During Friday’s White House briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest refused to rule out President Barack Obama endorsing a candidate in the 2016 Democratic primary.
Earnest’s announcement comes as multiple White House officials are leaving or preparing to leave for Hillary Clinton’s upcoming presidential campaign, including communications director Jennifer Palmieri. Palmieri’s last day with the administration was Friday.
“You mention things, and I don’t want to tread on Jen [Palmieri’s] last day, but three people who work prominently for the president and the first lady are going to Hillary Clinton’s campaign. Does the president anticipate her announcing a campaign soon?” asked CBS’s Major Garrett. “Does he wish her well? Is he going to endorse any Democrat before the convention?”
“I don’t have any special insight into the possible campaign planning of Secretary Clinton,” Earnest said. The White House flack added that Obama does indeed wish Palmieri and other former Obama staffers leaving for Clinton’s campaign well, including John Podesta.
“As it relates to the president’s intentions to wade into a Democratic primary, that’s not something that he often does,” Earnest said. “But I wouldn’t rule it out at this point.”
“Long way until the Democratic convention,” Earnest added.