The PJ Tatler

Carney: Summits Weren't Political, But Totally Reinforce Obama's 'To-Do' List

The White House insisted that there was nothing political about President Obama’s hosting of the G-8 and NATO summits this past weekend, even while spinning the conversation toward Obama’s “to-do list” for Congress.

Press secretary Jay Carney was asked at yesterday’s briefing whether they expected a “political bump” out of the campaign-ready issues highlighted at the conference.

“These are weighty, substantive issues,” Carney said. “They’re not something that I think most Americans view through a political lens, and they’re certainly not something that the President views through a political lens.”

He quickly added that the eurozone crisis discussed at the G-8 has an impact on the American economy “and, therefore, Americans as they cope with their personal economic situation as we emerge from the worst recession since the Great Depression.”

“The president has spoken very clearly about the fact that Europe and instability there remains a headwind to the global economy and therefore the American economy, which only reinforces the need for us in the United States, for the elected officials who were sent here by their constituents to get the work done that the people want, to focus on the things they can get done to help the economy grow and help it create jobs,” Carney said.

“And that’s why the president has an agenda that does just that and is filled with items, as we talked about earlier, on the ‘to-do’ list that have traditionally enjoyed support from both Democrats and Republicans,” he continued. “So we need to act on the things that we can control to help insulate the American economy and the American people from the kinds of headwinds that we’ve experienced in the past and we continue to experience.”

When asked whether the G-8 statement about growth vs. austerity backs Obama’s debate with the GOP, Carney insisted it wasn’t political.

“I think you’re seeing this through — everything through sort of the political lens or sort of electoral lens, and that’s not how the president views it,” he said.

“I think most Americans simply want to make sure that their president is working with his European counterparts to advise the Europeans on a way forward for them that creates the kinds of stability in Europe that European leaders clearly want, the European people — people in these European countries clearly want, and obviously that would be beneficial to our economic growth,” Carney added.