October 26th, 2010
06:19 PM ET
10 years ago

Obama won't ditch car metaphor

Washington (CNN) –We don't know the make or model of the car President Obama and Democrats say they've been trying to push out of the ditch, but at least we know what's on the bumper. "Look, there's, there's an Obama bumper sticker on the car. We get that," said White House spokesman Robert Gibbs in response to a question from CNN.

Gibbs was attempting to illustrate that President Obama is taking responsibility for fixing the economy.

That new addition to a metaphor President Obama has repeated over and over again on the campaign trail to sharpen his economic message was akin to throwing a softball at Republicans. They quickly swung for the fences.

Former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin tweeted "classic admittance [sic: admission]….Um, that's been our point."

In an email sent around to reporters from the Republican National Committee, another jab at the top White House aide. "Robert Gibbs admits that the President's famous 'car in the ditch' has an Obama bumper sticker on it," read the message under a large bold title: "They said it!"

Republicans have argued it's the Obama administration policies that are keeping the economy on a dangerous course.

One top Republican said the White House needs to stop pointing fingers at the past and fix the economy, which is now the Obama administration's problem.

The ever morphing metaphor has a car driven into a ditch by Republicans, the President and Democrats trying to push it out, and Republicans either sitting in the back seat, standing around sipping Slurpees, fanning themselves or kicking dirt in Mr. Obama's face.

Asked about the danger of this campaign message sounding like a broken record, Gibbs replied that "the record of the last eight years was pretty broken."

"We don't want to walk away from that. That's what got us into this mess…I think the president will continue to talk about it," he said.

Filed under: 2010 • President Obama
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. phoenix86

    The car was drivin by the democrats. It doesn't matter what is on the bumper. What America needs is a new driver.

    October 26, 2010 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  2. Barry

    This administration is a disaster.

    October 26, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  3. Mark Michigan

    the car analogy works. i have always used the titanic analogy. republicans caused two recessions and doubled the national debt to put the titanic american economy on its way underwater. the democrats took over and now the ocean liner is no longer sinking. why would anyone want a republican back in charge of the american economy?

    October 26, 2010 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  4. Terace Greene

    Mr. Lothian it is not a journalists job to add their opinion. I find the article not informative but filled with your view. I realize your the author, however it is up to the reader to come with their own conclusions. The fault isn't just yours it's also CNN & the rest of the so called news media.

    October 26, 2010 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  5. Moontree

    Thanks for the "help" Obama – I think you have now totaled that car.

    October 26, 2010 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |
  6. Alexander

    Slogans won't fix what's wrong, only for the two parties working TOGETHER with the President not against him. He's not a magician, no president is.

    October 26, 2010 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  7. Four and The Door

    The Obama Administration changes their perspective to suit the needs of the day. For instance, when they were foaming at the mouth trying to get $1 trillion from the American Taxpayer's credit card, Gibbs, Obama, Pelosi and Reid were all about how this was going to revive the economy, bring the unemployment down and put 4 million Americans back to work. In fact, Obama himself said at the time that if it didn't work, he knew he would never get a second term.

    You would think that was when they would stop talking about the Bush years. But you would be wrong. That's all they got.

    October 26, 2010 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  8. diridi

    let me explain, they push Nisan leaf, or Chevrolet cobalt..or any fuel-efficient cars...then, Saudi cry for GOP bribes...and GOP get mud in their mouths, GOP thugs will learn the lesson in a hard way....Yes, I will vote for Barak Hussain Obama for 2012...I am telling to the nation, this president cares for the people and nation....Go vote for Dems...Do not listen to Florida Old idiots...they are selfish iditos...o.k...they do not care for the nation...Go and vote for Dem if you have ethics, and brain...Millioners are giving bribes to GOP thus....

    October 26, 2010 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  9. LacrosseMom(real one)

    Good, because the car metaphor is CORRECT! A mere ........22......... months........ago....... our Nation was on the brink of the 2nd Great Depression after ........ EIGHT YEARS of the Republican president......... and 12 years of a Republican controlled Congress (both House & Senate 1995-2007)!

    WHO is their right mind would give back power the the Party of NO new ideas, NO solutions?

    Each day the Teapublicans make fools out of themselves, and I wonder are these the best candidates the Republicans have to offer America?

    In NOvember vote NO for the Party of NO!

    October 26, 2010 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  10. D. Bunker

    Gibbs is right. There is no need to "gin up excitement among the Democratic base" given that most sane and rational Americans now see what's at stake as faceless millionaires, billionaires and foreign interests try to buy the election for the American Taliban. Average hard working Americans have seen the light, and recognize that the GOBP is a desperate cult, and rather than admit their articles of faith, such as deregulation, tax cuts for the ultrarich and unfair global trade, are PROVEN FAILURES, these nutjob extremists instead are seeking to spread their darkness of ignorance, fear, lies, and hate. We are the light, and our votes will send the teatards scuttling away, like cockroaches from the light. The Party of NO has no plan, no valid ideas and certainly no concern for Main St. America. They are massively out of touch with the poor and working class. We know this, and will vote accordingly.

    October 26, 2010 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  11. Yanni

    Why this guy is still in politics? I have no idea... His politics is obviously toxic to America. What good he has done in his life? Except plotting obstruction, division, planting hate and exploiting people emotion for personal gain. He was the impediment of America progress in the 90s. Here he comes again exuding his toxic politics.

    October 26, 2010 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  12. Sandra

    President is doing a good job. People don't talk about the good that he is doing.There are some.who said he did 2 much 2 soon & other said he hasn't done enough.

    October 26, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  13. DC Johnny

    The last eight years, Mr. Gibbs? I'm glad you've finally admitted that it wasn't the first 6 years under Bush, but the last 4 years under the Democratic Congressional rule. Thanks.

    October 26, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  14. jules sand-perkins

    Republicans did not drive the car into the ditch.
    Obama didn't drive it there, either.
    But Obama can't pull it out with his kind of Marxist thinking, which IS what put the car in the ditch over a period of about ninety years.
    Only conservative thinking–and some heartless decisions regarding persons dependent on monthly government checks–can pull the car, which was originally a Rolls-Royce, out of the ditch.
    There is a possibility that it will just stay in the ditch forever, if communists and union leaders get their way.

    October 26, 2010 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. Joey

    If Bush got the car in the ditch, thenObama has completely destroyed the car!

    October 26, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  16. The Queen

    Everyone needs to resolve any & all political & personal issues individually & as a whole, & stop expecting one person to do all the work himself or at least give it a try!

    October 26, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  17. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Why do you want to put the car in 'D' when it's pointed towards a cliff?

    October 26, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  18. malclave

    "We don't know the make or model of the car President Obama and Democrats say they've been trying to push out of the ditch"

    Actually, we do... it's a 2007 Government Motors. Registration is messed up... it shows as belonging to both Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. They tried filing off the VIN to hide their ownership, but it didn't work.

    October 26, 2010 07:42 pm at 7:42 pm |
  19. GuyinVA

    Pulling that car out of the ditch was a great idea. Driving it off a cliff? Not so smart.

    October 26, 2010 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  20. Sherri W.W.

    I believe that the "car in the ditch"is as good a way as any,to describe where the Republicans left us all in 2008!~and I too,wonder why in the world ANYBODY would want to to give those keys back,so they can do it again~especially now,when things might just get better and they will put gridlock on everything!NO ANSWERS~And NO CARING FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS! VOTE NO! to REPUBS&TEa party ~all of the same bunch! All Alike!

    October 26, 2010 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  21. George of the jungle

    they can't stand when you hammer back the repos are a bunch of liers and if the win a majority in November we will only go back to their broken adgenda. Vote them out

    October 26, 2010 08:28 pm at 8:28 pm |
  22. Squigman

    Any person that can remember the years from 2001, to 2009, can surely see who was driving the car as it hit the ditch, and headed off a cliff. Is it going to take a little more time to pull the car up from the bottom of the cliff, and redirect it to the road, where people are working and businesses are profitable? the answer is yes. If you're sick of your situation, you can thank a republican for putting you there. Now there are people working upon your behalf, and some of you believe in the republicans. The republican party is solely responsible for this mess, especially the republican led senate and congress of 1996, to 2006.

    October 26, 2010 08:33 pm at 8:33 pm |
  23. Right Leaning Independent

    Hey Gibbs, I thought all those cars with Obama bumper stickers were removed from the road with the cash for clunkers money grab!!!

    October 26, 2010 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  24. George of the jungle

    vote I vote in every election the only way we will be heard. don't let these crazy right wing nut jobs win this one. Look how thet act and how they talk . this mess didn't just happen. Vote the repos out.

    October 26, 2010 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  25. Don

    Obama and the Democrats plan for getting the car out of the ditch focused on digging a deeper hole hoping they'd find a road underneath it.

    October 26, 2010 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
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