Psaki: Obama has ‘no regrets’ about ‘revenge’ comment

Politics,Beltway Confidential,Joel Gehrke

President Obama has “absolutely no regrets” about saying that “voting is the best revenge” when he asked Ohioans to get to the polls over the weekend, his spokeswoman said.

“The president never regrets making the case to the American people that if they don’t like the plans Mitt Romney is offering, if they don’t like the raw deal he’s offering to the middle class, that they have the power to vote and cast their vote, their ballot at the voting booth,” Obama campaign spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Air Force One today, per the pool report. “That was exactly what he was conveying with that comment and [he has] absolutely no regrets.”

The defense of the comment is more vague than the previously-attempted explanation, when she said Obama was calling for voters to take “revenge” on Romney for “frightening workers in Ohio into thinking, falsely, that they’re not going to have a job” with his latest Jeep ad.

“And the message [Obama] was sending is if you don’t like the policies, if you don’t like the plan that Gov. Romney is putting forward, if you think that’s a bad deal for the middle class, then you can go to the voting booth and cast your ballot. It’s nothing more complicated than that,” she continued on Saturday.

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York debunked Psaki’s initial defense. “The problem is, the president was actually not speaking in the context of Romney’s highly-controversial ads about bailed-out Chrysler adding production of Jeeps in China,” York wrote Saturday.  “In fact, Obama had not said a word about the Jeep controversy when he said “revenge.”  His speech had touched on Hurricane Sandy, on the progress the American economy has made in the last few years, on his national security accomplishments, on the choice Americans will make on November 6, on Bill Clinton’s record — on a lot of things, but not on Jeep.”

Mitt Romney responded to the revenge comment during a speech Saturday and turned the video into a campaign ad as part of his closing argument.

“I ask the American people to vote for love of country,” Romney says.

The Washington Examiner’s Michael Barone suggests that “The moment when Obama said ‘revenge’ could turn out to be a pivotal moment in the campaign.”

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