Press secretary Jay Carney and Jon Karl had another testy exchange Wednesday that once again descended in to a semantic argument. This follows their earlier spat on Monday where Carney mocked and sneered at ABC’s Karl after Karl questioned him.
This time their argument revolved around President Obama’s statement on Monday in response to criticisms that he had not been upfront when discussing the effect the Affordable Care Act would have on insurance plans.
Karl: “On Monday the President said that if you had one of these plans before the Affordable Care Act came in to law and you really liked that plan, ‘What we have said is that you could keep it, if it hasn’t changed since the law has passed.’ I’m wondering, can you give me a citation of when the president ever said such a thing?”
Carney: “Sure, we went through this the other day, the president was referring to the law and I can obviously point you to the law and people who covered the law, who wrote the law…”
Karl: “No, but he says “What we have said” I’m asking when did he actually say that I mean we’ve heard him talk a lot…”
Carney: “I understand John and I answered this the other day….”
Karl: “I don’t think that you gave a citation of when he said this.”
Carney: “Well, I understand the point you are trying to make Jon and what I said was he was referring to the law and to the publishing of the rule which was covered again by news organizations about the grandfathering clause where Kathleen Sebelius and others were quoted.
Carney then pivots trying to refight the argument from Monday:
“The law is written so that those who had plans when the law was passed could have those plans grandfathered in and the point obviously, and I understand that there is a lot of discussion about this, but if you had that plan before the law was passed it could be grand fathered in.”
Carney was criticized sharply for his mocking of Karl by TheDC’s Editor in Chief Tucker Carlson. On Fox’s Special Report on Monday night, Carlson said, “To watch Jay Carney attack Jon Karl of all people, who is really a good reporter and fair and smart person, really shows you the depths to which they have sunk. It’s just appalling — like it’s Jon Karl’s fault for asking a totally straightforward and honest question. Carney, 20 years as a reporter, part of him has got to know this is not an adequate response to a straightforward question, but I don’t think they have another answer”
Watch the spat that started it all here: