Open thread: Obama press conference with David Cameron

posted at 10:41 am on May 13, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Talk about bad timing! UK Prime Minister David Cameron is paying a long-scheduled visit to Washington DC, and protocol for such a visit requires a joint press conference.  Barack Obama will have to face the press just as two scandals are erupting, one new — the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups for the past three years — and one renewed, the Benghazi terrorist attack and talking-points scrub.

USA Today says that the 11:15 ET presser might include a question or two on those topics, putting Obama on the hot seat:

President Obama holds a brief news conference Monday morning with British Prime Minister David Cameron, but he is likely to be asked about pressing domestic issues: Benghazi and the IRS.

Obama has not commented publicly on the IRS admission that it gave extra scrutiny to the tax-exempt status of groups with “Tea Party” and “Patriot” in their names, though White House aides have criticized the practice.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said the IRS, which is conducting its own investigation, is a non-partisan entity and has only two political appointees.

“We certainly find the actions taken, as reported, to be inappropriate,” Carney said.

Rep. Susan Collins, R-Maine, told CNN’s State of the Union that it is “almost as disturbing that President Obama and treasury secretary Jack Lew have not personally apologized to the American people and promised a full investigation.”

Collins isn’t alone.  Joe Scarborough asked Chuck Todd on today’s Morning Joe why Obama hasn’t reacted to the IRS scandal, and Todd thinks the White House has made a big miscalculation (via Jim Geraghty):

TODD: Why aren’t there more Democrats jumping on this? This is outrageous no matter what political party you are, that an arm of the government, maybe it’s a set of people just in one office but, mind you, that one office was put in charge of dealing with these 501c4s and things like that.

SCARBOROUGH:  Why didn’t the president say something on Friday afternoon?

TODD:  I don’t know. Maybe they were distracted by Benghazi. Maybe they made the decision they didn’t want it to be about healthcare. I raised this question – where is the sense of outrage? And the only pushback was, Jay Carney spoke about this at the press briefing and he was pretty strong. I have to say it didn’t sound very strong to me. I don’t know if the White House realizes. I think this story has more legs politically in 2014 than Benghazi.

Yes.  Let’s see if the press today thinks so, too.

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Comment pages: 1 4 5 6

Nixon: I am not a crook.
BHO: I did not lie about Benghazi.

d1carter on May 13, 2013 at 1:36 PM

You’ll never again reach the heights you attained with your post about me. Now THAT was blogging!

chumpThreads on May 13, 2013 at 12:58 PM

BTW, I LOVED how you tried to rebut your Trig Trooferism!

chumpThreads: Trig Troofer

You are an intellectual GIANT!

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 1:38 PM

Political sideshow…Circus…We don’t have time for this… – Obama on Benghazi

workingclass artist on May 13, 2013 at 1:38 PM

well, a person’s character is important for the electorate, and to the effect that such divorce papers may reveal Mr. Ryan’s character, its fair game

nonpartisan on May 13, 2013 at 11:14 AM

Yet, per you, lying about sex under oath is trivial.

So much for character being important.

Missy on May 13, 2013 at 1:27 PM

The fact that a candidate was tutored by self-admitted Communist Frank Marshall Davis did not matter…

The fact that a candidate was admittedly mentored by, friends with, & attended the church of a racist, hate-spewing, Anti-American pastor did not matter…

The fact that a candidate announced his intent to run for public office in the living room of an American-born un-repentant terrorist who perpetrated bombings against his own nation & whose terrorist group is reponsible for the deaths of 1st responders did not matter…

The fact that the woman who wanted to become the 1st Lady declared she had never been proud of her country did not matter…

It did not matter that the President & the 1st Lady quoted Socialist SAUL ALINKY in speeches did not matter (primarily because most Americans are ignorant & did not know who Alinsky was)…

It did not matter to Americans that Obama chose for his re-election ‘icon’ & campaign slogan was an historic prominent Socialist icon & slogan….(again, most Americans were to ignorant to know this & the media protecting Obama’s butt weren’t going to make it an issue)…

The American people accepted the argument that ‘the past’, the candidate’s record, who he is, who he is closely associated with did not matter! (“What does it matter?”)

America is reaping the fruits of its ignorance, laziness, greed, and partisanship!

easyt65 on May 13, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Six times the IRS has been accused of punishing President Obama’s political opponents

3. Austan Goolsbee, Then Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors, Divulged on a Conference Call Confidential IRS Information on How Koch Industries Was Organized

In a background call with reporters, a “senior administration official” used Koch Industries as an example of how large corporations used corporate structures to avoid taxes.

In the course of attacking Koch Industries, which employs over 50,000 people and is owned by prominent conservative philanthropists Charles and David Koch, the official divulged confidential tax information about the company. The official was later outed as Austan Goolsbee, the former director of the president’s Economic Recovery Board and then chair of the Council Of Economic Advisers.

“Neither the Koch website nor Forbes’ list of private companies has information regarding Koch’s tax filling status. This is confidential information,” according to Koch Industries lawyer Mark Holden.

In 2010 an investigation led by the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, Russell George, was opened after Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee requested it. The results of the investigation have not been publicly communicated, and will not be released unless Senate Democrats permit it.

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 1:40 PM

BHO: I sent Matt Olsen to Congress to spill the beans on this…LOL.

d1carter on May 13, 2013 at 1:41 PM

Hehe, “Muffin”. That refers to Cameron? Hahaa.

Lourdes on May 13, 2013 at 12:55 PM

Yes. It is another word for p—y.


Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 1:42 PM

I thought he already promised he would hold an in-or-out referendum…

jimver on May 13, 2013 at 1:01 PM


Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 1:42 PM

He also labels what happened in Benghazi in the next sentence:

“But there is absolutely no justification to THIS TYPE OF SENSELESS VIOLENCE. None. The world must stand together to unequivocally reject these brutal acts.”
(Paragraph 4 of 13) – Resist We Much

Are you sure he wasn’t talking about the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe? \

kirkill on May 13, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Why do YOU like being lied to, chump?

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

I’ll even one up you. Here is the still currently active WHITE HOUSE web page including the Video and Statement.

Statement by the President on the Attack in Benghazi

I strongly condemn the outrageous attack on our diplomatic facility in Benghazi, which took the lives of four Americans, including Ambassador Chris Stevens. Right now, the American people have the families of those we lost in our thoughts and prayers. They exemplified America’s commitment to freedom, justice, and partnership with nations and people around the globe, and stand in stark contrast to those who callously took their lives.

I have directed my Administration to provide all necessary resources to support the security of our personnel in Libya, and to increase security at our diplomatic posts around the globe. While the United States rejects efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others, we must all unequivocally oppose the kind of senseless violence that took the lives of these public servants.

On a personal note, Chris was a courageous and exemplary representative of the United States. Throughout the Libyan revolution, he selflessly served our country and the Libyan people at our mission in Benghazi. As Ambassador in Tripoli, he has supported Libya’s transition to democracy. His legacy will endure wherever human beings reach for liberty and justice. I am profoundly grateful for his service to my Administration, and deeply saddened by this loss.

The brave Americans we lost represent the extraordinary service and sacrifices that our civilians make every day around the globe. As we stand united with their families, let us now redouble our own efforts to carry their work forward.

Note: No word terror, terrorist, terrorism. This is what is to be considered the official statement.

can_con on May 13, 2013 at 1:43 PM

Why do YOU like being lied to, chump?

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 1:33 PM

Why was that a question?

Yes. It is another word for p—y.


Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Y’all limeys talk funny.

cozmo on May 13, 2013 at 1:46 PM

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 1:38 PM

These libs know all about abortion but then want to be experts about pregnancy? I gave birth to 2 children, they were both 8lbs and over. I only gained a total of 20lbs with each pregnancy and wore my size 6 jeans up until 7 months. Chump is a moron.

BeachBum on May 13, 2013 at 1:47 PM

Depends on how you view “is” in relation to terror.

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 13, 2013 at 1:54 PM

There is no justice. This man is hiding behind his skin color and a press corps that is both too liberal and fearful to take him on.

There’s no there there, Obama says. He investigated himself and found himself free from any wrongdoing about anything, so we should move along and pass his agenda. He would be the first to tell us about any improprieties because his integrity is beyond reproach, as we’re told.

crrr6 on May 13, 2013 at 1:55 PM

APACHEWHOKNOWS on May 13, 2013 at 1:54 PM

That or the definition of “there”.

CTSherman on May 13, 2013 at 2:00 PM

This is getting to an almost unbelievable point. Pushing one scandal in front of another to better CYA. As bad as the IRS scandal is you have to believe Benghazi is ten times worse.

DDay on May 13, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Sounds like he’s resorting to the cheating husband’s stall. “It’s all in your head, honey.”

(I think there is a bigger story behind the Libyan thing that Obama wants hidden.)

albill on May 13, 2013 at 12:42 PM

Yep.. anyone believe Stevens was there to check out the possibility of making a permanent diplomatic installation?

itsacookbook on May 13, 2013 at 2:04 PM

Still flogging your dishrag of a blog, Sophie?

You’ll never again reach the heights you attained with your post about me. Now THAT was blogging!

In the same way people like you believed your fantasy polls over reality in the 2012 elections, the dream of impeaching President Obama is one you will never awaken from.

The good part is, I get to laugh at you poor sods.

chumpThreads on May 13, 2013 at 12:58 PM

Someone swimming in the Reality Distortion Ocean.

itsspideyman on May 13, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Barack’s being “historical” (AKA half African-American) trumps any reality to all O-partisans.

He could get caught robbing a bank in a Nixon mask and his supporters would call it a unique form of “redistribution of wealth” and excuse it under “executive privilege” (“Hey’ it’s all his money anyway… and he was going to give me some… so who cares what he does?”).

Obama makes teflon look like superglue.

profitsbeard on May 13, 2013 at 2:08 PM

Couldnt watch the presser. Great comments

Basically daring the media to call them out on their BS.Doughboy on May 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM

Dont forget there was a closed pre press conference the other day.

Credit to the US reporter though whoever she was for asking Obama about the IRS and Benghazi. Doughboy on May 13, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Obama picked two reporters. Pace asked two non accusatory questions with built in escape pods:

“When did you first learn that the IRS was targeting conservative political groups?” she asked. “Do you feel that the IRS has betrayed the public’s trust and what do you think the repercussions for these actions should be?”
“And on Benghazi, newly public emails show that the White House and the State Department appear to have been more closely involved with the crafting of the talking points on the attack than first acknowledged. Do you think the White House misled the public about its role in shaping the talking points, and do you stand by your administration’s assertions that the talking points were not purposely changed to downplay the prospects of terrorism?” Pace asked.

You would think the WH would have been better prepared for these questions.Mike Morrissey on May 13, 2013 at 12:07 PM

Obama is attempting to create the image of surprise at the useful questions. It is to his advantage to combine the two issues, and therefore cast the brouha as a witch hunt

he’s acting like providing the information he provided is somehow vindication from the information itself. Axe on May 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM

As you would in a witch hunt

So I guess the media will say “I accept his answers” move along nothing to see here …sandee on May 13, 2013 at 12:00 PM.

this is what Rush suspects

Can you imagine how this wuss of a president looks to the Brotherhood? They are laughing their arses off.
kingsjester on May 13, 2013 at 12:04 PM

He facilitates most of their goals. Obama is not muslim enough to garner public respect, but muslim friendly enough to produce for them. Obviously lying to the US public while arming al qaeda is all good for them

entagor on May 13, 2013 at 2:16 PM

If I was allowed one question to ask Obama one question at that press conference I would have asked:

Mr President, the day after four Americans died after being denied American military support in the attack in Benghazi, you flew to a fundraiser. At that fund raiser, did you or did you not ask for a moment of silence in memory of the four men?

If I was allowed two questions, the second would have been:

And what did you have for dinner at the fund raiser: chicken, beef or fish?

entagor on May 13, 2013 at 2:31 PM

“The scandal, McConnell said, extends up the chain. “The Obama effort to shut up opponents isn’t limited to the IRS,” he stated. “It applies to the FCC [Federal Communications Commission], SEC [Securities and Exchange Commission], FEC [Federal Elections Commission], HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] …. And you remember, the Obama campaign last year published a list of eight businessmen who it believed were enemies.”

McConnell further noted reports that the Department of Health and Human Services had been contacting businesses “skeptical about the implementation of Obamacare and asking them to contribute money to sell the program to the American people. That’s absolutely improper if not illegal. This administration will stop at nothing to get its way. It will do anything it can to silence its critics.”

McConnell said would not trust any Democrat-led investigation into the IRS scandal. He added with regard to a House investigation of the IRS’ activities, “I’m confident they will do it in the way in which it ought to be conducted, with a high level of skepticism about an agency trying to silence the critics of the Obama administration.”

He also added that the recent IRS revelations were “just the beginning of the story. This is no little thing. This is a big thing. The good news about it is they finally got caught. They finally messed with an agency everybody fully understands. When they try to quiet the critics through other agencies, it doesn’t get attention. This does. Everybody understands the IRS and how powerful they are. This is just one example of an administration-wide effort to silence critics.”…”

workingclass artist on May 13, 2013 at 2:32 PM

those mean media lapdogs made him cry today, too! Here is proof it wasn’t an act!

bloggless on May 13, 2013 at 2:39 PM

nonpartisan on May 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM

1) It wouldn’t be wasting millions if your “boy” would just come clean and stop with the lying and cover ups. It’s the liberals that are wasting millions, not Republicans.

2) The IRS controversy isn’t a small thing. In fact a similar occurrence was listed as one of the reasons for the impeachment proceedings against Nixon after Watergate. Liberals set the precedent for that. You can’t cry about it now.

dominigan on May 13, 2013 at 2:46 PM

@StevenTDennis Jay Carney: WH counsel’s office was alerted about IG investigation week of April 22, 2013

Resist We Much on May 13, 2013 at 3:06 PM

Yet, per you, lying about sex under oath is trivial.

So much for character being important.


NP is a Harvard Law grad. He knows more about such things than regular folks.

xblade on May 13, 2013 at 3:37 PM

Extortion 17 mission. 25 dead US Navy SEALS. Murdering Son of a Broom Factory Test Pilot

hamradio on May 14, 2013 at 1:05 AM

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