President Obama and Chief Justice John Roberts have not spoken since the president called out the Supreme Court during his State of the Union address, at least as far as Robert Gibbs is aware, the White House spokesman said on Thursday.
But the administration showed no willingness to back off its criticism of the Court -- which has escalated in recent days -- for its decision allowing corporations to spend unlimited amounts on elections. And while Roberts deemed the president's SOTU remarks "very troubling," Gibbs on Thursday called it "perfectly acceptable."
"I don't know why they feel uncomfortable," Gibbs said. "They made the decision. I guess I don't understand the criticism of feeling uncomfortable. The president disagreed and polls showed 80 percent of the country disagrees with that decision. The president would have said that in that room if they had been sitting in that row, or not been there at all. The president just disagrees, quite frankly, with the decision that they made."
That Obama criticized the Court's ruling in the Citizens United case was not the only thing that Robert's found troubling. The Chief Justice also questioned the purpose of Court members attending the State of the Union address, calling the forums political rallies that don't allow the Justices to respond.
"If I'm not mistaken, many of you showed footage of Justice Alito responding to it," Gibbs said of the latter criticism,
As for the former, the press secretary said: "I think the president believes that the State of the Union is an important venue to lay out his agenda for the year and to update the American people on the work that the Congress and the president do."