Sunday’s Face the Nation had CBS’ Bob Schieffer slamming the White House for missing a significant opportunity to show the people of France that America stands with them against terrorism when no high-ranking official joined other world leaders in the Paris march last weekend.
Schieffer asked, “I mean, did the staff just miss this?” adding, “the significance of it?”
Attempting to answer that question was President Obama’s senior advisor, Dan Pfeiffer, who was only able to satisfy Schieffer’s legitimate query with prepared talking points.
Pfeiffer began, “As you know, Bob, it was not logistically feasible to move the president of the United States all the way across the world on 36-hours notice.” He continued:
And so as Josh Ernest said we should have done, we should have sent someone of a higher profile, because that was the right thing to do and once we realized that we had made that mistake we took responsibility for it — which [is] probably a rare thing in Washington.
Quite unsatisfied with that answer, Schieffer solidified his dissatisfaction by punching back with this accusation: “But is this sort of — I mean it seems to me that the White House is always a little late in recognizing the significance of such things. I mean, we saw that happen some times over the summer. What, is the staff [letting] the president down?”
Well in this case, I think that we should have done a better job in ensuring that we had someone with a higher profile and we took responsibility for that. I think, look, it is always important to get out there and play the appropriate role for the president. We try to do that every time and if we ever fall short we want learn from that and do better the next time.