Rahm Emanuel tells Katie Couric: "We could have won that race"
White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told Katie Couric of "CBS Evening News" that Democrats could have won the special election in Massachusetts earlier this month. But he denied that the Obama administration could have done more.
"You could say that I'm responsible for not having done more at the White House, but I think that, in this period of time between [Martha Coakley] winning the primary and us getting a phone call to get involved, we were immediately up there with whatever resources they asked for and more," Emanuel said Wednesday. He added that "it is no doubt in my mind we could have won that race" -- but did not get into specifics.
KATIE COURIC: You are considered a master political operative, you were the guy four years ago, of course, who orchestrated the Democratic takeover of the house. Where were you when Massachusetts was going down in flames for the Democrats?
RAHM EMANUEL: We, well I, was here at the White House.
COURIC: But why did you -- were you asleep at the switch? I know you weren't in charge of that, that was Bob Menendez, but at the same time, you're pretty savvy in these matters. At some point did you say, "Hey, there's trouble brewing."
EMANUEL: Well, I mean, as soon as it was brought to my attention, or the White House's attention, we immediately got involved in it. And was very active in it. Any phone call made or any opportunity made, we were involved. You know, I suppose, Katie, you could say that I'm responsible for not having done more at the White House, but I think that, in this period of time between her winning the primary and us getting a phone call to get involved, we were immediately up there with whatever resources they asked for and more.
COURIC: Would you say you dropped the ball?
EMANUEL: That I, Rahm Emmanuel, dropped the ball?
COURIC: The White House. The Democrats.
EMANUEL: Look, you know, I don't want to re-litigate this, but it is no doubt in my mind we could have won that race.
Couric also addressed rumors that Emanuel could lose his post. Asked if he felt secure in his job, the former congressman responded, "Look, I mean, I think so, but you know, I've worked in the White House before and I work here. Every day the president of the United States can make any decision. You work there basically at their pleasure. So any day you could basically be told, you know, 'No more.' That's you know, what comes from working at the White House. I suppose, I mean, that's the way I look at it. And as long as the president wants me, I'm here.''
January 27, 2010; 7:49 PM ET
Categories: 44 The Obama Presidency , State of the Union
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