Gene Sperling and 'regret'

Reuters

White House senior economic adviser Gene Sperling speaks at the 2011 Fiscal Summit on Solutions for America's future in Washington May 25, 2011.

The media universe is in a tizzy over the revelation that a White House official told Bob Woodward he would “regret” his coverage of the White House’s attempt to spin the sequestration debate. While I commend Bob Woodward’s coverage, which rings true given what my own Republican contacts have said, now that we know that Gene Sperling was the source for the quotation, and can read the email exchange, it is clear that the statement, while certainly regrettable, was not some ham-fisted attempt to intimidate Woodward.

I have known Gene Sperling for more than a decade, and interacted with him often. During 99 percent of our policy discussions, we have had opposing views, and I can remember him making the case to me that, “Kevin, you are wrong, and when you find out you are wrong, you are going to regret saying that.” It is his style of argument. As far as I can recall, I have never felt such regret, but I can say that Gene is an old-fashioned, honorable and generous man who speaks directly and truthfully. There are plenty of thugs in this town, but he is not one.

The fact is, the media is for the most part wildly biased in favor of this White House, but that is likely because many reporters covering the White House share the White House’s views, not because of scare tactics. The story that there is blatant intimidation going on will likely be fed by this exchange, but it should not be.

Also Visit
AEIdeas Blog The American Magazine
About the Author

 

Kevin A.
Hassett

What's new on AEI

AEI Election Watch 2014: What will happen and why it matters
image A nation divided by marriage
image Teaching reform
image Socialist party pushing $20 minimum wage defends $13-an-hour job listing
AEI on Facebook
Events Calendar
  • 27
    MON
  • 28
    TUE
  • 29
    WED
  • 30
    THU
  • 31
    FRI
Monday, October 27, 2014 | 10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.
State income taxes and the Supreme Court: Maryland Comptroller v. Wynne

Please join AEI for a panel discussion exploring these and other questions about this crucial case.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 9:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.
For richer, for poorer: How family structures economic success in America

Join Lerman, Wilcox, and a group of distinguished scholars and commentators for the release of Lerman and Wilcox’s report, which examines the relationships among and policy implications of marriage, family structure, and economic success in America.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 | 5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
The 7 deadly virtues: 18 conservative writers on why the virtuous life is funny as hell

Please join AEI for a book forum moderated by Last and featuring five of these leading conservative voices. By the time the forum is over, attendees may be on their way to discovering an entirely different — and better — moral universe.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
A nuclear deal with Iran? Weighing the possibilities

Join us, as experts discuss their predictions for whether the United States will strike a nuclear deal with Iran ahead of the November 24 deadline, and the repercussions of the possible outcomes.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 | 5:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
The forgotten depression — 1921: The crash that cured itself

Please join Author James Grant and AEI senior economists for a discussion about Grant's book, "The Forgotten Depression: 1921: The Crash That Cured Itself" (Simon & Schuster, 2014).

No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled this day.
No events scheduled today.
No events scheduled this day.