February 16th, 2011
03:15 PM ET
After a wish of good luck from President Obama, Jay Carney, a former White House correspondent for Time magazine, got his first taste of the other side of the podium on Wednesday as he conducted his first briefing in the James S. Brady briefing room.
While reporters welcomed him to his new role, there was no easing into anything as questions from a wide range of issues – both foreign and domestic in nature – were thrown his way immediately.
Here is a sampling from Wednesday's briefing:
Look, the president has made clear, I think, as he did yesterday, that he takes very seriously the need to reduce spending in
But he also understands that there needs to be a conversation about a long-term debt, and that needs to be, as he said, an adult
And I think that needs to be - if we're going to succeed to get there, it needs to be civil and it needs to be reasonable. And I
And remember, last December we saw - we have a template for how this can work, where people thought agreement couldn't be reached, both sides got together, each side gave a little bit, neither side got exactly what it wanted, but the president and the Congress were able to achieve something in the interests of the American people that will help grow the economy, create jobs, make us more competitive in this very competitive 21st century.
On whether the White House worries about a possible government shutdown:
I would say that, you know, it is our understanding that not only does the president not believe that a government shutdown is a good idea, but that leaders of Congress in both parties obviously want to avoid that. And we believe that we can work together to prevent that from happening.
So, you know, that's - that's what we think - you know, that's an important position to take. We - you know, we think that we can get there and avoid a problem like that.
On whether there is a worry the Egyptian military will fail to cede power to a democratically elected government:
Well, look, there have been - there have been a number of positive signs in the very few days since this transition in terms
And obviously we are watching closely and advising and assisting where we can.
But also I would point to you that this is an Egyptian process. The amazing events that occurred over those 18 days were
And we support the Egyptian people now just as we did then, because I think they have made clear that they want a democracy and they want free and fair elections. And we are, obviously, as on this today as we were in the last - the previous three weeks.
On whether entitlement reform is possible before the 2012 campaign ramps up:
The president is very confident that if we get together with both sides, members of Congress, the president, that something can be accomplished.
And he has - he believes that the approach he's taking by putting forward a budget that is serious about the need to reduce
So I think his - his seriousness about this issue is - is very clear and he wants to work together with members of both parties to
On what type of access the White House press corps should receive:
There are no hard-and-fast rules. I think that we're committed to providing access and we're also committed to - to getting the work done here that the American people expect us to get done.
But let me just say, I mean, I - I understand where you come from, literally. And, you know, I want to work with you, and all of