Former President Obama spokesman: 'No strategy' remark was a 'winceable moment'

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,Barack Obama,MSNBC,Iraq,Syria,Joe Scarborough,Robert Gibbs,Becket Adams,ISIS

Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Tuesday joined the chorus of pundits who've questioned President Obama for stating last week during a press briefing that the White House has no strategy yet for dealing with ISIS, the ultra-violent terrorist cell that has captured much of Iraq and Syria.

Gibbs' remarks were prompted by a question from MSNBC's Joe Scarborough.

“Are there oxygen masks in the press secretary’s office when the president says something like he said last week, where the oxygen masks drop and you can catch a deep breath before you go talk to him?” Scarborough asked. “We all know it was a slip. But everybody in the White House had to gasp when he did that, right?”

Gibbs responded by saying, “I think whenever you have to go out next and say ‘what somebody meant to say’ or ‘what somebody was trying to say’ means you’re trying to explain that 'winceable moment.' ”

He continued, “Unfortunately, there are not oxygen masks and there’s no one to tell you fasten your seat belt because there is turbulence in the area. You assume that when you go in.”

But Gibbs also had some praise for the president’s supposed cautious approach to dealing with ISIS and the various crises in the Middle East.

“This is clearly a president that has been reticent for several years to go into Syria,” Gibbs said, “and understanding that going in and doing two days worth of bombing runs is not going to solve your problems with ISIS.”

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