Senior Obama campaign adviser Robert Gibbs on Sunday defended the president's plan to appear on ABC's "The View" while skipping any private meetings with world leaders gathered in New York this week for the United Nations General Assembly.
Appearing on "Fox News Sunday," Gibbs told host Chris Wallace he has "no problem" with Obama's decision to swap one-on-one meetings with his foreign counterparts for a joint appearance with first lady Michelle Obama on the daytime talk show. The Associated Press described such sessions as "where much of the U.N. works gets done" and said Obama was leaving Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to handle more of them.
"You say that he’s got schedules, that foreign leaders have schedules," Wallace said. "He has time for Whoopi Goldberg but he doesn’t have time for world leaders?"
Gibbs, the former White House press secretary, insisted Obama would be "actively involved" in the U.N. proceedings, to which Wallace said Obama was "giving a speech."
"Chris, they have telephones in the White House," Gibbs said. "Last week, he talked to the president of Egypt. He talked to the leader in Libya. We don't need a meeting in Washington just to confer with leaders. We’ve got a strong -- "
"But he does need the time to be on 'The View'?" Wallace interjected.
Attempting to flip the conversation, Gibbs said he was sure that if the president was doing an interview with him on Fox, Wallace would "have no problem with that."
“Well, he hasn't, but that’s not the point," Wallace countered. Asking whether Gibbs truly has no problem with Obama's plan, Gibbs replied in the affirmative.
"Chris, you’re the president of the United States every minute of every day," Gibbs said. "This isn’t just about one meeting on one particular day in New York. The president is actively involved and engaged in the most dangerous place in the world every single day of the week.”