“There are reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do, and this is not a time for remarks like that; there never is.” — White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer, September 26, 2001
Question: Good afternoon. Robert, there’s a church in Gainesville, Florida, that says it’s going to go ahead and burn copies of the Koran to mark the 9/11 anniversary. Is the White House — is there anything the White House is doing to discourage that or prevent them from going ahead with that?
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs: Well, look, I think the best place to look for the views of this administration would be to look at the — look at what General Petraeus said over the weekend. We know that that type of activity — we know that that type of activity is being transmitted back to places like Afghanistan, when General Petraeus obviously is our lead commander. As he said, it puts our troops in harm’s way. And obviously that — any type of activity like that would be — that puts our troops in harm’s way would be a concern to this administration.
Watch what liberals and conservatives say. Watch what they do. Will the conservatives who defended George W. Bush’s press secretary lambaste Barack Obama’s press secretary? Will the liberals who tore into Ari Fleischer for squelching free speech now give David Gibbs a pass for just the same sort of comment? Or, unexpectedly, will consistency rule the day?