Cleveland was no accident, Gibbs confirms

September 7, 2010

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs confirmed what had been suspected.

USA/OBAMAThere was a reason for choosing Cleveland as the venue for President Barack Obama’s economy speech on Wednesday and his name is John Boehner — the man who would likely be House Speaker if Republicans oust the Democrats from control on Nov. 2.

Cleveland was where House Republican leader Boehner gave his economy speech two weeks ago in which he suggested Obama toss out his economic team, including Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and White House economic adviser Larry Summers.

And it’s no accident that Boehner and Obama are paying so much attention to Ohio less than two months before the congressional elections — it’s a swing state with a crucial Senate race and several competitive House races.

To what extent was tomorrow’s speech a direct resonse to Boehner’s remarks from a couple of weeks ago?

“It’s in the same city and I think the president will use that opportunity to contrast a vision of returning to a decade of policy and value decisions that got us into this mess which, if you look back at what Congressman Boehner said in that speech, he seemed to lay out a strong predicate for the very same type  of decisions that had been made over the past 10 years that got us into this mess.  I anticipate the president will spend a decent amount of time discussing it,” Gibbs said.

And the shorter answer to whether the White House chose Cleveland because Boehner gave his speech there?

Gibbs: “Yes.”

Photo credit: Reuters/Yuri Gripas (Obama walks past Marine One helicopter)

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