura Bush was. Michelle Obama can
    not hold a candle to them. The Obama's are screwing our country.
    And so is Pelsoi and gay b frank. I am for the first time in my life
    ashamed of the washington idiots. God help us before the washington idiots causes the true Americans harm......
    There are new people in town and they are called the Washington Idiots of the Obama clamsmen.

    June 2, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    @ MathewDetroit

    The more shrill and irrational you get, the more encouraged we become that we're doing the right thing. I mean seriously, "where's his berf surtifikates?" ??? Please do enlighten us as to all factual bases you have for claiming the "Hawaiin papers are unable to be verified." It's like the GOP's walking the Green Mile and going ballistic the whole way...but you know what? You get there in the end.

    June 2, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  10. Joe

    Uh, Matthew Detroit, I think you forgot to take your meds this morning. Full moon isn't until Sunday, so we can't blame that.

    June 2, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  11. Independent

    Matthew of Detroit, who is brainwashing you???? Good Heavens, do you have bad info....do some checking...

    CNN here you go again, trying to start up something....move on...I'm sure many of you have had a lot going on and remembering everything and everyone, sometimes is impossible...so he had an oversight, who hasn't????????????????

    June 2, 2009 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  12. MatthewDetroit

    The problem with many of you sheep are that you only follow just like lemmings off the side of a cliff.
    You cant have your own thoughts and criticize those that do.
    You claim war crimes but cant actually name any single facts.
    Read your facts first.
    Here is one for you.
    Clinton added 1.7 trillion to the national debt in 8 years.
    President Bush added 5 trillion to the national debt in 8 years.
    Barack is adding 1.9 trillion to the national debt in 1 year.
    It is estimated by the OAC that Barack will add 10 trillion in 4 years.
    There is a fact for you. Look it up yourself.

    June 2, 2009 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    @ Champly, who said "This concept I am sure would titilate the Democrat Party politburo."

    Right, because the Dems have such a long history of violating constitutional rights by doing things like mass wiretapping millions of Americans.

    June 2, 2009 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    @ Thomas

    "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."

    If I recall correctly, a democratic president approved stem cell research, not your boy who was in the White House the last 8 years. You my friend need to get over yourself.

    June 2, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  15. T

    Who cares....she just got out of the hospital so maybe it was just

    June 2, 2009 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  16. Charlie

    MatthewFrank, you live in an alternate universe. The Democrats had control of Congress and the presidency at the same time for exactly two out of the last 28 years (until this year). The GOP had control of Congress or the presidency or both in all other years. So the financial crisis is the fault of Barney Frank? And you also think the moon is made of green cheese?

    June 2, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  17. James M. Holmes

    Thanks MatthewDetriot for a rundown of the lies and distrotions of Rush's talking points for the last 6 months...

    Spin all you want, but the VAST majority of Americans know who is to blame for letting Wall Street run wild, the outsourcing of American manufacturing jobs (though I will say Clinton deserves some of the blame for signing NAFTA), turning a surplus into a deficit and blowing American prestige, honor and respect (not to mention thousands of lives and BILLIONS of dollars) by invading Iraq and letting Afganistan fall back into the hands of the Taliban, etc, etc.

    Sorry Obama hasn't completely turned around the complete mess left by the Bush adminstration in 6 months...

    The first step to fixing your GOP addiction (AKA complete stupidity) is to admit you have a problem... the probelem there is the Republicans NEVER admit to anything, they just blame everyone else for their failures... vicious cycle you NeoCons are stuck in!

    June 2, 2009 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  18. corby

    SENSIBLE MIKE June 2nd, 2009 4:49 pm ET

    is there any wonder out there that since an inexperience political neubie took over like President Obama that coutnries like Iran, North Korea and even now Pakistan and India are invovled in nuclear proliferation? That wasn't the case under the Bush Administration. But heck give the bomb to everyone. Why not sell them at Walmart or Costco so we can all get them at a discount. This administration is a joke. The entire world knows that Barack will allow them to walk all over them and they're salivating at the chance. Get in line behind Chavez and the others that have already politically slapped Barack in the face. I might as well apply for my chinese citizenry because we'll be headed there next now that Barack is putting us in an even MORE financial hole with his 2+trillion agenda per year not including his ridiculous version of heatlhcare reform.

    Um, Mike – where you been, fella? Obama has been president for four months. Pakistan and India have had nuclear weapons for years, North Korea tested its first nuke several years ago, and the Iranian nuclear program has been around for a while too, although they have not yet tested a warhead. As for the rest of your nonsense, it's too partisan to even approach. Let me guess who you voted for!

    June 2, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. donttreadonme

    Eight years of nitpicking, complaining about every move Bush made will now be followed up with atleast four years of nitpicking, complaining about every move Obama makes.

    June 2, 2009 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  20. Thomas

    donna June 2nd, 2009 4:17 pm ET

    She didn't need to be there…move on…was Michael J Fox there? He is more symbolic of stem cell research than Nancy Regan is…most people don't know her history concerning it nor do they care…grow up folks….

    As for the Obama haters on here…deal with it!!!!!!!

    There are a whole lot of people who blindly support Obama simply because of his race and the fact that he's an eloquent speaker when in front of a teleprompter, yet have no clue whatsoever about any of the issues and what he stands for. Those people (which may or may not be you) need to become educated on those issues. We Republicans happen to very strongly disagree with his policies and what he stands for. So, no, we do not have to, and will not, just "deal with it".

    June 2, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  21. Teleprompter of the U.S.A.

    These people are incompetent. This coming right on the heels of not inviting the QoE to the celebrations at Normandy.

    June 2, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  22. honest Ab

    CNN – You are becoming the National Inquirer. You stir up to much gossip; the he say and she say school ground foolishness. Please post real news and stop acting like busy bodies looking for a cat fight.

    June 2, 2009 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  23. Thomas

    Ed June 2nd, 2009 4:11 pm ET

    I think she has an open invitation to sit on Mr. T's lap.

    You are a complete idiot.

    June 2, 2009 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  24. Lynda/Minnesota


    Your sources are?

    June 2, 2009 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    @ MathewDetroit, who said "You claim war crimes but cant actually name any single facts."

    Sigh. Here's the thing: your precious GOP and neocon brethren aren't arguing that Gitmo didn't exist, that extraordinary rendition didn't happen, that the detainees weren't treated to waterboarding, lack of representation and no fair trial. Those are all FACTS. The argument is over whether they constitute crimes against our country's laws and international law. They quite clearly do, but you see, the Bush admin had its DOJ cook up some tongue-in-cheek legal memos pretending to elaborate on scenarios in which holding people with no representation or trial doesn't violate human rights (i.e., "as long as you're scared enough, then you get to do whatever you want") or torture wouldn't constitute torture ("as long as a doctor is present violating the Hippocratic Oath and you pretend that it's all medical-like"). Claiming we don't have facts is insipid. The fact is, both sides agree on the facts...they disagree on what they mean.

    June 2, 2009 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
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