No more "rose-colored glasses" at the White House?

But Tony Snow insisted they were never being used to begin with.

Published April 7, 2008 8:54PM (EDT)

White House spokesman Tony Fratto received a series of questions about Iraq during today's press briefing, and the deputy press secretary used an interesting phrase more than once. (Think Progress has the video.)

Q: Also, how does this latest violence in Iraq and the latest uncertainty about what's going on color the Petraeus-Crocker testimony this time around? [ ... ]

Fratto: Well, I think we've thrown out all of the rose-colored glasses in how we look at Iraq, and try to look at it through clear lenses as to what is actually going on in the country.

And then again, a few minutes later, after a question about Iraqis protesting the American troop presence in Iraq, Fratto added, "Like I said, we threw out the rose-colored glasses. I think we have a very clear-eyed view of what's happening in Baghdad."

I'd just add that hearing Fratto today, I kept thinking that I've heard the White House use this phrase before. And then I remembered.

  • Former press secretary Tony Snow, Aug. 17, 2006: "For those of us who have seen the President behind the scenes, he doesn't sit around and ask for people to put on rose-colored glasses."

  • Snow, Sept. 29, 2006: "President, again, is not looking through rose-colored glasses. He insists on getting the best intelligence [on Iraq] he can from his people on the field."

  • Snow, Dec. 18, 2006: "On the other hand, we don't want to be accused of looking through rose colored glasses at what clearly is an unacceptable position within Iraq."

  • Snow, Feb. 15, 2007: "I don't want to be accused of putting on rose-colored glasses. It's going to be tough [in Iraq]."

  • Snow, Sept. 12, 2007: "We don't want anybody to look through rose-colored glasses, but we would like people to understand that there has been success [in Iraq]."

    Now, however, the White House wants us to believe the White House was looking at Iraq though rose-colored glasses, Snow's protests notwithstanding, but they've since been "thrown out."

    That's good to know, but it sounds like one White House spokesperson believes a previous White House spokesperson perhaps didn't know what he was talking about.

  • By Steve Benen

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