Will wonders ever cease? First, a NBC network airs its Chicago Mercantile Exchange floor reporter making a call to action against all the populism that has inundated the political dialogue over the past six months. Now, the same reporter, Rick Santelli, has been invited by White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs to the White House.
On CNBC's "Street Signs" Feb. 20, Santelli told viewers he would accept Gibbs' invitation. And, although his critics thought he was over-the-top, he said he still felt good about his impassioned plea.
"Well, I tell you what Melissa Lee," Santelli said. "It's been a wild afternoon, but I do want to point out - I do believe I was invited to the White House by Mr. Gibbs and I want to let him know, I would love to. I would love to accept and the decaf sounds good, but I prefer tea, but thank you for bring this into the forefront. This is an issue that means a lot to everybody and I'm glad it's getting a high degree of introspection, debate and I think that's essential. I feel really good about that."
Gibbs in his Feb. 20 White House press briefing had urged Santelli to become familiar with the plan before he started criticizing it, and even went as far as saying Santelli didn't know "what he's talking about." Gibbs said he would be happy to Santelli over to the White House to read the plan.
Santelli said he would be happy to come, but he hinted the last major piece of legislation that involved the public's tax money - the $787 billion stimulus plan - was forced through Congress without anyone reading it.
"Listen, I'd be more than happy to read any plan," Santelli said. "You know, I know that many congressmen didn't read the three-quarter of a trillion dollar, 1100-page plan. But, I'd love to show up. I want a dialogue. Enlighten me, enlighten America. Make us see the light. We want to be participating. We want this to work. We just want to all feel we're being treated fairly and equally."