Brown Bashes Obama: Don't Make Ethics Rules You Won't Follow
It only took a few hours for President Barack Obama to go back on his executive order concerning the imposition of stricter limits on lobbyists that wish to work for the White House, and CNN's Campbell Brown is quite displeased.
Not only did she begin Friday's "No Bias, No Bull" voicing her disgust about "the Obama administration now [wanting] a waiver to its own rule," but she also wrote a commentary about the matter which was published at CNN.com later that evening.
For what it's worth Campbell, I'm impressed (video and transcript below the fold, h/t NB reader Patrick, file photo):
CAMPBELL BROWN, HOST: But, first, tonight, "Cutting Through The Bull."
Just a couple of nights ago, we heaped praise on the new president for announcing what he called a new era of openness, where in his administration transparency would rule the day and the lobbyists that he was so critical of during the campaign, well, he told us they will now face even tougher new restrictions.
Here is what he said.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BARACK OBAMA,PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: The executive order on ethics I will sign shortly represents a clean break from business as usual. As of today, lobbyists will be subject to stricter limits than under any -- under any other administration in history.
If you are a lobbyist entering my administration, you will not be able to work on matters you lobbied on, or in the agencies you lobbied during the previous two years. When you leave government, you will not be able to lobby my administration for as long as I am president.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BROWN: Now, that's what he said two days ago.
But, as we first told you last night -- and, sadly, we are learning more about this today -- President Obama already wants an exception to his own rule. You see, what happened is, there is this former lobbyist for a big defense contractor called Raytheon. His name is William Lynn. And President Obama wants him to be deputy defense secretary.
So, the Obama administration now wants a waiver to its own rule, which basically means it is saying, we will mostly put tough new restrictions on lobbyists, except when we won't.
Really? Is this how it's going to be? Please, please don't make us all any more cynical than we already are, Mr. President. If you have no intention of abiding by your new rules, then don't make new rules. That would be actual transparency.
Nicely done, Campbell. Keep it up.