POLITICS
04/20/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Gibbs: "We've Been Called Idiots Before" (VIDEO)

Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told the White House press corps Friday afternoon that President Obama is not losing control of his message, despite the week's challenges, which included an AIG bonus shake-up, calls for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's resignation and a Special Olympics gaffe on Jay Leno Thursday night.

After Gibbs laughed off a question about the president's ability to stay on message, Chip Reid of CBS asked how Obama planned to get back on track after a rough week. He denied that this difficult patch was any kind of "watershed" moment.

"I think there is rightly concern and outrage for the events in the past week and rightly concern and frustration about the economic challenges that this country faces," Gibbs said.

"The president, as you heard him say before and you certainly heard me say before, is less interested in the day to day scorekeeping which has always counted him down and counted him out," he added.

Gibbs told Reid and the press corps that Obama is not dwelling on criticism, and is staying focused on the issues at hand.

"We've been called idiots before. We understand that. But the President isn't focused on -- isn't focused on that. The President is focused on the decisions that he has to make to get the pillars for economic progress in place, whether it's ensuring that the Recovery Act is done in a way that gives people confidence about the money that's being spent to create jobs, and put money back in their pockets; that we're taking steps through the budget to make those critical investments. The President isn't focused on the ups and downs of day to day score-keeping; he's focused on looking ahead."

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