Gibbs calls START treaty delay 'a new low'

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Wednesday blasted Republican opposition to the New START nuclear arms treaty, calling it a "new low in putting political stunts ahead of our national security."

Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) call to read the entire treaty on the Senate floor in an effort to delay the ratification was described by Gibbs as "the height of hypocrisy."

"While some express concern that the Senate doesn’t have time to debate the treaty, Sen. DeMint wants to waste 12 hours to read the text of a treaty that has been available to every member of the Senate and the public for more than eight months," Gibbs said.


Gibbs noted that the treaty "has been the subject of nearly 20 Senate hearings and 1,000 questions, and is supported by President George H.W. Bush, every living Republican Secretary of State, our NATO allies and the military leadership of the United States of America."

President Obama has made ratification of the START treaty one of his top priorities for Congress to pass before leaving town.

"Every minute that the START Treaty is being read on the Senate floor increases the time that we lack verification of Russia’s nuclear arsenal," Gibbs said. "It is the height of hypocrisy to complain that there is not enough time to consider this treaty, while wasting so much time reading aloud a document that was submitted to the Senate months ago."