Presidential press secretary Scott McClellan today refused to “analyze” the political potshots his boss endured during the funeral of Coretta Scott King this week, saying only President Bush was “honored” to attend the marathon service.
In posing questions to McClellan at the press briefing, WND pointed out some of media’s observations about the jibes Bush took during the service from certain speakers.
“The New York Post notes the following – and this is a quote – ‘Jimmy Carter’s disgraceful performance at Coretta Scott King’s funeral marks him as the most shameless,’” WND noted. “While The New York Times Page 1 report mentioned ‘the overt political jibes.’ And my question: Did any of the King sons or daughters thank the president for his tribute to their mother and his extraordinary control, despite the performances of Jimmy Carter and Joe Lowery?”
Responded McClellan: “I believe they expressed their appreciation for the president attending the ceremony the other day, the service – it was a celebration of her life. The president and Mrs. Bush were honored to attend. This was an opportunity to honor and pay tribute to a remarkable and courageous woman, a woman who was a civil rights leader who made lasting contributions to freedom and equality.”
WND also reviewed the history of the federal wiretapping to which King and her husband, Martin Luther King Jr., were subjected.
“The New York Post also noted, ‘Carter couldn’t quite bring himself to note that the wiretappings of Dr. King was conducted under Presidents John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson, and was originally ordered by Attorney General Robert Kennedy, all Democrats.’ And my question: Can the president deny that Jimmy Carter was, in this statement, revenging himself on Teddy Kennedy for running against Carter’s re-election [in 1980]?”
Said the spokesman: “I’m not going to get into analyzing or making judgments on it. They were honored to attend the service and to honor Mrs. King and all that she did in her life.”
“So you wouldn’t deny – you wouldn’t deny that he was revenging himself? You wouldn’t deny that?” asked WND.
“Les, you pointed out the history of that wire tapping,” McClellan said, “and I’ll leave it at that.”