Wednesday, May 28, 2008

McClellan Sticks The Knife In

I guess he probably would do, but let's enjoy the moment shall we?

The White House reacted negatively today to scathing criticisms of President Bush and members of his inner circle that appear in a new memoir written by Scott McClellan, the former White House press secretary who was forced out in 2006 after three tumultuous years.

In excerpts from the book, set to be published next week, Mr. McClellan writes that President Bush “convinces himself to believe what suits his needs at the moment,” and has engaged in “self-deception” to justify his political ends. He calls the decision to invade Iraq a “serious strategic blunder,” and says that the biggest mistake the Bush White House made was “a decision to turn away from candor and honesty when those qualities were most needed.”

But Dana Perino, the current White House press secretary, had harsh words for Mr. McClellan, calling the situation “sad” and suggesting that he mischaracterized his years in the West Wing to sell books.

“Scott, we now know, is disgruntled about his experience at the White House,” she said. “For those of us who fully supported him, before, during and after he was press secretary, we are puzzled. It is sad. This is not the Scott we knew.”

She said that President Bush was told of some of the excerpts but would not be commenting on them because “he has more pressing matters than to spend time commenting on books by former staffers.” But Karl Rove, a principal target of many of Mr. McClellan’s charges and the former deputy chief of staff for President Bush, reacted immediately on Tuesday night. Speaking on Fox News, where he is now a commentator, Mr. Rove said Mr. McClellan was not even present at many of the meetings he describes and suggested that he was not writing truthfully.

"First of all, this doesn’t sound like Scott. It really doesn’t,” he said. “Not the Scott McClellan I’ve known for a long time. Second of all, it sounds like somebody else. It sounds like a left-wing blogger."