This was weird, I thought.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest, despite looking a little weary from the Africa trip, was clearly ready for this question. And yet he declined to confirm a veto, saying only that the White House would “oppose” legislation defunding Planned Parenthood.
It may seem minor, but I can tell you from years of watching the White House, that’s a distinction with a difference.
QUESTION: Would President Obama veto any bill that would defund Planned Parenthood — defund it either in whole or defund it in part? Is that sort of a principle here?
EARNEST: Well, I know that there has been an effort on the part of some Republicans to try to play some politics with some selectively edited videos. This is a tactic that we have seen used before. The President obviously does not support that ongoing effort. And I don’t have a blanket principle to share with you, but I can tell you that, on balance, the President would not be supportive of any sort of congressional act done.
QUESTION: But he wouldn’t go so far as to say he would veto any effort that would include that?
EARNEST: Well, again, it’s apparent that Republicans are just getting started in that effort, and that is an effort that we oppose.