Press Briefing by Principal Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest, 7/30/2012
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
1:05 P.M. EDT
MR. EARNEST: Good afternoon, everybody. It’s nice to see you all this afternoon. Mr. Carney is not in the office today, as you probably guessed. He has traveled to New Hampshire to drop off his son for his first stay at an overnight camp.
Q Awww –
MR. EARNEST: So he’s tending to some important familial responsibilities that actually seem a lot more fun than we’re going to have today. (Laughter.) But it should be good. So in lieu of Mr. Carney’s attendance today, as you might say at the London Olympics, I’ll be the one catching your javelins today. So, Mr. Kuhnhenn, I’ll let you toss the first one.
Q Thank you. Welcome to the podium.
MR. EARNEST: Thank you.
Q Two topics. The first one, in Israel, Governor Romney said that culture is a factor that accounts for economic disparity between Israel and the Palestinian Territory, and Palestinian officials have characterized the remarks as racist. I was wondering does the President or the White House have a view on Romney’s remarks? And two, what does the President believe accounts for that disparity?
MR. EARNEST: Well, Jim, I saw the reports of those remarks. I didn’t see the full context of them. One of the challenges of being an actor on the international stage, particularly when you’re traveling to such a sensitive part of the world, is that your comments are very closely scrutinized for meaning, for nuance, for motivation. And it is clear that there are some people who have taken a look at those comments and are scratching their heads a little bit. But I would leave it to Governor Romney to further explain what he meant and what he intended when he said that.
Q What’s the President’s view for what the economic disparity is?
MR. EARNEST: Well, it’s the President’s view that certainly economic issues are among the wide range of issues that need to be determined, need to be settled, need to be negotiated and settled in the context of negotiations between the parties in the
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