While appearing on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopoulos, David Plouffe, President Barack Obama’s senior advisor and 2008 campaign manager, laid into Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich for his remarks scolding the president’s comments on the tragic death of Florida teen Trayvon Martin:
“Those comments are reprehensible. You know, Speaker Gingrich is clearly in the last throes of his political career. And, you know, you can make a decision about whether to go out with some shred of dignity, or say these irresponsible, reckless things, and he’s clearly chosen the latter path, and that’s unfortunate to the country.”
On Friday, President Obama commented on the Sandford, Florida, case involving the shooting death of an unarmed African-American 17-year-old. As the details and investigation surrounding the case are still in dispute, the president did not delve into specifics, but commented that if he had a son, “he would look like Trayvon,” and that he can “only imagine what these parents are going through.”
During an interview on Sean Hannity’s radio show Friday, Gingrich expressed disgust towards the president’s remarks.
“Is the president suggesting if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it wouldn’t look like him?” Gingrich said Friday. “That’s just nonsense. I mean, dividing this country up, it is a tragedy this young man was shot.”
Plouffe commended Obama’s remarks on the tragedy, blasting Gingrich on ABC Sunday for comments that the senior adviser described as out-of-pace with the majority of bipartisan reaction to the Florida case.
In a separate interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” host Candy Crowley asked for Plouffe’s reaction to the Gingrich comments as well as remarks made by Rick Santorum regarding the way the President responded to the Trayvon Martin case.
“And then, this, it is — again, politicizing it. This is, again, not what the presidents of the United States do” Santorum said in clip played on CNN regarding the president’s reaction to the Martin case. “What the president of the United States should do is try to bring people together, not use these types of horrible tragic individual cases to try to drive a wedge in America. ”
Plouffe said on CNN Sunday in response to the Santorum and Gingrich remarks:
‘I don’t think there’s very many people in America that would share that reaction. You know, this is – this Republican primary at some points has been more of a circus show, a clown show. And those two comments are really irresponsible. I would consider them reprehensible.
I think the president spoke movingly about this tragedy, as a father, made it clear that there’s an investigation going on. So I think those comments were really hard to stomach, really, and I guess trying to appeal to people’s worst instincts.’
Crowley noted earlier in the program that all of the Republican presidential candidates said the Sandford incident was a tragedy, needs to be further looked into, and shouldn’t have happened.
Plouffe’s full interview on “This Week”: