CNN Political Commentator and former White Press Secretary Jay Carney dodged on whether he had ever admitted the White House made a mistake during his time as Press Secretary on Monday’s “Wolf” on CNN.
When Carney was asked “did you ever, while you were the Press Secretary in the White House, did you ever acknowledge that a mistake was made?” He responded “you know, I think the language you use is always something you have to think very carefully about. Because you don’t want to create something that’s used to bludgeon you or the president. But sure, I think there are occasions when you could say ‘you know, in retrospect we might have done this differently.’ The podium or the lectern is always a place that you have to be careful about doing that because it’s on camera and can become instant fodder for political ads and things like that. But I think there are ways to signal, that you know, maybe we could have done something better, I think the president says that a lot. But that’s usually a little down the road. When there’s a moment like this when there’s a bit of a frenzy, especially a press-focused frenzy, I think you just got to ride it out and focus on what the president has done, what we’ve done substantively as a nation to assist the French and what we’re doing to counter Islamic extremism around the world” he stated.
Regarding the White House not sending any senior officials to the French solidarity march over the weekend, he said “in retrospect you could say, ‘boy, it would have been better to avoid this very news story by sending a senior official,’ I think anyone short of the president appearing there would have still resulted in some of the criticism that we’re seeing. I think that what the White House is focused and what the president is focused on and sometimes this is an asset and sometimes its a liability in the day-to-day is on the longer term. And his focus is going to be on what are we doing to help the French, what are we doing to demonstrate substantively our solidarity with the French, and not whether or not we’re making all of the right symbolic moves.”
He also deflected criticism leveled at Attorney General Eric Holder for not attending the rally even though he was in France at the time, arguing “I would suggest that had he gone, that would not have satisfied critics here. They would have said that the United States sent a cabinet level official rather than the president or the vice president. And I think that, you know, the question here is should the president have gone? There are enormous challenges as you know, having covered the White House, to moving a president that are quite different from moving any other leader in the world. There are security issues that we approach differently from any other nation in the world, and also you create huge distraction and disruption when you inject a US President into an event like this.”
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