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Plouffe: Gingrich, Santorum Comments on Martin Case 'Reprehensible,' 'Irresponsible' Plouffe: Gingrich, Santorum Comments on Martin Case 'Reprehensible,' '...

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Campaign 2012

Plouffe: Gingrich, Santorum Comments on Martin Case 'Reprehensible,' 'Irresponsible'

Obama senior advisor David Plouffe said responses by Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum to the president’s comments on the death of Trayvon Martin were “trying to appeal to people’s worst instincts.”

On Friday, President Obama reacted the killing in heartfelt terms, saying, “If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon.” But his comments on the killing were met with a harsh backlash by both Gingrich and Santorum, who said the president was making the killing a political issue.

 

“What the president said, in a sense, is disgraceful,” Gingrich said on Friday. “It’s not a question of who that young man looked like. Any young American of any ethnic background should be safe, period. We should all be horrified no matter what the ethnic background. Is the president suggesting that if it had been a white who had been shot, that would be OK because it didn’t look like him?”

Plouffe said on Sunday that the GOP reaction to the president was “irresponsible” and “reprehensible.”

“I don’t think there’s very many people in America that would share that reaction," he said on CNN's State of the Union. "This Republican primary at some points has been more of a circus show, a clown show. And those two comments are really irresponsible. I would consider them reprehensible.

 

"I think the president spoke movingly about this tragedy, as a father, made it clear that there’s an investigation going on. So I think those comments were really hard to stomach, really, and I guess trying to appeal to people’s worst instincts."

Plouffe doubled down later on ABC’s This Week, going after Gingrich specifically.

“Speaker Gingrich is clearly in the last throes of his political career," Plouffe said, adding that, "You can make a decision whether to go out with some shred of dignity or say these irresponsible reckless things. And he’s clearly chosen the latter.”

On NBC’s Meet the Press, Plouffe wouldn't flat out say the killing was racially motivated. Instead, he said the administration will watch the investigation play out with caution and not jump to any conclusions.

 

Earlier on CNN, Florida Gov. Rick Scott said that he was appointed a special panel to look into the “Stand Your Ground” law in the state and is keep a close watch on the Martin investigation. He said his heart goes out the family and hopes the killing was not racially motivated.

“You hope it's never the case, but we'll look at all these things and find out what happened,” the Republican governor said. “There will be a thorough investigation, justice will prevail.”

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