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What the Hell Is Going On Here?': Woodward Escalates His War With the White House


"I think peoples’ heads are about to explode about all of this."

Watergate reporters Carl Bernstein, left, and Bob Woodward sit in the newsroom of the Washington Post, May 7, 1973. (AP File photo)

Bob Woodward on Wednesday accused President Barack Obama of acting with a "kind of madness" in his handling of the automatic spending cuts set to take effect Friday.

Woodward, credited with bringing down Richard Nixon along with fellow Washington Post reporter Carl Bernstein, appeared on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" to discuss his ongoing war of words with the White House over its handling of the impending sequester.

“I think peoples’ heads are about to explode about all of this, you know, what the hell is going on here?” Woodward said Wednesday. “I’m not sure the White House understands exactly what happened in all of these negotiation at the end of 2011 with the sequester and the super committee, because they were really on the sidelines.”

He continued, turning his attention to the White House's recent claim that spending cuts would prohibit it from deploying aircraft carriers to the Persian Gulf.

“Can you imagine Ronald Reagan sitting there and saying ‘Oh, by the way, I can’t do this because of some budget document?’” Woodward said.

“Or George W. Bush saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to invade Iraq because I can’t get the aircraft carriers I need’ or even Bill Clinton saying, ‘You know, I’m not going to attack Saddam Hussein’s intelligence headquarters,’ as he did when Clinton was president because of some budget document?” he added.

“Under the Constitution, the president is commander-in-chief and employs the force. And so we now have the president going out because of this piece of paper and this agreement, I can’t do what I need to do to protect the country. That’s a kind of madness that I haven’t seen in a long time.”

Woodward has caught a lot of flack recently for accusing the Obama administration of “moving the goal posts” in its budget negotiations with the GOP and for reporting in his book, “The Price of Politics,” that the automatic spending cuts were President Obama’s idea.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

(H/T: Mediaite). Featured image AP. This post has been updated.

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