White House Press Secretary Jay Carney held an off camera briefing with reporters Wednesday (known around these parts as a “gaggle.”) President Obama's meeting Thursday with congressional leaders mostly dominated the discussion.
- Even though CNN has confirmed President Obama met with House Speaker John Boehner over the weekend, the White House still won’t say if the meeting occurred:
"[An] hour by hour narrative is...outweighed by [our] higher interest of trying to accomplish [an agreement.]"
- The White House is not expecting a debt ceiling deal to be reached at Thursday's meeting. But Carney said the president will convey a conciliartory tone:
“The president will convey his view that everybody needs to work together…he is ready to make tough choices in order to achieve that, and he will urge others in the room to be equally ready to do that as well.”
- The White House is not concerned about possible perceptions that no progress is being made on the debt ceiling talks.
“Everybody acknowledges significant progress is being made,” said Carney. “We are continuing to meet because it is our obligation to do so. It’s not like we have a choice here. We can't cover our eyes, cover our ears, and wish it away.”