Jay Carney Dodges Questions on Priorities USA Ad

Carney: 'We do not control third party ads'

White House press secretary Jay Carney avoided questions about the pro-Obama super Pac ad that links Romney to a woman's death. Carney instead discussed a pro-Romney ad that criticizes President Obama over welfare reform.


BRIANNA KEILER: Conservative super Pac, American crossroad, has a new video that calls on president Obama to denounce the ads by Priorities, the main pro-Obama super Pac, that links mitt Romney to the death of a steel workers wife. Do you have a response to the ad?

JAY CARNEY: I am not aware of the new super Pac ad that you reference. I find it rich with irony.  But I’m wondering if that… there are so many different groups out there if that particular republican super Pac is urging itself or the republican candidate or some other republican leader to denounce the other third party republican super Pac ad that questions whether or not the president is an American citizen. I mean there’s a point a which


CARNEY: in how many states is the ad that you’re talking about aired?

KEILER: Counting fifty if you consider the news.

CARNEY: based on media reports, how many dollars has been spent on this ad? Now lets compare that. Again I’m getting out of territory that is my territory. Let me just make the point. I have addressed this issue because of an advertisement filmed by, produced by paid for by with millions of dollars that is being spread out across the country in major states, paid for by and produced by the Romney campaign, not a third party group, that is categorically false and is a blatantly dishonest representation of the presidents policy. And that’s not just me saying it that’s president bill Clinton who has said it, republican who have worked on welfare reform who have said it, it is republicans who are out there reputativly to advance the argument on behalf of governor Romney who have said there is no proof that the ad is true. So, that’s qualitatively different (inaudible) from a third party ad that obviously we have no control over with people we don’t have contact with.

KEILER: But this is the super Pac that president Obama, in February, said to his top bundlers its okay to move forward supporting this super Pac. Don’t you at some point have to say something to make this go away, this is the forth day you’ve gone through questions

CARNEY: we do not control third party ads. What this president is focused on is what he can do as president and what his message is about what our economic future can be and should be as he campaigns around the country. Perhaps others should then give evaluations and assessments and condemnations if called for of other ads that you judge out of line. What this president is focused on is helping the economy grow, helping it create jobs, and when he’s out there campaigning he is bring a message of what his vision is for the future. That’s what he’s focused on, and as he should be.

KEILER: But does it serve him for a debate over this kind of ad that is so apathetical to the kind of politics he’s promoted, does that serve him well

CARNEY: we do not control the ad, Briana.  (inaudible). You can make an assessment, that’s not for me to do. I’m speaking for the president and defending and explaining his policies. And defending them when a campaign ad with millions and millions of dollars behind it as opposed to one with zero dollars behind it is being broadcast around the country, paid for and produced by the Romney campaign that is categorically false and blatantly dishonest about the presidents policy positions.


In May, Carney denounced third party attack ads.