Yeah, it happens.
Ed Henry of Fox News, one of the few White House reporters – actually just about the only one – who makes it his regular duty to awaken snoozing C-Span viewers with some cross examination in the Briefing Room, wondered Thursday whether the White House was sticking to a story on the debt ceiling the Washington Post had proved false.
Well, it was sticking to it.
Two days ago, Obama said:
You have never seen in the history of the United States the debt ceiling or the threat of not raising the debt being used to extort a president or a governing party and trying to force issues that have nothing to do with the budget and nothing to do with the debt.
The Washington Post said presidents had been “extorted” many times by lawmakers attaching extraneous items to debt ceiling increases, including campaign finance measures Democrats led by Sens. Edward Kennedy and Walter Mondale sought in 1973 as Watergate took hold.
Carney maintained that the president was accurate, but note how Carney’s statement differs from the presidents:
There is no question that prior to 2011, there has never been a case where one party with one ideological agenda has threatened to default on the United States obligations for the first time in its –
Now we’re talking about one party with one ideological agenda.
Let’s go to the videotape. Notice how Carney, who is challenged far less than other press secretaries I’ve witnessed, doesn’t deal with it very well in this case.