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White House Continues To Fully Support Specter: Gibbs

First Posted: 06/05/09 06:12 AM ET Updated: 05/25/11 02:20 PM ET

Obamaspecter

The Obama White House, to this point, remains untroubled by the opposition of the Democratic Party's newest member, Arlen Specter, to the president's budget, the Employee Free Choice Act, and a public plan for health insurance.

Asked about the Pennsylvania Democrat on Tuesday, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said that Specter continues to enjoy Barack Obama's "full support" and that the administration would do "what's necessary to see him re-elected," despite their divergence on these policies.

"I think Senator Specter said it the day he made his announcement that he's going to make decisions on individual bills, but I think him switching to the Democratic Party was a belief that that's the party that could best serve his constituents," Gibbs said, in response to a question by ABC's Jake Tapper. "We don't get 100 -- we don't generally get 100 percent of any party voting for us, but we'll continue to try."

The White House, of course, can't simply back away from Specter a week after it jubilantly praised his party switch. Vice President Biden played an integral role in securing that defection. But if Specter's political habits continue to be a topic of discussion at the briefing sessions, expect the White House to apply some private pressure to get the Pennsylvanian more in line with the president's prerogatives.

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