White House press secretary Josh Earnest responded to concerns that President Obama isn’t facing direct questions from the press enough by noting that he recently took one question from a reporter.
This morning on MSNBC, it was noted to Earnest that Obama hasn’t done a full Q&A with members of the media since Sept. 5.
“Well, you know, the president does have this foreign trip that’s coming up where I would anticipate the president will typically do Q&A sessions with reporters when he’s traveling. The president was just in the Oval Office on Thursday where he did a meeting with his team to talk about the Ebola response and he took a question from the pool who asked him about appointing a czar,” Earnest replied.
The press secretary said one question isn’t the standard now, “but it is an example of the president having a regular interchange with the reporters who cover the White House.”
Obama flew to a DNC event yesterday in Chicago. Deputy press secretary Eric Schultz answered questions on the plane.
Earnest told MSNBC that taking over from former press secretary Jay Carney has been “a genuine thrill.”
“I’m not going to say it is easy, but it’s a heck of a good time,” he said.
“I think some of it is temperament, and not getting angry when someone asks you an unfair question is part of it… It happens very rarely but you have to be prepared when it happens.”
Earnest said the press secretary must learn about “not taking it personally, because the other thing is this, when they show the clip on your show, you never show the clip of somebody asking the question.”
“…If you can walk in and keep your cool and understand that’s what’s going to happen — then — that’s going to help you get — that’s going to help you succeed a little bit.”
He maintained that Obama can help instead of hurt Democrats in the midterms, but “ultimately it’s up to the individual candidates to learn lessons, right? They’re running their own campaigns.”
“In 2012 we applied a lot of lessons from 2010 and it involves a better organizing some communities. Some of that involved using technology. There’s been a lot of people who have written about Facebook and some of the efforts we did to engage voters that way,” Earnest said.
“Ultimately what we’re trying to share those lessons learned, those best practices, with the individual campaigns. That means giving them access to our volunteers, giving them access to people who were strongly supportive on the ground of our campaign during in ’08 and in 2012. And hopefully Democratic candidates, and I’m confident they will benefit from that.”