CBS News reporter Bill Plante challenged White House press secretary Jay Carney on President Obama’s statement Monday that for the Supreme Court to overturn the Affordable Care Act would be an “extraordinary, unprecedented step,” during a Thursday press briefing.
BILL PLANTE: What he said on Monday was an obvious misspoken moment because he talked about the court not being in a position to overturn an of Congress—
JAY CARNEY: Bill—
PLANTE: You’re standing up there twisting yourself in knots, because he made a mistake and you can’t admit it.
CARNEY: No, no, Bill, I am acknowledging that—you’re sharing in the righteous indignation here that your colleagues—
PLANTE: No, I’m just being—I’m just noting that you’re twisting yourself in knots.
CARNEY: The president spoke in answer to a question, relatively briefly, and in the context of this case, made the statement that there is no judicial precedent—that there is long judicial precedent which would argue that the court should not overturn this law. I totally grant to you that he did not refer to the commerce clause. He did not refer to the whole context. I think he believed that that was understood. Clearly, some folks—notably the person sitting in that chair and others—missed that. And, uh, and, uh—no, no, look. There’s a lot of—it’s kind of ridiculous to believe that the president wasn’t talking about the context of the case, but I completely concede that he did not describe the context when he took the question and answered it on Monday. He then, when asked again Tuesday, provided the full context. And so, did he clarify his comments? Absolutely. Did he expand on them? Absolutely. Yes, Scott. God, you guys. It’s your job to come up with clichés—game on, and things like that. But I’m not going to engage in that.
Reporters challenged Carney on the remarks Wednesday, as well.