Today’s Q’s for O’s WH – 3/1/2010

By Matt Loffman

Mar 1, 2010 3:11pm

TAPPER:  Last month, the president told Diane Sawyer that not having health care negotiations be more public with C-SPAN cameras was a mistake because he had campaigned on process just as he'd campaigned on the substance of health care reform. And I'm just wondering if, going forward, given that there's going to be furious lobbying to get 216 votes in the House and 51 votes in the Senate, are you guys planning on any additional steps in the name of transparency, whether it's releasing names of members of Congress that the president or Mr. Emanuel or whoever reach out to? Is there anything you guys are planning on doing to — in the name of the — the form you had last Thursday, to continue that kind of transparency?  Or are there additional steps you're planning on taking?
  
GIBBS:  I can check.  I don't know the answer to that.

TAPPER:  OK.  And then in terms of the president's health report, I know that he was given basically a clean bill of health, but there was some talk about his…cholesterol being a little higher and the smoking cessation needing to continue.  Is there anything for all of the Americans who are struggling with both cholesterol and cigarettes that you or the president wanted to say about either of those?
  
GIBBS:  Well, his — his — I think it's the bad cholesterol measure was slightly elevated from where it had been previously.  I think the doctor had told me that — that, obviously, he's a few years older from when it was last measured.  And I think, candidly, if you asked him, the diet of, first and foremost, a campaign is not as conducive — we were all living and, thankfully, breathing examples of that. I think he would be also the first to tell you that he — he has probably had a few more cheeseburgers, and I think he would admittedly tell you he's had more desserts in the last — in the last year than I've — I've seen him eat prior to this.  So…
  
TAPPER:  Because of the more — more fancy events or because he has his own kitchen?…

GIBBS:  I think that — look, I think most people will tell you that, if it's available, you're more likely to — you're more likely to eat it.  And I think he's had more access to sweets and desserts in the past year than he — look, those guys make good desserts over there.  And I think he's on more than one occasion sampled more than he needed to. The good news is the — the number is only slightly above where the doctor would like to see it.  So we — we were talking on the helicopter on the way back that he probably had to push away from the table when the pie came more than he had in the previous year.  

Look, on — on the smoking, the president continues to chew nicotine gum.  And, you know, I pointed many of you and I'd point you to the comments he made in June of — I think in this room in June of last year that, while he's quit smoking, he is — occasionally falls off — off the wagon when it comes to that, and — like many who have struggled with kicking that habit.
  
TAPPER:  Is it more difficult because this is probably the most stressful year he's ever had, I would assume?

GIBBS:  Yes, I mean, I can't imagine that that helps.  But, look, I think he — the — you know, the doctor, obviously — you saw in the report, he — he, as I said, continues to chew the gum and continues to both work hard at it as well as — as struggle with it probably each and every day.

-jpt

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