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September 12 White House Press Gaggle

By The White House, The White House - September 12, 2012

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The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Aboard Air Force One En Route Las Vegas, Nevada

4:09 P.M. EDT

MR. CARNEY: Welcome aboard Air Force One. Thank you for being with us. I know you all saw and heard the President’s statement in the Rose Garden earlier today about the tragic events in Libya. You also saw that the President traveled to the State Department to show solidarity to the hardworking men and women there, and to grieve with them for the loss of Ambassador Stevens and Sean Smith, and the two others.

I can tell you that on this flight the President has spoken with Sean Smith’s wife. He has also spoken with both the mother and father of Ambassador Stevens. On all these calls, he has offered his condolences and made clear that his thoughts and prayers and the thoughts and prayers of the American people are with the family members of those we lost. He thanked the family members for the service to their country that Ambassador Stevens and Mr. Smith provided, and made clear his commitment that justice be done when it comes to finding out who was responsible for the attacks that led to their deaths.

I don’t believe Jen has anything at the top, so with that we’ll take your questions.

Q Does the administration consider the statement that came out of the Cairo embassy that’s caused so much discussion -- does it consider that to be administration policy? And if not, did the administration do anything to distance itself from that statement?

MR. CARNEY: Rather than answer that question directly by myself, I can quote to you from the President in an interview he gave not that long ago, back at the White House, to Steve Kroft, “60 Minutes.” The interview covered a lot of subjects and it covered a number of questions about the incident in Libya. But with regards to that specific question, I think this may be responsive. It’s a little long, so bear with me.

The question was, “Your opponent, Governor Romney, used the attack in Libya and also the situation, the incident in Cairo yesterday, to attack your policies, to go after your foreign policy in a fairly broad-based attack. What are your thoughts on that?” That’s the question.

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