Jay Carney briefed reporters Thursday – his first of the week given the president's trip out west. The hot topics included Congress' low approval rating, the latest violence surrounding the "Occupy" protesters, and Europe's latest plan for Greece. Here's the key sound:
On a new CBS poll indicating Congress has a 9 percent approval rating:
I think another poll that shows how out of sync Republicans in Congress are with the mainstream is the recent one that showed a historic low 9% approval rating for Congress. I mean, I know 9 is a popular number in the Republican party, but this can't possibly be the kind of 9 that they want. 9-9-9... 9
On news the GDP grew by 2.5 percent over the summer:
2.5 per cent growth may be better than it was the previous quarter, but it is not good enough. Absolutely not good enough. You know we all speak enough frequently with economists to know that 2.5 per cent growth is not – while it is positive, is not enough to significantly affect employment. We need to take action to ensure that the economy grows faster, and to ensure that more people get on the job and go back to work.
On recent violence resulting from “Occupy” protesters
We understand the frustrations that are being expressed specifically with regard to the need to make sure that Main Street and Wall Street operate by the same set of rules. And the general frustration with the need for jobs and economic growth that creates opportunity for middle class Americans. And certainly we have a long and noble tradition of free expression and free speech in this country. It's also important that laws are upheld and obeyed. But that's a broad view, I haven't had a discussion about specific cities or instances with the president.
On EU’s decision to right down 50 percent of Greece’s debt:
We believe the Europeans have the capacity to deal with this challenge. We welcome the decisions that were made last night by the European Union, which lay a critical foundation for a comprehensive, conclusive solution – the kind of solution that we've been urging them to make. And we will look forward to the full development and implementation of that plan and we'll continue to work with our counterparts there. This is an important obviously part of the world and with very important impacts on the American economy.