White House: Obama ‘flip’ in referring to ‘crazies’

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The White House on Tuesday conceded that President Obama “may have been a little too flip” in referring to some opponents as “crazies,” but denied he was specifically targeting critics of the Iran nuclear deal. 

“He may have been a little glib in his language,” spokesman Eric Schultz told reporters on Air Force One. 

{mosads}But asked if the president regrets his choice of words, Schultz replied “no.”

Schultz said the president was taking aim at Republicans in Congress, who are locked in a budget stalemate with Democrats that could result in a government shutdown. 

“If you take a step back … and look at what some Republicans have floated in Washington, whether that’s shutting down the government, whether that’s funding the government at sequester levels when the economy needs more support, he thinks those are reckless steps,” the spokesman said of Obama.

During a fundraiser in Las Vegas Monday night, the president recounted a conversation he had with Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on the drive to the event. 

“We were doing a little reminiscing, and then figuring out how we’re going to deal with the crazies in terms of managing some problems,” Obama said

The president did not identify the “crazies” he and Reid discussed. 

Several minutes later, Obama said he is “insistent that Congress not block a historic diplomatic effort when it comes to making sure that Iran does not get a nuclear weapon.” He did not make specific reference to deal opponents.

The president’s comments raised the ire of Republicans in Washington, especially after several media outlets reported Obama was targeting his opponents on Iran. 

“That incendiary rhetoric cheapens our political discourse and ignores the real concerns that Americans of all political persuasions have about the implications of this far-reaching deal,” Rep. Diane Black (R-Tenn.) said in a statement. 

Schultz insisted Obama “wasn’t talking about Iran when he made that remark.”

In the past, Obama has used tough language against GOP critics of the Iran deal. Earlier this month, he linked them with Iranian hard-liners who chant “death to America,” saying they are “making a common cause with the Republican caucus.” 

Tags Barack Obama Eric Schultz Harry Reid Iran nuclear deal Shutdown

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