A source recently mused aloud about how much worse we'd be as a nation if President Obama quit smoking. With all the caveats about how it's so bad for you and he should quit for his health and his kids etc — it's really one thing that makes him happy. Have you ever been around someone trying to quit? And they don't have a finger on the button, generally.
Surgeon General Regina Benjamin has a new report out about the dangers of smoking. So what's up with the first smoker?
QUESTION: The surgeon general this morning told one of our correspondents, when asked about the president's smoking habits, quote, “He's working very hard to stop. He's been working very hard at it.”
So my question is, how hard has he been working at it? What's he doing?
GIBBS: I have — I have — I've not seen or witnessed evidence of any smoking in probably nine months.
QUESTION: Do you know that he's working at it? Has he talked to you about this (ph)?
GIBBS: He has.
QUESTION: What's he saying?
GIBBS: He's — look, this is — this is not — I mean, I think you've heard him say this. This is — this is not something that he's proud of. He knows that it's not good for him. He knows that it's — he doesn't like it — he doesn't — and doesn't like children to know about it, obviously, including his.
And I think he has — I think he has worked extremely hard. And I think he would tell you, even when, in the midst of a tax agreement and a START deal and all the other things that accumulate, that even where he might have once found some comfort in that, he's — he's — he's pushed it away.
So he understands — he understands its dangers, and I think has — has done a lot of extraordinary work to wrestle with that habit, as millions of Americans have.
Still — just because Gibbs hasn't seen Obama smoking doesn't mean Obama isn't smoking. Although if Obama was quitting smoking over the past nine months, it would explain some things.