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VIDEO: Jon Karl ruined Josh Earnest’s Day

VIDEO: Jon Karl ruined Josh Earnest’s Day

Schadenfreude for your Tuesday

Earlier today, I wrote about the importance of pointing out every time an official spokesperson gets testy with their press pool over fair-yet-tough questions. Marie Harf got herself in hot water yesterday when she hinted to the corps that the questions they were asking were far too complex to cover in a press briefing, then got caught lying about how much information she had about the Iranian nuclear deal. It was ugly, and told us a lot more about the State Department than Harf’s policy bullet points.

Today, Josh Earnest ran into a similar roadblock during the midday press briefing with the White House press corps. Earnest has a history of trying to run offense around tough questions, but it’s only recently that the corps has responded with soundbite-worthy pushback.

Today’s little show involved a question about a comment Hillary Clinton made about small business growth under the Obama administration. She said that small business creation has “stalled out” in the United States, and ABC News correspondent Jon Karl wanted a response from the White House.

Watch here, via Real Clear Politics:

JONATHAN KARL: Do you agree with Hillary Clinton that under President Barack Obama small business creation has “stalled out” in the U.S.?

JOSH EARNEST: You’re acting as if that is a direct quote, I suspect it is not.

JONATHAN KARL: Stalled out. Small business creation has “stalled out.” Do you agree that it has stalled out?

JOSH EARNEST: The president himself has said many times that there are additional important steps that could be taken by Washington D.C. where members of Congress no longer serve as an impediment to forward economic momentum, but actually support it.

JONATHAN KARL: That’s not my question though, do you agree that small business creation has stalled in the U.S.

JOSH EARNEST: I didn’t see the majority of her remarks.

JONATHAN KARL: Has small business creation stalled in the U.S.?

JOSH EARNEST: I’ll look at the statistics and get back to you.

It’s getting to be that time, folks.

By “that time,” I mean that time in both a presidential term and an election cycle when members of the same party begin to turn on one another in new and exciting ways, and I get to write about it. Earnest attempted to give the standard, “the President thinks there’s more we can do” answer, and Karl rejected it out of hand because he wasn’t looking for a statistic—he was looking for a political response.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

Get ready for a lot more of this. Josh Earnest already has the worst job in Washington, and it’s about to get a lot harder, because if there’s one thing Hillary Clinton knows, it’s that she needs to distance herself from the Obama administration’s most damaging talking points before the Republicans manage to tie her to all of them.


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JOSH EARNEST: I’ll look at the statistics and get back to you.

Well, IF you do, since that probably was a lie, we can count on you lying about the stats.

As constant as the Northern Star…

Henry Hawkins | April 21, 2015 at 5:39 pm

Earnest’s cite of the president wasn’t that ‘there’s more we could do’, he blamed congress for not doing more, for blocking the way.

The Lilliputians are calling for more rope and stakes before Gulliary awakens. .

The Supreme Leader, in his infinite wisdom, has already said that the US economy is now better than ever thanks to His infallible leadership. His Highness creates 1000 new small businesses before breakfast. Every. Single. Day.

He can also read 150 books before going to bed; every night. Seriously.

Josh Earnest is only a minion.
Minions can not contradict the Supreme Leader.

And about that journalist … send Koskinen.

He should have told the truth.

“Look…. you guys know that we don’t really give a damn one way or the other and we know that you don’t either. So, lets cut the crap and talk about what cocktail parties we are all going to this weekend and who is going to kick off the Summer season with a party on Long Island. ”

“This “gotcha” crap is for when Republicans are in office. We all know which side our bread is buttered on and we all know that we don’t want it to land upside down on the floor, so lets move on to some reasonable questions that make me look good for answering and you look good for asking.”

“Sheesh….. buncha amatures.”

In the slappable-face contest, this guy is a very close second to Karl Rove.

The press corps has no one but themselves to blame. From the beginning in 2007 – or even before, as an absentee, do-nothing Senator who got a cozy earmark for his wife’s employer, netting her a new position at double the pay – they have coddled Obama, seldom asking him a tough question.

The few times they have been direct with him, they obsequiously accept his dodgy answers and don’t push the issue. On the rare occasion they push for an answer, they immediately quit at the first sign of testiness. And Obama is pretty thin-skinned.

– –

They should listen to B.B. King:

It’s my own fault, baby
Treat me the way you wanna do

Josh Earnest, as an employee of this administration, has taken the inability to speak truthfully to new heights. This condition is at least, in part, a creation of a cheerleading press that sold its credibility for a place on the stage.

Orwellington | April 22, 2015 at 1:21 pm

Show of Hands. Who remembers when Hillary Clinton said that she couldn’t be responsible for little under-capitalized businesses that might suffer under “Hillary Care?”