White House spokesman nibbles on dog chow story

Neil Munro White House Correspondent
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White House spokesman Jay Carney dodged a softball question Thursday from reporters about conservatives’ online laugh-fest over the president’s apparent acceptance of dog eating.

President Barack Obama “keeps up with news, he may know about it,” Carney told a reporter at the daily press conference. “I don’t know more than that.”

“We’re talking about a reference in his book when he was six or seven years old,” Carney said.

“Making a big deal of it makes it sound like somebody who is trying to get out of the doghouse on something,” he said, prompting an amused response from the reporters.

The statement may have been a dig at presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, who has been dogged by Democrats’ claims that he mistreated his dog Seamus in 1983. Some of the many taunts came from Obama’s election team, including David Axelrod.

But aside from several joking tweets, the Romney campaign has not made a big deal of the dog-chow story. The tale was unleashed by Daily Caller columnist Jim Treacher.

Carney refused to fetch any more quotes for the reporters. “It just occurred to me to say that. I’ll leave it at that,” he said, before turning to the next question.

Carney talks to the president each day about the news, and his suggestion that the president doesn’t know about the jokes and laughter is a strong hint to reporters that the president doesn’t want to engage in the subject. (SEE ALSO: Obama bites dog)

Most of the reporters’ questions in the 40-minute briefing were focused on the Secret Service prostitution scandal in Colombia. Carney denied the reporters any news by repeatedly refusing to comment until the investigation is concluded.

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