Today on Holden’s Obsession with the Gaggle

From Holden:

There was a lot of bickering in today’s gaggle about whether or not Chimpy was backing down from his veto threat regarding the Dubai Ports World issue, but it all seemed rather anticlimactic since between the time the gaggle occurred and the transcript was posted DPW appears to have backed out of the deal.

What is apparent once again is that Chimpy (or in this case, Little Scottie on his behalf) is incapable of admitting a mistake.

Q Scott, does the President regret — given what’s happened with these discussions with Congress, does the President regret calling reporters to the front of Air Force One to issue the veto threat, stepping off the helicopter and coming over to us and reiterating the veto threat? Would this all — this conversation have unfolded differently if the veto threat was never made?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the President called reporters up to the front to talk about his trip and to talk about important priorities that we were focused on.

Q Which happens every time, happens every trip?

MR. McCLELLAN: He’s done it on a number of times, a number of occasions. I can go back and pull those transcripts for you.

Q It was kind of an uncommon thing, though, to then step off and repeat it. He had a point he wanted to make.

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, no, let’s put it in context, too, though. He was asked a specific question, and he was expressing what his position is and what his views are.

Go ahead, John.

It is also obvious that the phone lines between the White House and Dubai have been on fire over the past few days as Bush begged his handholding pals in the UAE to bail him out.

Q Scott, can you talk a little — back to the ports again — can you talk a little bit about what kinds of talks the White House is having with the company, either directly or through intermediate —

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I said that I think that the company is continuing to have discussions with congressional leaders, and the administration and Congress are continuing to have discussions —

Q What about the White House talking to the company?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, the matter is before the Committee on Foreign Investment. I don’t have any other updates for you beyond that. There are a lot of conversations going on, Roger.

Q The White House is not talking about some way out of this, talking with the company about some way out of this —

MR. McCLELLAN: You’re trying to get me to draw — trying to draw me into discussions that are ongoing between the administration and Congress, and between the company and Congress, and I’m just not going to do that.