TAPPER: Does the president consider the remarks in the story, from General McChrystal and his aides, insubordination?
GIBBS: I think the president is looking forward to speaking with General McChrystal about those remarks.
TAPPER: Can you characterize at all the president's reaction to hearing that aides to McChrystal called Vice President Biden "Bite me"; a McChrystal adviser said Obama clearly didn't know anything about McChrystal when they first met; here's the guy who's going to run his F'ing war; he didn't seem very engaged; the boss was pretty disappointed?
GIBBS: He'll have his undivided attention tomorrow.
TAPPER: Does the president dispute the characterization that he wasn't engaged in his first meeting with General McChrystal?
GIBBS: We look forward to — the president looks forward to speaking with him tomorrow about what's in that article. We owe — every member of this team, from the commanding general to anybody that works in this building, to anybody that works in the State Department or throughout the Pentagon — we owe it to, as I said earlier, the men and women that are fighting there to implement the policy that each agree to. Without a doubt, General McChrystal, as Secretary Gates has said, has made an enormous mistake, a mistake that he'll get a chance to talk about and answer to tomorrow, to both officials in the Pentagon and to the commander in chief.
TAPPER: Does the president still have confidence that General McChrystal can run this war?
GIBBS: We should wait and see what the outcome of that meeting is.
PETER MAER, CBS RADIO: Robert, you spoke a couple of times about what's owed to the people who are serving over there. What should people put in harm's way make of their commander taking these kinds of shots at the commander-in-chief and — and the comments made by his close aides about the vice president, about General Jones, about Ambassador Eikenberry, and others?
GIBBS: Look, we — I think anybody that reads that article understands, as Secretary Gates talked about, what an enormous mistake this was, given the fact that mothers and fathers all over this country are sending their children halfway across the world to participate in this. They need to know that the structure — the structure where they're sending their children is one that is capable and mature enough in prosecuting a war as important as Afghanistan is to our national security. I think that is one of the things that the president will look to discuss tomorrow …
TAPPER: Can I just follow up on a question? You've said that — you've said that the — the parents of soldiers need to be sure that the command structure in Afghanistan is capable and mature enough to lead. Did I hear you correctly? You're — so you're questioning whether General McChrystal is capable and mature enough to — for this job he has?
GIBBS: You had my quote right.
TAPPER: A judge in New Orleans just ruled to — to block President Obama's moratorium on offshore drilling. I wonder if you — if you — this was anticipated. I was wondering if you had any response.
GIBBS: We will immediately appeal to — to the Fifth Circuit. The president strongly believes, as the Department of Interior and the Department of Justice argued yesterday, that continuing to drill at these depths without knowing what happened is — does not make any sense and puts the safety of those involved — potentially puts safety of those on the rigs and safety of the environment in the gulf at a danger that the president does not believe we can afford right now.
- Jake Tapper