Here’s what press secretary Robert Gibbs is saying today about Obama’s comments last night on the Henry Louis Gates case: “Let me be clear. He was not calling the officer stupid, okay? He was denoting that … at a certain point the situation got far out of hand, and I think all sides understand that.”
Late Update: Gibbs’ use of “denotes” is like a nervous tic. It sort of gives away that, as smooth as he is, he’s scrambling a bit — such as when he was faced with the outcry over the administration’s decision not to release more photos of the abuse of detainees:
“The photos don’t denote the existence of the investigations ….”
“No, Chuck, again, the existence of the detainee abuse cases is not denoted by the photos.”
“No. I think, again, Mark, as I said, I don’t think the — the existence of the photos doesn’t denote — isn’t the only thing that denotes the existence of an investigation.”
David Kurtz is Managing Editor and Washington Bureau Chief of Talking Points Memo where he oversees the news operations of TPM and its sister sites.