In first public remarks after Massachusetts loss, Barack Obama avoids topic of health care

Jon Ward Contributor
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The White House is trying to stay chipper after Tuesday’s debacle in Massachusetts.

President Obama, in his first public remarks Wednesday since his party’s loss in the Massachusetts Senate race, made no mention of the setback to health-care reform.

He spoke for five minutes about cracking down on “government contracts … going to companies that are seriously delinquent in their taxes.”

Two of Obama’s top advisers, David Axelrod and press secretary Robert Gibbs, tried to keep things light in their first TV interview Wednesday morning.

When asked by NBC’s Chuck Todd how much responsibility the White House would accept for the Democrats’ loss on Tuesday, Axelrod came back with a joke.

“Look, Chuck, there’s an unbecoming habit in this town of trying to defray responsibility, point in other directions, and so let me say, it was Robert’s fault, and I’m bitter about it,” he said.

And then First Lady Michelle Obama, in celebration of the first family’s one-year anniversary of being in the White House, decided to surprise visitors to the White House by showing up in the middle of their tours through the “people’s house.”

Screams of excitement could be heard on the White House North Lawn as the first lady greeted teenage visitors.

Here is the clip of Axelrod and Gibbs:

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