Entries in Apology (4)


Gene Sperling: Bob Woodward Is a 'Legend'

ABC/The White House(WASHINGTON) -- White House economic adviser Gene Sperling brushed off his reported spat with Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward Sunday morning on This Week.

“All I can say, George, is that Bob Woodward is a legend,” Sperling told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. “I hope that him and I can put this behind us.”

The controversy began after a heated phone call between the pair over a Woodward piece about the sequestration debate, in which he said President Obama was “moving the goal posts” by asking for more revenue. Sperling then emailed Woodward an apology – but also included the phrase “As a friend, I think you will regret staking out that claim.” On CNN, Woodward said that the phrase made him “very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters you’re going to regret doing something you believe in."

Sperling defended his email exchange with Woodward to Stephanopoulos.

“I’ve known Bob Woodward for twenty years. We’ve had a very friendly and respectful relationship. I think virtually everybody who has looked at my email to him and his reply to me thought those emails reflected that degree of respect and politeness,” Sperling said.

Sperling said he has not spoken with Woodward since their communication became a national story.

“I havent talked to him yet, but I hope to,” Sperling said.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio


White House Aide Pfeiffer Apologizes for Churchill Bust Controversy

(WASHINGTON) -- After lampooning Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer last week for getting his facts wrong on the controversy surrounding the White House Winston Churchill bust, White House Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer has apologized.

On Friday, Pfeiffer slammed Krauthammer for repeating “this ridiculous claim” that President Obama had removed the bust of Winston Churchill from the Oval Office and sent it back to the British Embassy.

It was later discovered, as ABC's Jake Tapper reported, that there are actually two Winston Churchill busts. One was loaned to the George W. Bush administration and later returned when President Obama took office, the other now resides in the White House.

“I take your criticism seriously and you are correct that you are owed an apology,” Pfeiffer wrote Krauthammer. “There was clearly an internal confusion about the two busts and there was no intention to deceive. I clearly overshot the runway in my post.”

Here is Pfeiffer’s full apology:

The Churchill Bust & Charles Krauthammer

Yesterday following his column, I sent the following email to Charles Krauthammer. Charles asked that I make the email public and I have agreed.


I take your criticism seriously and you are correct that you are owed an apology. There was clearly an internal confusion about the two busts and there was no intention to deceive. I clearly overshot the runway in my post. The point I was trying to make – under the belief that the Bust in the residence was the one previously in the Oval Office -- was that this oft repeated talking point about the bust being a symbol of President Obama’s failure to appreciate the special relationship is false.  The bust that was returned was returned as a matter of course with all the other artwork that had been loaned to President Bush for display in his Oval Office and not something that President Obama or his Administration chose to do. I still think this is an important point and one I wish I had communicated better.

A better understanding of the facts on my part and a couple of deep breaths at the outset would have prevented this situation.  Having said all that, barring a miracle comeback from the Phillies I would like to see the Nats win a world series even if it comes after my apology.


Dan Pfeiffer

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama ‘Won’t Be Apologizing’ for Bain Attacks on Romney

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Republicans continue to call on President Obama and his campaign to give an apology for questioning Mitt Romney’s role at Bain Capital. They won’t be getting one.

“No, we won’t be apologizing,” the president said in an interview aired on Sunday. “Sometimes these games are played during political campaigns. Understand what the issues are here: Mr. Romney claims he’s Mr. Fix-it for the economy because of his business experience, so I think voters entirely legitimately want to know what is exactly his business experience.”

Speaking to NBC’s Richmond, Va., affiliate station, WAVY-TV, Obama invoked a past White House occupant in an argument he has used for days on the campaign trail.

“Harry Truman said ‘the buck stops with me,’ and I think understandably people are going to be interested in, are you in fact responsible for this company you say is one of your primary calling cards for your wanting to be President,” he said.

On Thursday an Obama campaign manager upped the ante on Romney’s final days at Bain Capital by suggesting the Republican candidate had either lied to the public or misrepresented “his position at Bain to the SEC, which is a felony,” by saying he had left the company in 1999. Romney gave five network interviews to defend himself, stating the Obama campaign had gone “out of control.”

That spokeswoman doubled down on the attack on Sunday by stating there was no point in “arguing the semantics” of whether he was officially active at the firm during the time.

“If you’re signing an SEC document with your own signature that you’re the president, C.E.O., chairman of the board and 100 percent owner of a company, in what world are you living in that you’re not in charge?” Stephanie Cutter said on CBS.

On ABC’s “This Week,” former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel put it another way:

“As president of the United States you can’t have a sign on your desk that says, ‘Gone fishing,’” the Chicago mayor said.

Emanuel and Cutter had come to represent the Democratic side in the row at the heart of the issue: Whether Romney could be held responsible for layoffs and outsourcing at Bain properties after he supposedly left to manage the U.S. Olympic Committee.

On the other side of the table: Romney adviser Kevin Madden.

“The reason there is a document in 2002 that had his signature is, during that transition from 1999 to 2002 where there was transfer of ownership to the new partners of Bain, that there was a duty to sign those documents,” Madden said. “Even a bipartisan commission indicated Governor Romney left Bain in 1999.”

It is a fact that Romney remained at the company until at least 2002, according to SEC filings obtained by the Boston Globe. But some independent fact checking organizations have criticized the reporting of Romney’s role at the time, stating there was no evidence to say he took part in any decision-making processes.

Republicans have seized on those articles, demanding an apology from the Obama campaign. Madden repeated the call, but Cutter maintained it was out of the question.

“Instead of whining about what the Obama campaign is saying, just put the facts out there and let people decide, rather than trying to hide them,” she said.

Cutter and Emanuel both referenced Romney’s refusal to release any tax returns dating before 2010, which would shed light onto the nature of overseas holdings the candidate possessed.

“You’ve learned in just one year about the Caymans, about the Bahamas, about Luxembourg, and about Switzerland, all where his tax and different accounts are,” Emanuel said. “His tax — his tax filing looks more like the Olympic Village than it does like a middle-class family.”

Madden said Romney had “gone above and beyond” financial disclosure laws required of candidates, releasing “hundreds and hundreds of pages of financial disclosures with the FEC.”

On CNN, another Romney surrogate, Ed Gillepsie, said the candidate’s departure for the Olympics was originally planned as a “leave of absence.”

“He ended up not going back at all and retired retroactively to February of 1999 as a result,” Gillepsie said.

“Ed Gillepsie” and “#retroactively” reached top 10 positions on Twitter shortly after the statement was made.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Apparent Mitt Romney Email Hacker Apologizes

ABC/ Ida Mae Astute(NEW YORK) -- The Secret Service is investigating a person who has apologized for hacking into a Hotmail account once used by Mitt Romney.

The hacker, whose identity is unknown publicly, read a Wall Street Journal story about the emails the candidate used to send as governor of Massachusetts from the address The hacker told Gawker that he guessed a security question on the email account about Romney’s favorite pet, then used the password to get into Romney’s old inbox.

Tuesday the Romney campaign said investigators were working on the case. “The proper authorities are investigating this crime, and we will have no further comment on it,” Romney spokeswoman Gail Gitcho said in an email.

The hacker has since apologized in a letter addressed to Romney and published by Gawker. The Romney campaign declined to comment following the hacker’s apology.

The person said he or she had deleted the files that were downloaded and changed the password and security question to prevent others from getting into it.

“I engaged in an egregious violation of another persons privacy, a violation made all the worse by way of your being a public figure who has so little privacy to begin with, a figure for whom what privacy can be found is doubtless a valuable gift,” the hacker said. “A gift I took away. For this I am sorry. When I hacked in it struck me as funny at first, but now…I have never felt as bad about something I have done as I feel right now.”

The Secret Service confirmed to ABC News that it is on the case. “We are investigating and it is an opening investigation,” Secret Service spokesman Ed Donovan said.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio