Jay Carney Perfects the Non-Answer Response


There are many ways to say “no comment” and it appears White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, who’s not exactly Mr. Personality in the briefing room, is making them something of an art form. So much so he might as well have duct tape over his mouth.

We’ve culled enough evidence from today’s Pool Report by Politico‘s Carrie Budoff Brown, who remarks toward the top, “No huge news, but a few developments on debt talks.” And “few” is the operative word here.

  • Is there any specific progress to report? “None that I’m prepared to read out. … I’m just not giving any more details. We’re not going to give detailed readouts of these meetings. That’s the most I’m going to say about it.”
  • Any more meetings scheduled? “I can say he is having a meeting tomorrow with Senate Democratic leaders at the white house. It was actually a meeting scheduled last week for this week. He will have one tomorrow.”
  • Now that Biden talks collapsed, what is the structure for proceeding? “I don’t have a structure to provide to you. I don’t think I would agree that the Biden talks collapses. The Biden talks made significant progress.”
  • Any meetings scheduled with Republicans? “I don’t have any other meetings to announce today.
  • When will they have marathon talks? “I don’t want … to predict a schedule that I’m not prepared to announce. … We will continue to have conversation and meetings without much elaboration about the details of what’s being discussed there simply because we believe that enhances the prospects of reaching an agreement.”
  • On Blagojevich conviction? “I don’t have reaction.” Have you heard him talk about it? “Not a word.” Is he aware of it? “I haven’t asked him. I think he probably reads the newspapers and watches television and checks the Bloomberg wire.”