President Barack Obama’s new senior advisor in the White House, John Podesta, compared United States House of Representative’s Republicans and the tea party to the Jonestown cult which is reportedly responsible for one of the worst civilian mass-murder episodes in the history of the United States, according to ABC News on Wednesday.
The incident began with Podesta being interviewed by Politico magazine. In the interview which occurred earlier in the year, Podesta asserted that the White House needed to consider ways the president could basically do things without Congress since there was Republican opposition to the president’s policies. In the now-infamous statement, Podesta said that the White House needs to focus on executive action given that they are facing a second term against a cult worthy of Jonestown in charge of one of the houses of Congress. Naturally, he was referring to the Republican-controlled House of Representatives.
Even though the remarks were made previously, the magazine just published the interview with the comments-of-severe-concern on Wednesday.
As one can imagine, Podesta’s comments received an angry response from House Republicans. A spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio – Brendan Buck – stated in an email that if this is the attitude of the new White House, it’s hard to see how the president gets anything done again. Additionally, Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's spokesperson – Rory Cooper – chimed in by saying that this type of appalling and inflammatory rhetoric is a very troubling sign of how this White House plans to govern over the next three years.
Podesta, who has now apologized for his comments following the negative reaction, was Bill Clinton’s chief of staff from 1998 to 2001.