Gibbs Won't Take Back Criticism of 'Professional Left'

Gibbs said frustration to blame for comments against liberal critics.

ByABC News
August 11, 2010, 5:05 PM

Aug. 11, 2010 — -- White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs refused to take back his harsh words for what he called the "professional left," the liberal critics who think that President Barack Obama has sold out his ideals in order to make deals.

At today's White House press briefing, Gibbs opened his mouth to prove, he said, that his foot was not inside when he made controversial comments to The Hill newspaper on Tuesday.

"I have both my feet firmly planted on the floor and nothing in my mouth, to speak of," Gibbs said.

Gibbs is in hot water after "The Hill" newspaper published comments scolding liberal critics by saying, "I hear these people saying he's like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested."

Gibbs added that liberal critics "will be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we've eliminated the Pentagon. That's not a reality."

In the press briefing today, Gibbs said Tuesday's comments were "born out of frustration."

The press secretary blamed his addiction to cable TV for losing his cool. Many on the left have voiced frustration for President Obama on seemingly every issue from health care reform to the war in Afghanistan.

Democratic Party Chairman Howard Dean called the health care reform bill an "insurance company's dream."

The administration has taken flak for not being decisive on gay rights.

"That's the president's position, clear as mud," television host Rachel Maddow has said.

Polls show that President Obama still enjoys the overwhelming support of liberals, but on ABC News' "Top Line" today, liberal blogger Jane Hamsher said that the president may be taking the left for granted.

"He just sort of assumed that these people would stick with him, but he's having trouble across the board by not delivering for his constituents," Hamsher said.