White House Defends Obama’s Prayer Breakfast Remarks

President Obama at the prayer breakfast, Feb. 5, 2015
Evan Vucci, AP

Aboard Air Force One, White House Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz defended President Obama’s controversial remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast yesterday.

Schultz explained that he believed that the remarks were “suited” for the event that was attended by many Christians.

“What I think the President was trying to say is, over the course of human history there are times where extremists pervert their own religion to justify violence,” he said.

Schultz indicated that Obama believed in holding people of every faith accountable for the values that America stands for.

“That’s what gives us the moral standing around the world — not just because we assert it, but because we hold ourselves accountable,” he explained.

He also indicated that Obama was not trying to stir controversy with his remarks at the prayer breakfast and delivered an appropriate message.

“I think if you look at the entire text of the remarks, you’ll see how well suited they were for that audience and that setting,” he said.

When asked about the president’s critics, Schultz pointedly dismissed Rick Santorum, who said that Obama’s remarks were “wrong.”

“I have not spoken with [the president] about the reaction to the remarks, but I know that there is a failed presidential candidate and an RNC chairman from the past who have criticized us,” Schultz said. “But I don’t have a response to either of those two people.”


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