White House Press Secretary Jay Carney looked to his wardrobe today to explain to reporters who objected to his off camera briefing why he decided not to get under the klieg lights.
I have to say it’s because my shirt — I didn’t have any white or blue shirts — and this one wouldn’t work on TV, so I decided to gaggle. All my other shirts are in the laundry.
OK, it’s tongue in cheek. But one day back from a much-criticized trip to Latin America, the White House goes into an off-camera crouch.
Carney knew he was in for a lot of tough questions today on Libya – particularly about why the president failed to fully consult Congress before launching a military attack. These questions certainly would have been tougher to parry under the klieg lights, where the TV reporters who inhabit the front row would have ratcheted up their aggressiveness for the cameras.
Carney gave no hint that Obama will deliver a formal address to the country on this newest war, though Obama does plan to continue talking about it, he said. Ronald Reagan spoke to the American people from the Oval Office when he ordered a Libya bombing in 1986, as did other presidents after ordering the military into action.
Carney promised to brief on camera tomorrow.