Meet the Press Moderator Dishes on Obama, Crashergate

David Gregory speaks at Executives' Club of Chicago

By BJ Lutz and Steve Bryant
|  Wednesday, Jan 20, 2010  |  Updated 3:55 PM CDT
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David Gregory: "Chicago Mafia" Just a Strawman

NBCChicago.com

David Gregory visits NBC Tower following a speech at the Chicago Executive Club on Jan. 19, 2010.

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David Gregory: "Chicago Mafia" Just a Strawman

The host of NBC's Meet the Press dishes on Chicagoans in D.C.
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Republicans have been castigating the White House's "Chicago-style politics" simply as an expedient means of opposing President Obama's political agenda, says David Gregory, host of NBC's Meet the Press.

Gregory, who spoke at an Executives' Club of Chicago communication committee's breakfast series Tuesday morning, said there was nothing new or striking about the current administration's tactics.

"This is just part of the oppositional strategy now of the Republicans, who don't like some of the deal-making that's gone on,"  Gregory told NBC Chicago's Zoraida Sambolin.  "Kind of the process of legislating that's not unique to Democrats, but there's a label to put on it because of the Chicago connections here."

Gregory covered a wealth of other topics during his talk, including Tuesday's vote in Massachusetts to fill a Senate seat left open by the death of Sen. Edward Kennedy and the oh-so-important late night feud at NBC.

He said the vote in Massachusetts will be likely seen as an early referendum on the Obama Administration.

"This is really not something that the White House wanted," he said.  "The White House knows that this is going to be seen as a referendum on health care in particular and the president's first year."

"What's significant is -- take away the issues and look at the electorate -- there's a lot of Independents," he said.  "These are voters who, a year ago, voted for Obama.  [They're] independent voters who voted for Obama in '08 who have now turned against him after one year.  That's a troubling sign."

With regard to "Crashergate," Gregory said "job security is not really an issue" for White House social secretary Desiree Rogers, a close friend of the Obama's and the person whom many blame for the lapse in security at the state dinner

"As to what happened here, I think there were just lapses all the way along the line," Gregory said.  "It's so unusual and unprecedented for somebody to be able to get access like that, both from the Secret Service and from the social office."

Gregory refused to take sides in the ongoing drama between Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien.

"I have a lot of respect for both Jay and Conan and I don't think any of us are happy to see how it's turned out in terms of some of the criticism between the two of them, but you know what, I have a lot of faith in our leadership and we'll get it right," he said.  

"I'm not going to take sides.  I'm a company guy here, I'll back up NBC."

You can watch NBC's Meet the Press with David Gregory at its new time on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. following Weekend Connection with Zoraida Sambolin at 9 a.m. on NBC 5.

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