October 16th, 2009
04:06 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama aide fires back at Beck over Mao remarks

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/10/16/beck.dunn/art.dunn.gi.jpg caption="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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