The Politico reports on a heated exchange between ABC News’ Jake Tapper and WH spoxdude Jay Carney from yesterday:
The temperature in the White House briefing jumped up Wednesday afternoon as Jake Tapper and Jay Carney vented some of their frustrations with each other publicly.
Tapper, the White House correspondent for ABC News, asked Carney to shed some light on Libya conversations that are happening “behind closed doors.” Carney, not exactly willing to pop open the lid on private talks, noted a “kind of what-problem-haven’t-you-solved-today aspect to this.” After he recited talking points on “the international community” and the U.N. resolution, Tapper said that “the situation on the ground has changed” quickly.
In response, Carney pulled out a familiar dodge, saying he wouldn’t give a “play-by-play” of what White House officials are talking about on Libya.
Tapper tried again, citing conversations “behind closed doors.”
And Carney shot back: “Who said anything was going on behind closed doors?”
At that point, Tapper adopted a tone similar to that of a politician as he berated Carney. “In the name of candor and explaining to the American people what’s going on, what we’re talking about doing,” he began, “you guys have been criticized for a lot of quick action that you had to take —”
On that cue, Carney knew where to hit back. He interrupted Tapper and asked sarcastically, “After being criticized for moving too slowly?”
Tapper sighed. “If you’d like me to get a room full of straw men, we can do that,” he said.
You can watch video of the exchange at the Politico link.
BTW, as for that room full of straw men, Tapper doesn’t need to worry about bringing them in. The WH is well–stocked with straw men (as I’m sure he already knows far too well). In fact, I hear that President Obama himself has a ‘mini-me’ straw man sitting on his shoulder at all times …