Newly-minted Fox News Senior White House Correspondent Ed Henry started off his first post-CNN briefing with a bang today, asking Press Secretary Jay Carney “What was the point of giving a prime-time address to the nation, without an Obama plan?”
The question touched off a rather heated set of exchanges in which Carney pushed back against the “Republican talking point” that there’s no Obama plan, and several reporters pressed the issue.
Carney pointed to the President’s April speech at George Washington University, and to Friday’s late-hour press conference, which was followed by a detailed “tick-tock” with administration officials on the specifics of the negotiations. He suggested that if reporters wanted to see those specifics in writing, they ought to have written them down. He also pointed out, once again, that the Republicans who keep asking to see the President’s plans in writing “can pull out reams of paper” with detailed proposals.
Carney did make a salient point when he argued that comparing the debt ceiling measures that Republicans have presented to the President’s proposals was a false comparison. The President’s demand has always been a clean debt ceiling increase, while the Republicans demanded that it be tied to deficit and debt reduction. As Carney pointed out, neither side has put all of their various negotiating positions on paper.
Here’s the clip, from C-Span:
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