Donald Rumsfeld Calls Obama Administration Press Strategy "Risky"

“The truth is, we have to get this straight, and they’re gonna have to get it straight, and there are going to be hearings until they do.”

Sam Morris / Reuters

Former U.S. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld arrives at the 46th annual Academy of Country Music Awards in Las Vegas, April 3, 2011.

Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld said Tuesday that the Obama administration picking a battle with the press was a “risky thing to do,” predicting there would be many hearings in the future. Rumsfeld was appearing on conservative talk show host Dana Loesch’s radio program to promote his new book, Rumsfeld’s Rules, which was published Tuesday.

“That’s always been a rule, to be careful — you don’t want to have the truck back up over you. Once you start doing that, it’s difficult,” Rumsfeld said, responding to a question from Loesch about whether it was “kind of bad to pick a bad fight with people who buy ink by the barrel.” Rumsfeld added, “On the other hand, the president has to do what he thinks is right, and if he feels he’s been wronged, I suppose he’s got to say so. But it is a very risky thing to do.”

Rumsfeld said the Obama administration was in a “complicated” position, dealing with several crises.

“I think it’s very complicated for them, because they now have things coming at them from every direction. Dealing with a crisis — and they’ve got several at once — is really exhausting for people, and you’re kind of prone to make another mistake once you’ve made one. The ‘climb, conserve, and confess’ good advice if you’re lost like that is to just take a deep breath, step back, and just say the truth. The truth is, we have to get this straight, and they’re gonna have to get it straight, and there are going to be hearings until they do.”

3. Here’s the audio of the exchange:

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