The Fact Checker has dealt with White House press operations since the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Every White House likes to have its cake and eat it, too.
In this case, officials were able to put into circulation a really good number, without context, via the state insurance commissioners. That’s the number the president highlighted in his news conference. By the time reporters realized that the relevant number was different, the White House highlighted the fact that it was the same as the Massachusetts figure.
Either way, the White House got its spin out. By the time the dust settled, the original 40 percent goal was largely forgotten – -as well as the fact that the final 28 percent figure was only slightly better than the 27 percent achieved in March.
That may be a good day’s work for press management, but the president should have used the more relevant figure in his remarks.