BUSINESS

White House, CNBC Tensions Mount

The tension between White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs and CNBC anchors mounted on Monday as Gibbs took a swipe at Jim Cramer's comments on the Obama economic plan.

While on the Today Show Monday morning, Cramer called the administration's budget a "radical agenda" and said it was "the greatest wealth destruction I've seen by a President."

NBC reporter Tom Costello asked Gibbs to comment on Cramer's pronouncements.

"I'm not entirely sure what he's pointing to, to make some of the statements," said Gibbs. "And you can go back and look at any number of statements he's made in the past about the economy and wonder where some of the back-up for those are too."

Then, when pressed further by Costello, Gibbs continued: "If you turn on a certain program it's geared to a very small audience. No offense to my good friends, or friend at CNBC. But the President has to look out for the broader economy and the broader population."

The quips followed comments last week from Gibbs about another CNBC colleague, Rick Santelli.

Santelli tried to foment rebellion on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange recently, ranting about the Obama mortgage plan and riling up nearby traders, who applauded his monologue. During his rant, he called the traders representative of the American public.

He later found himself the target of derision from the White House:

"I'm not entirely sure where Mr. Santelli lives or in what house he lives," Gibbs said during the daily briefing, "but the American people are struggling every day to meet their mortgage, stay in their jobs, pay their bills to send their kids to school, and to hope that they don't get sick or somebody they care for gets sick that sends them into bankruptcy. I think we left a few months ago the adage that if it was good for a derivatives trader, that it was good for main street. I think the verdict is in on that."

The saga continued, with Santelli later suggesting the White House was threatening him and that his kids were unnerved.

WATCH Jim Cramer on the Today Show: