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Todd Slams Democratic IRS Response: Obama Should Have Addressed Issue, Where Are Democrats?

'I thought [Carney's words] were very weak. [...] It didn't seem like they had a real sense of outrage'

• May 13, 2013 8:54 am

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MSNBC host Chuck Todd slammed the Obama Administration's response to the IRS scandal Monday on "Morning Joe":

CHUCK TODD: I have to say, Tom, he had a chance on Friday afternoon. This thing broke a lot earlier, this IRS agent. He had a healthcare event at 3:30, 4:00 P.M. in the afternoon. He had an opportunity to say something. I think the — they let Jay Carney's words speak. I thought they were very weak. It didn't seem like they had a sense of urgency about it, a real sense of outrage. Look at the reaction of the entire Democratic party. Of course the Republican party is jumping on this and standing up for members of their base constituency and, at the same time, beating up the IRS is always good politics. Why aren't there more Democrats jumping on this? This is outrageous no matter what political party you are, that an arm of the government, maybe it's a set of people just in one office but, mind you, that one office was put in charge of dealing with these 501c3s and c4s and things like that.

JOE SCARBOROUGH: Chuck, why didn't the president say something on friday?

CHUCK TODD: I don't know. Maybe they were distracted by Benghazi, maybe they made the decision they didn't want it to be about healthcare. I raised this question "where is the sense of outrage" and the only pushback was, like, well you know Jay Carney speak about this at the press he was pretty strong at the press briefing. I have to say it didn't sound very strong to me. I don't know if the White House realizes. I think this story has more legs in 2014 than Benghazi.

The Wall Street Journal reports the IRS used "sweeping criteria" extending to issues like debt and "statements in the case file [criticizing] how the country is being run" to target conservative groups:

The Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny of conservative groups went beyond those with "tea party" or "patriot" in their names—as the agency admitted Friday—to also include ones worried about government spending, debt or taxes, and even ones that lobbied to "make America a better place to live," according to new details of a government probe.

The investigation also revealed that a high-ranking IRS official knew as early as mid-2011 that conservative groups were being inappropriately targeted—nearly a year before then-IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman told a congressional committee the agency wasn't targeting conservative groups.

[…]

According to the report, by June 2011 some IRS specialists were probing applications using the following criteria: "issues include government spending, government debt or taxes; education of the public by advocacy/lobbying to ‘make America a better place to live'; statements in the case file criticize how the country is being run."