Jay Carney: Obama never said he was opposed to signing statements in all cases

posted at 5:37 pm on April 18, 2011 by Allahpundit

The inevitable, and inevitably pathetic, follow-up to Friday night’s news dump in which The One quietly rejected Congress’s defunding of his czars. Carney cites, among other reports, an interview Obama gave to Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe on the campaign trail in late 2007. Let’s revisit it, shall we?

Signing statements have been used by presidents of both parties, dating back to Andrew Jackson. While it is legitimate for a president to issue a signing statement to clarify his understanding of ambiguous provisions of statutes and to explain his view of how he intends to faithfully execute the law, it is a clear abuse of power to use such statements as a license to evade laws that the president does not like or as an end-run around provisions designed to foster accountability.

I will not use signing statements to nullify or undermine congressional instructions as enacted into law. The problem with this administration is that it has attached signing statements to legislation in an effort to change the meaning of the legislation, to avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation. The fact that President Bush has issued signing statements to challenge over 1100 laws – more than any president in history – is a clear abuse of this prerogative. No one doubts that it is appropriate to use signing statements to protect a president’s constitutional prerogatives; unfortunately, the Bush Administration has gone much further than that.

I’m highlighting every third word or so in that excerpt because every third word represents a different argument. In a nutshell: It’s okay to issue a signing statement where the bill is unclear or where there’s a legit constitutional objection. Where, however, Congress’s will is clear and you’re floating a bogus constitutional objection as an excuse to disregard part of the bill, then the signing statement is off limits. Question: How do we know if a president’s constitutional objection is legitimate or bogus? Presumptive answer: If the president making the objection is named “Barack Obama,” it’s totally solid. That’s the best I can do to wring a cogent explanation out of this for why his Friday night statement asserting “constitutional responsibilities” isn’t completely hypocritical. And I do mean completely: Note how he singled out “provisions designed to foster accountability” in his 2007 answer to the Globe. The big problem with his czars all along has been that not all of them are accountable to Congress in the way that duly confirmed cabinet officials are. So Congress, quite naturally, decided to cut off their funding — as part of a budget deal blessed by the White House and the Democratic leadership — and The One decided to simply wish that provision away after the fact. That’s “accountability,” Hopenchange style. I can only assume that, if pressed, he’d resort to saying that at least he hasn’t done this a thousand times like Bush did. A president’s entitled to ignore the Constitution once or twice, as long as he doesn’t make a habit of it, right?

I already posted it on Friday night but I’m reposting the clip below of him talking about signing statements at a townhall meeting on the trail in early 2008, five months after he spoke to the Globe. No equivocation in his answer this time; when standing before the Hopenchange faithful, he was resolute that if the president objects to a provision in a bill on his desk, whether for constitutional reasons or otherwise, his only option was to veto it. Had he taken that advice in this case, it would have forced a government shutdown, which would have struck a blow to the one thing he cares about above all others, i.e. his own reelection. So he did what he normally does in a tough situation and ignored a campaign pledge to his base. Why shouldn’t he? They’ll vote for him anyway. Click the image to watch.


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small potatoes compared to Gitmo, but amusing none the less.

rob verdi on April 18, 2011 at 5:39 PM

When your spokesmouth is incompetent, and you can’t keep your lies straight, you’re screwed.

portlandon on April 18, 2011 at 5:40 PM

Michelle never said that she doesn’t “love this country” either.

Who are the Obamas? A more charlatanic pair never existed on Earth. If some did, name them here.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:41 PM

I’m still unclear as to how exactly he’s going to get the funds if Congress doesn’t give them to him. Signing statements don’t create money out of thin air.

SirGawain on April 18, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Carney is the right name for this guy. He should be spinning cotton candy at the Pomona fair under strict supervision.

Chuck Schick on April 18, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Jay Carney is an even better and bigger liar than Gibbsey.

I thought I’d miss Gibbs, but this turd makes it easy to be reminded, daily, what obfiscation goes on in the voters’ faces, with not a trace of shame.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:43 PM

Congress says “unconstitutional“.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:45 PM

AP, are you telling me that both Jay Carney and BHO are both lying…? Wow!///

d1carter on April 18, 2011 at 5:45 PM

When your spokesmouth is incompetent, and you can’t keep your lies straight, you’re we’re screwed.

portlandon on April 18, 2011 at 5:40 PM

FIFY

Knucklehead on April 18, 2011 at 5:46 PM

charlatanic pair
Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:41 PM

I like that.Mind if I use it?

sandee on April 18, 2011 at 5:46 PM

If you are explaining then you are losing.

crosspatch on April 18, 2011 at 5:46 PM

“The president does not have the option of choosing which laws he will follow and which laws he can ignore,” Scalise said in a statement, accusing Obama of acting like a “dictator.”

“The president knew that the czar amendment was part of the overall budget deal he agreed to, and if he cannot be trusted to keep his word on this, then how can he be trusted as we negotiate on larger issues like federal spending and the economy,” Scalise said.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:46 PM

I like that.Mind if I use it?

sandee on April 18, 2011 at 5:46 PM

Use all you can. Fight them all the way home to their charlatanic nest. These are the biggest frauds on Earth.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Just Barry Two-Faced speaking out of both sides of his mouth again.

No need to worry. Progressives are so used to it, they no longer see the hypocrisy.

After all, He IS The One!

GarandFan on April 18, 2011 at 5:48 PM

How can he wish it away with a signing statement. Even if it came from up on high engraved in stone, it’s still up to congress to fund the paychecks of the czars. If they’re not willing to do so then Barry’s signing statement isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

mizflame98 on April 18, 2011 at 5:48 PM

To quote a sage representative: you LIE.

Vyce on April 18, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Obama never said he was against signing statements in all cases…just GWB’s in ALL cases.

JAM on April 18, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:48 PM

To be clear, send them home.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:49 PM

Dude has more expiration dates than a milk-jugging facility.

SouthernGent on April 18, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Media, suffocate of what you consume, the Obama caca you dwell in.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:50 PM

Yeah! He’s like, totally for them, when they’re politically convenient for him. It’s just OTHER presidents that use them for bad purposes!

mojo on April 18, 2011 at 5:52 PM

YOU all watch – read it here and remember – because his numbers are way down with whites, yes those bible-thumping, gun-toting, toothless hicks from VA and etc…he will reclaim his white mother by Nov. 2012, and claim that he is half white and all that.

Just recall that he disowned his mother’s background in his book/s, considering it too “aloof”. He loved to be only black.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:52 PM

The phrase lying crapweasel comes to mind here.

Where exactly does Dear Reader get the funds to pay these czars? Must be that famed ‘stash’ of his.

GnuBreed on April 18, 2011 at 5:53 PM

liar!!!!!!

cmsinaz on April 18, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Jay Carney said, it all depends on what the definition of what is – is…. Carney: oh sorry I just regurgitated the last lawyer’s excuse reason for lying, who was USING occupying the oval office. Carney, Hey who is up for a tour of the Lincoln Bedroom. LOL!

Dr Evil on April 18, 2011 at 5:55 PM

They’ll vote for him anyway

kool-aid kool-aid taste great, kool-aid kool-aid can’t wait

cmsinaz on April 18, 2011 at 5:56 PM

“The president does not have the option of choosing which laws he will follow and which laws he can ignore,” Scalise said in a statement, accusing Obama of acting like a “dictator.”

“The president knew that the czar amendment was part of the overall budget deal he agreed to, and if he cannot be trusted to keep his word on this, then how can he be trusted as we negotiate on larger issues like federal spending and the economy,” Scalise said.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:46 PM

If I were Boehner, I would tell Obama NO MORE DEALS, we’re shutting down the government, so go play some golf Mister Falcon Melon Farmer.

fossten on April 18, 2011 at 5:57 PM

The House should defund the entire executive branch, until this dictator is brought to heel.

That, or just impeach the buffoonish liar.

Rebar on April 18, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Why is it I keep hearing the bzzer from the game “Operation” going off in my head?

44Magnum on April 18, 2011 at 5:58 PM

Quit calling him a socialist. Call him a Chavez.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:59 PM

YOU all watch – read it here and remember – because his numbers are way down with whites, yes those bible-thumping, gun-toting, toothless hicks from VA and etc…he will reclaim his white mother by Nov. 2012, and claim that he is half white and all that.

Just recall that he disowned his mother’s background in his book/s, considering it too “aloof”. He loved to be only black.

Schadenfreude on April 18, 2011 at 5:52 PM

You may be on to something, so I’ve bookmarked your comment for future reference.

GrannyDee on April 18, 2011 at 6:00 PM

Carney is the right name for this guy. He should be spinning cotton candy at the Pomona fair under strict supervision.

Chuck Schick on April 18, 2011 at 5:43 PM

He would also make a great Ed Norton on “The Honeymooners”. He’s obviously a master in crap.

Del Dolemonte on April 18, 2011 at 6:01 PM

The leftist media is/are (?) the problem.
Scumbags like the Obamas are a product of the media.
As are most of the problems in the country.
They are enemies hiding under the cloak of freedom of speech.

justltl on April 18, 2011 at 6:01 PM

Never trust a Carny.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on April 18, 2011 at 6:02 PM

I don’t care.
Obama is awesome.
Bush is a dumb cowboy.
Reagan was a B actor.
Dick Cheney.
Halliburton.
Halliburton.
Halliburton.

txhsmom on April 18, 2011 at 6:02 PM

On the first day of Beast Barracks at West Point, new cadets, plebes, are introduced to the basic honor code:

“A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.”

Obama?

Exempt.

coldwarrior on April 18, 2011 at 6:03 PM

Had he taken that advice in this case, it would have forced a government shutdown, which would have struck a blow to the one thing he cares about above all others, i.e. his own reelection. So he did what he normally does in a tough situation and ignored a campaign pledge to his base.

That’s him. The last sentence is his entire campaign strategy. The lies we’ve already seen are nothing compared to what we’re probably going to hear in the next year.

INC on April 18, 2011 at 6:04 PM

Private Pyle, you have got to be sh**ting me!!

JohnGalt23 on April 18, 2011 at 6:05 PM

Obama: the master of plausible deniability.

It’s why his speeches are so disjointed and his off the cuff responses are so full of pauses.

Obama is the Gumby-in-Chief. Tying Obama to a firm position is like nailing jello to a board.

marybel on April 18, 2011 at 6:06 PM

Barry and Michelle Antoinette filed their taxes and they’re getting a refund:

Through withholding and estimated tax payments during the year, the Obamas paid $466,104 to the Internal Revenue Service. That was an overpayment, so they are getting a $12,334 refund.

I know they would love to write a check to the IRS and donate all that money. The only problem is the government hasn’t asked them to do it yet.

mizflame98 on April 18, 2011 at 6:06 PM

I hope there are no children watching.

This isn’t exactly the kind of example that most parents want for their children. It would be nice if parents could point to the President as an example of integrity, character, and graciousness, but it seems that is no longer valued in our national leader.

With Clinton, the excuse was that we should look past personal character flaws because what was really important was competence. So, many let character slip away as part of the national leader.

Now, we find ourselves with a national leader with neither character or competence. It’s time to draw the line!
Fortunately, there are other examples. The antidote for public figures who lie and break their promises is parents who tell the truth and keep their promises.

rlyle on April 18, 2011 at 6:08 PM

That’s all right, Katie and the other MSM anchors will nail his butt on this. /sarc

Dingbat63 on April 18, 2011 at 6:09 PM

Where’s that active gif of little Bammie morphing into President George W. Bush? Anyone have the link?

slickwillie2001 on April 18, 2011 at 6:11 PM

The phrase lying crapweasel comes to mind here.

GnuBreed on April 18, 2011 at 5:53 PM

Lying douchenozzle is better.

catmman on April 18, 2011 at 6:13 PM

This probably won’t be on the CBS, NBC or ABC evening news. I bet a dollar to a Rosie O’Donnell bushel of donuts that Chrissy will cover it on Hard Ball.

/sarc

BruthaMan on April 18, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Hey, wasn’t me…

Caper29 on April 18, 2011 at 6:14 PM

Never trust a Carny.

Dr. Carlo Lombardi on April 18, 2011 at 6:02 PM

I hear tell they smell of cabbage?

catmman on April 18, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Obama’s stupidity and inability to lead resulted in a steep drop in the Dow, Nasdaq, et al.

He has no ability to lead. He needs to either step down or be removed before 2012. Our Nation will not survive this attack from within.

Key West Reader on April 18, 2011 at 6:17 PM

“A president’s entitled to ignore the Constitution once or twice, as long as he doesn’t make a habit of it, right?”

Just wait until November 2012…

… when the ‘signing statement’ has the words “Martial Law” written upon them.

Seven Percent Solution on April 18, 2011 at 6:17 PM

I hear tell they smell of cabbage?

catmman on April 18, 2011 at 6:15 PM

Like the Victory Towers! I just cannot wait.

/I’ll kill myself first.

Key West Reader on April 18, 2011 at 6:18 PM

How much should America endure before we declare whatever this person is that’s crapping on our Nation a Failure?

Do we really have to go 2 more years? If so, can we survive? And if so, at what price? I don’t think he’s worth saving and I’m concsious of my future. Not afraid. Just conscious.

He needs to step down. Lord in Heaven knows he’s been calling for others to step down. It’s time for him to step aside, take his wife and his girls and go back to Chicago into irrelevancy.

Key West Reader on April 18, 2011 at 6:21 PM

if he cannot be trusted to keep his word on this, then how can he be trusted as we negotiate on larger issues like federal spending and the economy,

Ohh!! Ohh!! I know this one!!

tom on April 18, 2011 at 6:23 PM

Well.. After careful thought and consideration, there is nobody that I trust more in this life than Howdy Doodie a/k/a Jay Carney.

I would put all of my trust in this meatpuppet and I trust everything this meatpuppet says, no matter what.

Because Obama is a genius and Sarah Palin and Herman Cain and Michelle Bachmann and everyone else who is not a democrat is mentally retarded.

Above all, my full faith and trust lies in the meatpuppet that holds the office of the PresentDunce. Because Obama is Awesome and everyone else is stupid. Yes, that is the ticket. Yes, that is the ticket. Yes, that is the ticket.

Key West Reader on April 18, 2011 at 6:29 PM

He never didn’t not say he wouldn’t refuse to never issue a signing statement under any circumstance.

forest on April 18, 2011 at 6:31 PM

if he cannot be trusted to keep his word”

“if” has never really been a qualifier with Obama and trust.

BruthaMan on April 18, 2011 at 6:33 PM

He needs to step down. Lord in Heaven knows he’s been calling for others to step down. It’s time for him to step aside, take his wife and his girls and go back to Chicago into irrelevancy.

Key West Reader on April 18, 2011 at 6:21 PM

He won’t step down on his own, we know. Aside from impeachment (that is as unlikely), how can he be forced from office? By the military? He’s threatening the entire foundation of this country. He cares little for the constitution. Is there sincerely anything that can be done except to hope that the masses aren’t stupid again in 2012? He is a nightmare.

mimi1220 on April 18, 2011 at 6:34 PM

The seed of Royalty

From Obama’s biggest supporters. Listen to the gasps.

Key West Reader on April 18, 2011 at 6:37 PM

I wonder if Mrs. Carney has noticed the greatly increased Mylanta consumption….poor Jay

NY Conservative on April 18, 2011 at 6:43 PM

It wasn’t a signing statement signing statement!

jdkchem on April 18, 2011 at 6:45 PM

Obama = LAME DUCK!

Next thread please.

PappyD61 on April 18, 2011 at 6:45 PM

SirGawain on April 18, 2011 at 5:42 PM

ever hear of the $500 toilet seat/hammer? ever watch “Independence Day” when the POTUS is shown area51? the money is the easy part.

NY Conservative on April 18, 2011 at 6:46 PM

Some

avoid enforcing certain provisions of the legislation that the President does not like, and to raise implausible or dubious constitutional objections to the legislation…. a clear abuse of this prerogative

are more equal than others

Kenosha Kid on April 18, 2011 at 6:53 PM

So he did what he normally does in a tough situation and ignored a campaign pledge to his base.

Hold on. We’re supposed to accept that a statement of willingness to tie his own hands vs. Congress was truthful at the time it was made? There’s a shorter word for what this jackass says than, “campaign pledge.”

Barnestormer on April 18, 2011 at 6:54 PM

I can’t copy or paste the link I posted at 6:37

Key West Reader on April 18, 2011 at 6:57 PM

Malcolm X. Royalty.

Key West Reader on April 18, 2011 at 6:59 PM

This coming from.the same guy who had the NERVE to say he wanted “spending reductions in the tax code” as opposed to “tax hikes on the ‘rich.’”

…I’m pretty sure “crapweasel” is an accurate description.

flyawaybird on April 18, 2011 at 7:14 PM

The seed of Royalty

From Obama’s biggest supporters. Listen to the gasps.

Key West Reader on April 18, 2011 at 6:37 PM

Come on now. You know all black people look alike (I keed, I keed….!)

mizflame98 on April 18, 2011 at 7:20 PM

On the one hand, I feel for Mr. Carney: having to defend the indefensible (Obumba); but, in spite of the obvious (Obumba), he took the job. Tango Sierra, Mr. Carney.

Dingbat63 on April 18, 2011 at 8:06 PM

“YES”… and the drones clap…
-

RalphyBoy on April 18, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Obama said, Obama said

Someone should write a parody tune to The Shirelles “Momma said”.

crosspatch on April 18, 2011 at 8:21 PM

Obama said there would be days like this ….

crosspatch on April 18, 2011 at 8:22 PM

The Seed of Royalty

From Obama’s biggest supporters. Listen to the gasps.

Key West Reader on April 18, 2011 at 6:37 PM

So black voters have their own birther theory? Spooky stuff.

slickwillie2001 on April 18, 2011 at 9:05 PM

There are many that are not opposed to disposing of a traitor/dictator in all cases either…

rgranger on April 18, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Why do the HA lefties always avoid threads like this? You’d think they’d love the Orwellian double-speak challenge of defending this crap… I guess they’re just not creative enough?

Firefly_76 on April 18, 2011 at 9:44 PM

SirGawain on April 18, 2011 at 5:42 PM

Exactly. I guess he could pull the money out of others areas of the Executive Budget.

chemman on April 18, 2011 at 9:53 PM

They’re only fooling themselves with these lies.

Have they fooled themselves into believing they’ve fooled the rest of us?

Answer: Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on YOU!

TN Mom on April 18, 2011 at 10:23 PM

He can always blame his teleprompter for lying to him.

tarpon on April 19, 2011 at 8:28 AM

I suppose I am crazy.

I do not see a problem with a CEO declaring he does not need $XXX to properly do his job. Why should the POTUS be any different? If he refuses to spend some allocated money we can call that “profit” or we can call it “deferred maintenance.” Time defines which it was.

But if a CEO is given a budget of $XXX and told specifically not to spend any of it on heavy duty cat vomit cleaning tools said CEO (POTUS) had bloody darned well not spend any of his budget on heavy duty cat vomit cleaning tools – or EPA carbon regulations.

Under budget is fine. Over budget is deadly.

{^_^}

herself on April 19, 2011 at 9:47 AM

In the Future the greatest phrase will be. “IT must be ok, Barry did it.”

BruceB on April 19, 2011 at 11:29 AM