Jay Carney told the White House press corps Wednesday that the Obama administration does not have an official comment on the sexual harassment allegations against San Diego mayor Bob Filner.
A member of the press corps asked Carney if the White House had any new statement on Filner. Carney corrected the reporter by saying, “I don’t think we’ve had any old statements.” He went on to say that as Commander-In-Chief Obama does not oversee municipalities.
That marked a sharp contrast to the case of Sandra Fluke, a key figure in the so called “war on women” narrative. Fluke rose to fame by challenging Catholic Georgetown University’s rules about providing insurance coverage for birth control. She went to Congress to insist Obama’s contraception mandate is needed and claimed that birth control can cost over $3,000 for the uninsured or uncovered.
Rush Limbaugh said Fluke’s actions were similar to those of a “slut,” which set off a bigger firestorm. That is when Obama decided to step in and gave Fluke a personal phone call. He wanted to offer her his support from the personal attacks and said her parents should be proud of her.
In July 2009, police in Cambridge, MA, arrested Henry Louis Gates, Jr. at his home. A reporter asked Obama, on national TV after a White House news conference, about his thoughts on the ordeal. Instead of saying no comment since he does not oversee municipalities, he answered the question. From CNN:
“I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played,” Obama said Wednesday night while taking questions after a White House news conference.
“But I think it’s fair to say, No. 1, any of us would be pretty angry; No. 2, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof that they were in their own home; and, No. 3… that there’s a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately.”
Obama later admitted he should not have used those words and invited Gates and arresting officer Sgt. James Crowley to a “beer summit” to clear the air.
More recently, Obama inserted himself into the Trayvon Martin murder case, a local crime in Sanford, CA. On March 23, 2012, during a Rose Garden press conference on the appointment of Jim Yong Kim as the new head of the World Bank, a reporter asked him about the murder of Martin. From FOX News Insider:
“My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin,” he continued. “You know, if I had a son he’d look like Trayvon… and you know, I think they’re right to expect that all of us as Americans are going to take this with the seriousness with which it deserves.”
George Zimmerman was found not guilty of second degree murder and manslaughter earlier this month. Obama made a surprise appearance at the daily press conference and gave a 17-minute speech about the Zimmerman verdict. In the speech he said, “Trayvon Martin could have been me 35 years ago.”
The Obama justice department was later involved in arranging the resignation of the Sanford police chief.