Takes some serious chutzpah to make a statement like this.
(Politico) — The White House suggested Wednesday that the hosts of next week’s GOP presidential debate can change the time by an hour so it doesn’t interfere with President Obama’s planned jobs speech to Congress.
POLITICO and NBC are hosting a Republican debate Sept. 7 at 8 p.m., the same time the White House said Obama asked Congress to make an address.
Asked about the timing on Wednesday, press secretary Jay Carney said, “It is coincidental.”
“There are a lot of factors that go into scheduling a speech before Congress, a joint session,” he said. “You can never find a perfect time. . . . There are many channels, there are many opportunities for people to watch the president, and obviously for people to watch the debate.”
Asked later if the interruption is then an “added bonus” for the White House, Carney suggested that isn’t the case. “There’s one president, there’s 20-some-odd debates,” he said.
“There are many opportunities for the American people. There’s a choice they can make to watch the president, to watch the debate,” he said. “A network could make a decision to alter the timing of the debate by an hour.”
Carney later elaborated, saying that if “sponsors chose and the candidates so chose to adjust the timing of their debate . . . that would be completely fine with us, in the spirit of democracy.”