Matt Lewis

Documentary: Obama didn’t mean to attack Paul Ryan’s budget with him seated in front row

Matt K. Lewis Senior Contributor

Remember when President Obama invited Paul Ryan to sit in the front row of a speech about deficit reduction — only to attack his budget proposal from the podium?

According to a new PBS FRONTLINE documentary airing Tuesday, it was all a mistake.

“In their haste to put the event together,” a narrator says, “the White House staff made a crucial error” by issuing Ryan a pro forma invitation.

“When I came into the speech, when I saw him in the room, I thought ‘oh my God,” remembers then-White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley.

“Obama with the lights in his eyes they say, ‘Unable to see who’s directly in front of him,’ just launches into a blistering condemnation of the Republican budget and how this is a small and painful vision of a country’s shrinking,” the Washington Post’s Lori Montgomery says.

Watch the clip here: