Awkward: Jay Carney disparaging Obama’s “bitter clingers” remark in 2008
posted at 2:01 pm on September 18, 2012 by Erika Johnsen
There has been much ado about (nothing, cough cough, what?) the mysteriously just-unearthed secret footage of Mitt Romney awhile back telling fundraiser attendees about his views on the 47 percent of Americans already certain to vote for President Obama. But of course, both the Obama campaign and the White House were all-too-quick to seize upon his remarks, trumpeting them as evidence for their ‘Mitt Romney is an unfeeling, out-of-touch, secretive, black-hearted, profiteering corporatist’-narrative and arguing that they ostensibly show disdain for average Americans. Wait a tick… déjà vu, anyone?
MSNBC’s Chuck Todd wondered as much to the reliably vociferous Obama campaign deputy press secretary Stephanie Cutter this morning, asking if Obama’s erstwhile “bitter clingers” comments don’t bear any resemblance to Romney’s (via RCP):
“Well, Chuck, he was saying the exact opposite of what Mitt Romney was saying. He was talking about how, you know, some people get frustrated by their circumstances and react to that and that we need to bring everybody together and talk to everybody about how we are going to strengthen middle class security. … Mitt Romney was saying the exact opposite. That 47% of the country are never going to vote for him because they don’t take personal responsibility for themselves, they consider themselves victims. And that they are never going to vote for him and they are not his concern. So it’s the exact opposite.”
Uh huh. But, that’s not quite what Jay Carney — the current White House press secretary, whose job it is to explain and defend President Obama — argued at the time back in 2008.
It seems that Carney felt so strongly about the issue, he even penned a piece about it — a fact that Bloomberg reporter Hans Nichols wasn’t going to let slide in today’s press briefing after Carney pontificated about President Obama being “president of all the people.”
Oops: I originally had Yahoo! News reporter Olivier Knox as Carney’s discomfort-inducing questioner; corrected now!