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Debate rages on between the White House and its critics over the handling of recent scandals

US President Barack Obama returns to the White House in Washington on May 19, 2013 from Atlanta.
US President Barack Obama returns to the White House in Washington on May 19, 2013 from Atlanta.

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The IRS targeting conservative groups, the killing of US Ambassador Chris Stevens in Benghazi, and the government’s recent seizure of phone records from AP reporters have plagued the White House with scandal in recent weeks. White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer made the rounds on this past Sunday’s talk shows to defend the Obama administration and to drive home the point that the White House has not been behind these scandals, and that they will support any investigations that will help remove the problem.

Reports this weekend revealed that the White House’s chief lawyer learned weeks ago that the IRS audit would reveal misconduct, though the President was allegedly not informed about this, and only learned of the results when they were revealed to the public by an IRS official 10 days ago. Furthermore, its known that both Republicans and Democrats knew about the IRS probe back in April 2012.

Should the Obama administration have been better prepared for this fallout? Do we believe that the administration had no hand in influencing the IRS office that committed the fouls, and if we do, can we believe that they didn’t learn about it until just days ago? Are Republicans pointing out a major flaw in the administration’s policies -- namely that they keep claiming to have been uninformed about all these recent scandals -- or is this just more partisanship gone extreme?

Jonathan Wilcox, Republican Strategist; former speechwriter for Governor Pete Wilson

Matt Rodriguez, Democratic strategist; former senior Obama advisor in 2008, who now runs the Los Angeles office for the Dewey Square Group