It’s a different kind of political football — politicians on both sides of the aisle speaking out against the blown call made in Monday night’s NFL game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks.
President Obama today called the outcome of the game “terrible,” after a controversial call by the referees cost the Packers a win.
“I’ve been saying for months, we’ve got to get our refs back,” Obama said in response to a question from ABC News. He was referring to the use of replacement referees during an ongoing league lock-out of official crews.
He made the remarks upon returning to the White House from a two-day trip to New York City for the U.N. General Assembly.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told CNN he really wants to see refs with experience back on the field soon.
Earlier in the day, the NFL acknowledged that the refs botched the late-game call that Seattle’s “hail Mary” touchdown pass was complete. But the league declined to overturn the victory.
White House spokesman Jay Carney said Obama believes there was “a real problem with the call.”
“He said that what happened in that game is a perfect example of why both sides need to come together and resolve their differences so that refs can get back on the field,” Carney told reporters on board Air Force One.
Both sides in the lock-out met Tuesday to try to resolve the dispute, but solution did not appear imminent.
Earlier in the day Paul Ryan also complained about the call, but he then drew a political analogy, arguing that the Obama administration has acted like the replacement refs.
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, an outspoken opponent of organized labor, took to Twitter to express frustration with the ongoing labor dispute between the NFL and the locked out union referees.
“After catching a few hours of sleep, the #Packers game is still just as painful. #Returntherealrefs,” Walker tweeted.
Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, who failed in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, also took to twitter, knocking the NFL for standing by the call.
“Anyone watching the reruns last night could tell it was an interception not a touchdown. How could the nfl justify such a bad call,” he tweeted.
And in a rare moment of agreement between notorious adversaries, Clinton agreed with Gingrich’s analysis of the call, saying on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” “I would not have called that last play the way they did in that Seattle-Green Bay game last night. The Packers will wake up this morning and just sort of shake their heads and say, ‘We should have won by two touchdowns.’”