White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest Tuesday was unable to launch a serious counterargument to Hillary Clinton’s claim that small business creation in the United States has “stalled out” under President Obama.
Notice how he tried to dodge the question and, when ABC news reporter Jonathan Karl wouldn’t let him get away, went to the fallback strategy – blaming Republicans. Earnest also employed the familiar tactic of saying he wasn’t familiar Clinton’s remarks, which if true suggests there’s a problem in the White House press office since Hillary made the remark the day before.
KARL: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, you may have heard, is in New Hampshire — been in New Hampshire. And she made a comment about the economy, and I wanted to get your reaction to this. Regarding small business creation, she says that small business creation has “stalled out” — she was surprised to learn this — has stalled out in the United States. Does the White House agree with Hillary Clinton’s analysis of the state of the economy regarding small businesses?
EARNEST: I didn’t see the entirety of her remarks, but I can tell you that the President certainly believes that there is more that we can do here in Washington to put in place policies that will further strengthen job creation in our economy . . . blah blah blah blah blah . . .
KARL: But do you agree with Hillary Clinton that under President Barack Obama small business creation has “stalled out” in the United States?
EARNEST: I’m not sure that’s a direct quote. I suspect that it’s not. But I would — the President has —
KARL: She used the phrase “stalled out”. She said small business creation has “stalled out.” Do you agree that it has stalled out?
EARNEST: The President himself has said many times that there are additional important steps that could be taken by Washington, D.C. where members of Congress no longer serve as an impediment to forward economic momentum, but actually that they can support it.
KARL: That’s not my question, though. I just asked, do you agree that small business creation has stalled out in the United States?
EARNEST: Again, I didn’t see the entirety of her remarks.
KARL: Forget what she said. Has small business creation stalled out in the United States?
EARNEST: Well, we’ll take a look at the statistics and get back to you.
KARL: Okay, thanks.