House press secretary, Mr. Jay Carney yesterday blasted Mitt Romney’s statement
that the president had prevailed in last week’s election because of
“gifts” given by the administration to black, Hispanic and young
voters, saying that conclusion was “at odds with the truth of what
happened last week.”
it easier for Americans to go to college, that’s good for America,” Carney
continued. “It’s good for all Americans. It’s good for the economy. Making
healthcare available to young people who can stay on their parents’ plans,
that’s good for those families, it’s good for those young people so they aren’t
bankrupted in their 20s by an illness. And it’s good for the economy and it’s
good for all of us.”
the remarks, made on a Wednesday conference call with donors, Romney said
moves like the president’s healthcare reform legislation and a decision to
suspend deportations of certain illegal immigrants who came to the country as
children proved “highly motivational” on Election Day. Romney also
said he had “gotten beat up pretty bad” on issues including his
immigration stance and personal wealth.
President’s campaign focused on giving targeted groups a big gift, so he made a
big effort on small things,” Romney said, adding that “Those
small things, by the way, add up to trillions of dollars.”
his reaction, the White House press secretary defended the president’s
initiatives, saying Obama was pursuing “policies that have at their core a
desire to build the middle class, strengthen the middle class, make the middle
class more secure, because that’s what makes America more secure.”
arguing that the election had validated the president’s policy priorities,
Carney echoed a theme that both he and the president have emphasized in recent
days, the notion that Democrats held a mandate to pursue their agenda
going forward, including in the coming negotiations on the “fiscal cliff”
of automatic spending cuts and tax increases.
again emphasized the “math” had to add up on the fiscal cliff, and
pledged that the president would not “under any circumstances” sign
legislation that continues tax breaks for the top 2 percent of American taxpayers.
would be recalled that on Wednesday, when the president was asked if there was
“any room of negotiating on that specific aspect of the fiscal
cliff,” he seemed to provide himself more wiggle room on the issue.
am open to new ideas,” Obama said. “If the Republican counterparts or
some Democrats have a great idea for us to raise revenue, maintain
progressivity and the middle class isn’t hit, decreases the deficit, increases
growth. I want to hear ideas from everybody.”
another development, Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) has promised to attend both
of the Senate Intelligence panel’s classified hearings on the Libya attacks
after missing a lower-level hearing on the assaults.
office said a scheduling error prevented the former GOP presidential candidate
from making it to a Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
hearing on Wednesday.
absence raised eyebrows among some of his colleagues, including Senator Susan
Collins (R-Maine), the panel’s ranking member, and the White House because the
Arizona Republican has been a strong critic of the administration’s handling of
the attack, which killed the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three other
office sought to do damage control on Thursday, promising that the senator
would be in attendance at an afternoon closed hearing with the Senate
Intelligence Committee and another panel meeting on Friday with ex-CIA Director
lawmakers at Wednesday’s hearing, which McCain missed, heard details from State
Department, Department of Defense, FBI, and intelligence officials about the
attack, Thursday’s hearing will be with higher-level officials.
CIA Director Mike Morell, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, FBI
Deputy Director Sean Joyce, Under Secretary of State for Management Pat Kennedy
and National Counterterrorism Center Director Matthew Olsen are all expected to
scheduling mix-up was amplified by a dust-up on Wednesday between the senator
and President Obama. McCain promised to block U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice as a
nominee if the administration put her forward to replace Hillary Clinton as
Secretary of State because of Rice’s comments that characterized the Libya
attack as the result of a protest that got out of control, as opposed to a
planned terrorist attack.
on Wednesday shot back at McCain, and Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who has
also pledged to block Rice’s nomination, during his first press conference
since winning reelection.
Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they
should go after me,” Obama said. “And I’m happy to have that discussion with
them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with
Benghazi, and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she
had received, and to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous.”