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White House Responds to GOP Rep's 'Socialism' SOTU Tweet


This year's State of the Union lacked the rhetorical fireworks of 2010's, as Justice Samuel Alito declined his invitation and Rep. Joe "You Lie!" Wilson listened quietly in a bipartisan seating arrangement.

While Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wisc., delivered the GOP rebuttal and Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., offered the tea party response, perhaps the closest thing to 2011's "You Lie" moment was when Rep. Paul Broun, R-Ga., tweeted from his House office his own critique: "Mr. President, you don't believe in the Constitution," he wrote. "You believe in socialism."

On Wednesday, Mediaite asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs for a reaction to Broun's tweet:

Paul Broun, a Republican from Georgia last night, tweeted during the State of the Union that — accusing the President of not believing in the Constitution, also not — and also believing in socialism. What does it say about the call for civility last night that the President was calling for?

MR. GIBBS: Look, again, I think we will be judged going forward on our ability to sit down and work together on not just sitting near each other or next to each other for an evening, but whether or not today we can get about the process of — and for the next year — getting about the process of finding some concrete solutions to the problems that we know we face.

We’re going to visit a few companies today in Manitowoc that are meeting many of these challenges. They’re competing for — they’re competing against the world in clean energy manufacturing. They’re hiring. They’re investing. And I think all of that is — all of that is what we should spend our time thinking about and worrying about and, quite frankly, the bulk of our time working together to address.

When asked by CBS News if he stood by his tweets, Broun admitted Wednesday that "personal attacks... are probably not good for the country," but stood by his characterization of President Obama and his underlying philosophy.

"Mr. Obama believes in central government where the federal government controls everything in our lives," Broun said. "That's socialism."

Broun's overall assessment of Obama's SOTU: "Good speech-but long on hope and short on reality."

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