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. Teleprompter of the U.S.A.

    It does look like a slight, however President Obama called and apologized for it. Mrs. Reagan acceptedhis apology. Can you picture "W" ever saying he was wrong, let alone saying he was sorry for anyything?

    If he did that's about the 1st thing he has accepted responsibility for. Every time I see him he is blaming someone else for something.

    He blames the economy on Bush. (Democrats were the impetus – all Obama cronies were in Fannie and Freddie and then became financial advisors to Obama).
    He tried to blame most of the deficit in 2009 on Bush, but sorry, Obama you quadrupled the deficit. The increase from 480 billion to over 2 trillion is all you, buddy.
    He passed the blame of the airplane NYC flyover.
    He passed the blame of the bonuses to AIG on to Geithner or whoever. They all knew about the bonuses and Dodd even admitted it.

    This guy lives by the motto "The buck stops everywhere but here."

    June 2, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Audie

    Obama seems to "overlook" a lot of things as Prez.

    June 2, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  3. Big Ed

    'Yo Thomas – put down the pipe! Your starting to sound like a Ditto Head!

    June 2, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    reagan was the president who started the war against the unions. he should see what's happening now i'm sure he would be very happy. i am so sad to see what our country has done and how the almighty dollar rules our country. we need unions as a balance so corporate america cannot be a dictatorship and continue letting this country be a true democratic united states of america. we shall overcome some day.

    June 2, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. Lynda/Minnesota


    Flawed intelligence, flawed war.

    June 2, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. donttreadonme

    Hold up ...Bush signed a law that prevented any further use of Tax payer funds to create additional EMBRYONIC stem cells for research.

    They were able to use the EMBRYONIC stem cells already created and the ones created by private funding.

    Adult stem cells were always in play and this is the only area where any progress has been found. EMBRYONIC stem cells have provided NO progress!

    June 2, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. No Hillary = No Obama

    Yeah right! Obama's arrogance will be his undoing.

    June 2, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. MatthewDetroit

    Since you are not that smart and have not had a math class here is a little lesson.
    Baracks daddy has $5.00.
    Barack takes his daddys credit card and buys $50,000 worth of new merchandise.
    Baracks daddy is now $49,995 dollars in debt plus interest.
    By the way Baracks daddy lost his job and cant pay the interest.
    That is what debt is my friend.
    Barack ran up an additional 1.9 trillion on daddy and the year is not over. He is adding an additional 30 billion to GM.

    June 2, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. DAN

    If you could somehow put a tax on "phony outrage" the right wingers would single-handedly bring us back to a budget surplus....

    June 2, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Teleprompter of the U.S.A.

    Well, anonymous, I bet you're real happy that Obama just made a bunch of UAW execs millionaires with all that money they gave to GM that just disappeared.

    The stench of corruption is overwhelming and the Obama lemmings just lap it up with a smile.

    June 2, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  11. strong

    Slight or no slight, this lady (Nancy) is in her final years, she has gone thru alot in her lifetime. She may have done some not-so-nice things, but overall she is a good person. She deserves respect, and she has does some good work in the past. Bravo, Nancy!

    June 2, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. donttreadonme

    While Bushed may have never apologized Obama apologizes for everything.

    Sorry that we are Americans and our right to exist and way of life goes against the teachings of Muhammad. If we were more considerate we would change our society to make your feel better about us.

    June 2, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  13. Larry

    Teleprompter of the U.S.A.........You are a self centered bigotted right wing racist

    June 2, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  14. Oregonian

    Had it been President Reagan himself it would've been newsworthy but she is an ex-first lady (not to be disrespectful) and didn't make it happen during her day as the acting first lady or the following republican presidental administrations. As a citizen I don't care who was there, I only care that it was signed; it didn't have to be a political opportunity (too bad she seen it that way).

    CNN, get real, did you get bought out by the Enquirer? Between this and the Obama New York date, you must really be running out of interesting topics and aim to create controversy and rumors.

    June 2, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  15. Teleprompter of the U.S.A.

    After reading the blogs for this article – no wonder why our country is falling apart. Too much hate spewed between us, too much greed run amuck with our politicians, and too much "spinning." If we pull our heads out of the sand maybe then we will all be able to save this country.


    Started by the Democrats in 2000. They just could not get over the fact that Gore lost fair and square so they tried to steal the election and when that didn't work, they whined for 8 years that Bush stole the election.

    Even after it was proven that he did not steal the election and that the blame for trying to steal the election landed squarely in Democrats' court and more specifically the Florida Supreme Court that played partisan politics in cherrypicking Democratic strongholds to be recounted. The USSC said, "Um, no, you can't do that." and it was on.

    A USSC that never sided with Bush for anything in 8 years cheated and put Bush into office was the argument, disregarding all facts.

    So, thank the Democrats. It's been 8 years of BS politics because of their hatred and bitterness over 2000.

    June 2, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. MatthewDetroit

    The intelligence may have been flawed and in that you can attest that the war was flawed.
    But you must say that your entire congress and senate of geniuses also agreed to this war.

    June 2, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota


    Sorry, but it is Coleman who wants the votes to count for all those in Minnesota whose votes weren't able to be validated, not Al. Hence, the Coleman saga lawsuit.

    June 2, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  18. Teleprompter of the U.S.A.

    If you could somehow put a tax on "phony outrage" the right wingers would single-handedly bring us back to a budget surplus….

    That tax on Democrats would make every single person in the U.S. a millionaire.

    June 2, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  19. Teleprompter of the U.S.A.

    Oh course, I have no proof on what I just said.

    Also, I'm ok with all the oil execs that became Billionaires because of my President Bush!

    June 2, 2009 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  20. David

    It's good to see that people from opposite ends of the political spectrum can work together. We need this kind of bipartisanship to meet the huge challenges that await us. For instance, we should use collective action to more intensely address severe poverty around the world. The Borgen Project has good info on the estimated cost of ending global poverty:

    $30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.

    $550 billion: U.S. Defense budget.

    June 2, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  21. Andy

    Who fired the Air Traffic controllrs, when they strike for better working conditons,and made the skies unsafe

    June 2, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  22. MatthewDetroit

    In case most of you dont understand...
    The goverment was not spending money on Additional stem cell lines for research.
    This did not in any way stop private business from funding research.
    It is not like Barack solved anything.
    He simply has no morals and such no moral compass.
    He has no mercy on the weak.
    He is a politician and an activist.
    He does not value human life.
    The guy believes in late term abortions much like most of the left wing, but they sure like to save spotted owls, and baby seals.

    June 2, 2009 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  23. Teleprompter of the U.S.A.

    Teleprompter of the U.S.A………You are a self centered bigotted right wing racist

    Ad Hominem attacks will get you everywhere with your pseudo-enlightened liberal friends.

    June 2, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  24. magella

    Forgive me for not caring whether Obama "slighted" a First Lady from the 1980s.

    And forgive me for not caring that our new president uses a teleprompter. The same technology was available to Bush, who either couldn't read or wasn't smart enough to use it. On the other hand, I'm kind of glad we have gems like "is our children learning" and "fool me once, shame on me...fool me twice, we won't get fooled again" as a legacy of his administration.

    June 2, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  25. Big Ed

    "Teleprompter of the USA" Wow – Where in the world did you get all this cool "information"? It's wrong but Rush would love it. Seek counseling soon!

    June 2, 2009 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
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