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November 3rd, 2009
11:47 AM ET

Robert Gibbs is adviser, friend and mouthpiece for Obama

By Dan Lothian, CNN White House Correspondent

Washington (CNN) - In the tight circle that surrounds President Obama, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs is in the inner bubble.

He's the 3 a.m. wake-up call when North Korea fires a test missile, or when the Nobel committee picks the president for the top award.

"Trust me, it is a job I would gladly give to anybody who would volunteer," Gibbs said.

Or would he?

After all, he's an adviser, a friend and a mouthpiece for the administration with more access than recent press secretaries.

"I can walk in and ask him a question at any given time, pick up the phone and talk to him about anything at any given time. I think [that] makes my job easier," Gibbs said in an exclusive interview with CNN.

The president and the press secretary first connected in 2004 when Obama was a virtual unknown outside of Chicago, Illinois, and was campaigning for the U.S. Senate. They clicked and grew close, leading Obama to tell the Wall Street Journal in a 2008 interview, "Robert is the guy I want in the foxhole with me during incoming fire. If I'm wrong, he challenges me. He's not intimidated by me."

Gibbs chuckled while recalling the comment and quipped, "That is when we called him 'Senator' or by his first name."

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soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. gloria lewis

    Why dont all the people that are fighting the health ,like all the government officials ,all the people on medicaid and all those who work for government give up their health benefits .People are so stupid and hypocrite they not realize what they are saying .They dont want the government to run healthcare but they have it .
    Nothing in this country will change the average person has no voice the only ones that are being heard is the ones with the money .When are the lowerclass going to matter ,

    November 5, 2009 at 8:12 am |
  2. Mitchell

    Gibbs is a priviliged liberal and a propagandist mouth piece for a inept administration. Should not he be totally believed by CNN and all the other mindless sheep.

    November 4, 2009 at 4:08 pm |
  3. Serene

    I didn't know where to place this but I just listened to CNN and it reported Sen. Hilary Clinton is in Egypt as part of her Middle East tour.CNN is world leader in News and Egypt is not in the Middle East as is the perception given in how the news was reported.Egypt is in Africa but shares a close border with the Middle East akin to USA and Canada.I believe reporters should have a good knowledge of Geography.A lot of people learn all they know about the world from the news.Thanks.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:29 am |
  4. kelli

    I love robert gibbs !!! I'm glad he's loyal to the president.

    November 4, 2009 at 11:16 am |
  5. jennifer

    Gibbs is indeed a trusted friend. He has to defend a highly overrated president, who has yet to achieve what he promised during the presidential campaign. I am not sure who would believe what he said as so many times he appeared to be a joker rather than a spokeperson. Unless you are really sucked up by Obama, you would not take Gibbs seriously.

    November 4, 2009 at 9:54 am |
  6. Terry, TX

    He is a joke.....number one propagandist for the Chicago machine.

    November 4, 2009 at 7:58 am |
  7. Paul Diczok

    I too would like Gibbs to be in foxhole when there is incoming...

    November 3, 2009 at 7:05 pm |
  8. Robert Don Meek, Jr

    Gibbs does not impress me as being that smart to be an "advisor" to Obama about anything, IMHO, my useless, unsolicited 1 & 1/2 cents worth, being what it is.

    November 3, 2009 at 6:45 pm |
  9. Darko

    gag me...

    I've never seen a press secretary get away with more "non-answers" or even outright lies that he gives. He gets upset when given a tough question and is always twisting Obama's 'mis-speaking' to say something entirely different to cover his butt.

    When given a tough question he answers with a meaningless analogy with absolutely no relation to the question or simply throws out a typical straw man argument along with a talking point...just like his boss. Then he smirks and looks for his softball tossing 'journalists' in the crowd.

    The face...or mouthpiece of this administration is embarrassing.

    November 3, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  10. gpmcfall

    Why do we even need this guy. He is not the president. He is not able to give a straight answer on any subject. He sits behind a podium and dodges questions that should be addressed by the president. The president doesn't need a loyal spokes person. It already has MSNBC.

    November 3, 2009 at 1:45 pm |