White House Press Secretary Jay Carney hit back at reporters during the daily briefing as they sought clarification over the numbers quoted by the White House over the gender pay gap.
Reuters White House reporter Jeff Mason asked “Uh, Jay, outside economists say that the data that the president is citing, the 77 cents phrase, is wrong. Regardless of the merits of this push do you have…”
Carney interrupted, “Well that’s absolutely not the case, there’s some economists who have different views on what it means but to say ‘economists,’ I mean from Reuters I would expect something a little more precise. That’s just not…”
This off hand barb at a well respected news agency brought boos and jeers from the assembled reporters. Carney, however, continued: “That’s just not true. The facts are, you know, that women make 70 cents for every dollar that men make. There are a variety of reasons for that.
Mason jumped back in. “Are those the fact’s though seriously? Are those the facts because over the last few days that story has got a lot of play.”
Carney replied “That’s based on census data. Now there has been an important discussion in the last several days and even prior to that about what that data represents. and how much of that is due to a lack of transparency in the pay that women receive versus men.”
Carney then pivoted to push the White House’s latest policy intention of raising the minimum wage, while directing fire at Republicans for their dogged resistance to a minimum wage increase.