Carney: Tough on GOP, Conciliatory on Pakistan

• March 19, 2012 3:36 pm


White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had tough words for House Republicans regarding the budget—but a far more conciliatory tone regarding Pakistan’s involvement in the war on terror.

He drew a harsh line in the sand for Republicans on the Hill, pointing to the automatic trigger of matching $500 billion in defense and domestic budget cuts.

"The sequester was designed to be objectionable and onerous … (The cuts) exist in order to force congress to … get our fiscal house in order," Carney said. "What we don’t need is another proposal that says we need to preserve or extend the tax cuts for wealthy Americans … subsidies to oil and gas companies making record profits and in order to pay for all that and achieve some modicum of deficit reduction, the elimination of Medicaid."

Carney also lampooned Republicans in Congress for their lack of cooperation, while praising Pakistan for its role in foreign policy.

The press secretary defended President Barack Obama’s plans to tour the country to tout his energy policy later this week, saying Republican obstruction necessitated what one reporter referred to as a "public relations tour."

"He will act on all the things he can…that don’t require congressional collaboration because we’ve had a paucity of congressional cooperation…just look at what happened in the summer," Carney said referring to the debt ceiling stalemate. "There’s a whole host of issues."

Carney took a much different tone when discussing Pakistan’s murky relations with the U.S.

"The cooperation that we have had in Pakistan has contributed to some of the successes that we have had (in Afghanistan)," Carney said.

Pakistan has drawn a suspicious eye from many foreign policy experts, especially in the wake of the raid on terror mastermind’s Osama bin Laden’s compound, which lay within a mile of a Pakistani military base.