President Barack Obama has gone into "political mode" over the scandals swirling around his administration, says a former White House insider who has seen two presidential scandals up close.
"I was in Nixon's White House during Watergate; I was in Reagan's White House during Iran-Contra," said former presidential staffer Pat Buchanan Monday on Fox News Channel's "On the Record."
When word of the IRS targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny first became public in early May, Obama said he was appalled and vowed to get to the bottom it. But by last week he was accusing Republicans of focusing on "phony scandals."
He didn't say what those "phony scandals" were, but in addition to the IRS questions, his administration has been plagued in quick succession by a Justice Department spying on journalists, a probe into "talking points" blaming the Benghazi attack on an anti-Muslim YouTube video, and a former National Security Agency contract employee, Edward Snowden, leaking information about how the agency keeps records of Americans' electronic communications.
"I can tell you the mindset over there now is this: They're saying, look, that was a mess out there what the IRS did. How could they have done it? And we might have been berating the tea party and caused it, culturally or psychologically," Buchanan said. “But now they're just trying to hurt us, so don't give them anything more, and let's counterattack."
The scandals are hurting Obama and the Internal Revenue Service, Buchanan said, and that's the reason he has gone into political attack mode.
"He is sinking in the polls, and it's getting to him," he said.
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