At a press conference earlier today, President Obama was asked, by the New York Times’ Jeff Zeleny, if he thought Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad owed him an apology for comparing him to George W. Bush. The President’s answer seemed to indicate that he thought Ahmadinejad ought to think about apologizing to his own people. I asked Robert Gibbs to clarify the President’s statement at today’s White House Press Briefing:
TC: (Jeff) asked if the President felt that President Ahmadinejad owed him an apology for comparing him to President Bush, and in his reply, the President all but — he stopped just short of saying that he thought that President Ahmadinejad owed an apology to his people. He didn’t quite say that, but would you — do you think that’s what he was saying?
MR. GIBBS: I’d simply point you to what he said. I think he was fairly clear on what he meant and who it was directed to.
That sounds like a “yes” to me, but you be the judge. Here’s what the President said:
In any case, it was a good answer to the kind of question that doesn’t usually get one. The President’s obviously not going to engage in verbal volleyball with Ahmadinejad, but he managed to put the gossipy question into a weightier context.