Thursday was the first opportunity for White House reporters to ask questions of spokesman Jay Carney following the explosive hearings on the Benghazi terror attack of September 12, 2012.
President Obama was travelling to Texas to deliver a speech on job creation so the daily press gathering occurred on Air Force One. According to the transcript released by the White House, the reporters assigned to cover the White House only saw fit to ask Mr. Carney one question about the hearings and testimony of three whistleblowers who contradicted the official, White House version of the Benghazi attacks. And the question, at the very end of the briefing, did not address the actual substance of the hearings at all:
Ambassador Pickering has told some news outlets that he’s willing to testify in front of the House Oversight Committee. Is there any expectation from the White House that he will? And furthermore, Dick Cheney was on the Hill this morning and he was talking to folks on the Hill, and he said that Secretary Clinton should be subpoenaed if necessary. Any response first on Pickering, and then secondly to Vice President Cheney’s comments?
What did the White House Reporters find more important? Here’s a sample:
Q Jay, speaking also about the Senate, Republicans have submitted some 1,000 questions to Gina McCarthy and the EPA and there appear to be some delays in that process. Are you concerned about the nomination — about her nomination specifically? And what is the reason for the EPA not answering those questions?
Q McConnell and Boehner today sent a letter to the President saying they’ll be declining to recommend appointments to IPAB. Is there any concern that public confidence in IPAB will suffer because there won’t be any Republican input?
Q Jay, is the White House preparing for a conflict with congressional Republicans over the debt ceiling this summer? And do you expect that tax reform would be a part of a deal over that at all?
Q When is the President meeting with entrepreneurs and also the local residents? Is it before the tour, after the tour? The schedule wasn’t very clear.