Eleanor Holmes Norton confronts President Obama
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton isn’t known for holding back. But many in Washington were surprised that she was confrontation with the president of the United States.
On Thursday, she explained why she reportedly cut off President Barack Obama and refused to give up the mic when House Democrats met behind closed door with the president Wednesday night.
"I indicated to him (Obama) that the district was fast running out of money,” she says. "He needed to understand how much pain the district was in as its money dwindles."
This came hours after D.C. Mayor Gray crashed a Democratic senator's news conference telling Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid that D.C. should be free to spend its own money.
That prompted the following comment from Reid: "I'm on your side. Don't screw it up. I'm our your side."
On Wednesday night, Gray and Reid reportedly had a "cordial" conversation.
Were the mayor and congresswoman being rude? A councilman Thursday said no.
"I don't think we've been rude enough and you know that bout me,” says Councilman David Grasso.
But one resident said Gray was rude.
"I felt like he ambushed him and I don't think it went well for us as a district resident,” said resident Lee Salet.
Another thought the senator was rude to Gray.
"He acted like he was just a protester,” said Darnell Butler. “He's the mayor of the nation's capital. The man should have been treated like that."
D.C. has serious money issues. It has missed payments to Metro and Medicaid already because of the shutdown and missing $200 million charter school payment in two weeks could force some schools to close.
Norton, meanwhile, said Obama was not angry.
"He said, ‘Eleanor you're doing your job.’ Afterwards, I went up he kissed me. Said, ‘you know I still love you, it wasn't rude but it was very much out of the ordinary because the ordinary thing is to say Mr. president, ask your question and just sit your butt down.’"