President Obama appeared at today’s daily briefing to announce that Jay Carney will be stepping down as press secretary.
“He comes to this place with a reporter’s perspective,” Obama said. “That’s why I think he will actually miss hanging out with you.”
Obama praised Carney as a friend and said he’ll continue to rely on him as an adviser.
“The flak jacket is officially passed to a new generation, Mr. Josh Earnest,” Obama announced, naming the deputy press secretary to take Carney’s spot.
“You can’t find a nicer individual even outside of Washington,” he added of Earnest, who served as an aide to Marion Berry and worked on Michael Bloomberg’s first mayoral campaign before joining then-Sen. Obama’s campaign team.
Carney said he didn’t know what his next career move will be, but indicated that he’d been in discussions about departing the White House for months.
“Be nice to Jay on his farewell tour,” the president chided the press corps.
Carney, who has been press secretary for the past 3 1/2 years and was previously Washington bureau chief for TIME magazine, said it was not his last briefing and “I will have a few more polished things to say before I go.”
“It’s been an amazing experience,” he added. “So fulfilling… In mid-life you don’t often make a whole new set of friends, not just friends but people you would fight by and for.”
“Every day has been a privilege,” Carney said.