The Obama administration on Monday reiterated its commitment to keeping former Sen. Alan Simpson as the co-chairman of the president's deficit commission even as the Wyoming Republican has come under heavy fire for his disparaging comments on Social Security.
"Senator Simpson sent an e-mail that he's now apologized for," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs told reporters at Monday's daily briefing. "We regret that he sent that e-mail. We don't condone those comments. But Senator Simpson has and will continue to serve on the commission."
Last week, Simpson caused a stir when, in an e-mail to the executive director of National Older Women's League, he stated his opinion that Social Security is "like a milk cow with 310 million tits."
The former Senator went on to apologize for the e-mail -- though that was not the only one he sent -- while a host of predominantly progressive and women's-rights organizations called on him to either step down or be fired.
Last week, the White House said it accepted Simpson's apology. Gibbs' comments on Monday should put to rest some of the hopes - of Social Security's defenders - that the deficit commission co-chair might be axed before he could chart out ways to slash the entitlement program.