There’s a friendly wager going on today between W.H. Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and Urban Radio Network’s April Ryan over this question on the president’s push for health care reform: Did Gibbs ever say Obama wouldn’t personally go somewhere (like Capitol Hill) because he didn’t have a home field advantage?
“I never insinuated the President wouldn’t go somewhere because he didn’t have an advantage,” Gibbs told Ryan in the morning gaggle on Wednesday.
“No you did…in the briefing you said that,” Ryan hastily replied.
” I will — I’ll give you $20 if you can find that in the transcript,” Gibbs said.
“Make it $50,” Ryan snapped back.
“Okay, you’re on,” Gibbs said. “I’d like three $20s and a $10, please.”
And so, this morning the White House pulled the transcript from a Gibbs briefing in July that backed up their claim.
“Let’s just say this,” Gibbs said in the briefing last month. “I don’t know that a member of Congress with the President is going to bring up a different set of causes or concerns based on where exactly that meeting is held. I do think that people that come here are serious about talking to the president about health reform, just as they would be if we were sitting in their office. I don’t think there’s necessarily a home field advantage on any of that.”
Both Gibbs and Ryan are claiming victory. And a panel of journalists is now convening to choose who gets the 50 bucks. Congress Daily’s George Condon, Bloomberg’s Ed Chen and Helen Thomas are the judges. — Amie Parnes (12:02 p.m.)