GRAND RAPIDS (WZZM) - Key advisors for the nation's last two presidents disagreed here Friday on the cause of the federal budget sequestration that will lop off $85 billion off federal spending.
Republican Karen Hughes and Democrat Robert Gibbs spoke at a fundraising breakfast for Michigan State University's Political Leadership Program.
Hughes said President Obama has failed to lead; Gibbs said Republicans in Congress have refused to compromise.
Hughes worked with President George W. Bush when he was governor of Texas and later at the White House. She is now an executive with a major public relations company. Hughes told WZZM 13: "The country is divided right now, so I think what we're seeing is a failure of presidential leadership. It's up to the chief executive to set the vision to set the tone."
Robert Gibbs worked with President Obama in the U.S. Senate and was his first White House press secretary. Gibbs blamed the gridlock on congressional redistricting that has greatly reduced competitive congressional races. "I think people are much more concerned about losing in a primary than they ever are in a general election and I think that's brought about gridlock," Gibbs told WZZM 13.