Ed Henry may think he plays a “fair and balanced” reporter on television but as far as I can see, every time he shows his face on camera, he’s advancing Republican talking points. Today, during the White House briefing, Henry tried to goad Press Secretary Jay Carney with a gotcha question based on the false (GOP) accusation that President Obama is anti-profit or anti-capitalism. Carney not only smacked it down but went on to further use Henry’s question to highlight the difference between Obama’s capitalist supporters and the naked self-interest of Romney’s.
The moment was highlighted by Mediaite’s Tommy Christopher, who noted,
Any voter should be disturbed at the way everyone, including a whole mess of Democrats, leapt to the defense of Bain Capital when President Obama challenged Mitt Romney’s specific (and spurious) claims of job creation, except the mainstream media has largely gone along with this narrative. Even as every single critic of the President’s Bain strategy admits that it’s central premise, that private equity is not about job creation, is absolutely correct, the media have largely played along with the notion that the President is “attacking free enterprise,” and that his raising of campaign funds from the private equity industry is somehow hypocritical.
In the exchange, Henry repeatedly tried to suggest President Obama is somehow hypocritical for supposedly demonizing private equity on the one hand and raising money at a hedge fund manager’s home on the other.
First, Carney noted that the hedge fund manager is not running for president. But then Henry sneaked in his GOP talking point - that President Obama thinks venture capitalism is evil - by asking, “but if it’s so evil, why is (Obama)…”
Carney nipped that one in the bud: “Those are your words, okay. I never said that and you know it, and neither did the –
Still Henry persisted: "You said it’s all about profit."
Carney said, “There’s nothing wrong with profit, and… you can succeed very well in that field by maximizing profit. That is the goal. The point is simply that job creation is not the goal. Job creation is incidental. Whether it’s massive layoffs or some job creation, either way what matters is maximization of profit. And the point simply is that that is not the approach that best informs the decisions that a President would make when he or she is trying to maximize job creation in this country, maximize economic growth."
Then, as Henry yet again tried to paint Obama as some kind of anti-capitalist hypocrite, Carney worked in an even better jab, this time by distinguishing Obama’s supporters from Romney’s:
“…Folks who are supporting the President, including folks who know that supporting the President and the President’s success would mean that they would have to pay a little bit more as part of a balanced approach to get our deficit and debt under control speaks extremely well of those folks.
Another approach would be to support a candidate financially or support a super PAC enormously with great amounts of financials, knowing that you’re essentially buying tax relief, that victory in that case would result in a windfall. That’s I think a different approach, and it’s not the one that’s being taken by the supporters of the President.”
Well done, Mr. Carney.
Video available at Mediaite.