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Carney Dodges On Obama's "Bitter Clingers" Remark, Says Obama Is Fighting For All Americans

At his briefing this morning, White House Jay Carney addressed the undercover tapes that caught Mitt Romney speaking about the "47 percent of the people who will vote for the president no matter what."

"When you're president of the United States, you're president of all the people — not just the people who voted for you," Carney said.

Carney was also asked about a comment then-Senator Obama said about those who live in rural, middle America while campaigning in 2008. At a private fundraiser in San Francisco, Obama said "they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion."

Carney dismissed the question, noting it was discussed and addressed four years ago.

REPORTER: The President also had his fair share of private moments that have later been made public. During the 2008 election he said that rural voters, quote, “get bitter and cling to their guns and religion.” Like Mr. Romney, this was also said privately to donors and then later made public after the fact. Rural voters certainly aren’t 47% of the electorate, but they are a large part of the demographic. How is Mr. Romney’s comment any different from what the President said?

CARNEY: I think that happened four years ago and was discussed in abundance at the time. What the President said four years ago, what he said eight years ago, what he says today, and what he said ever since he took office here, is that he’s fighting for every American, that he firmly believes that as a nation, we are all in this together. That what unites us is far stronger and greater than what divides us. That we are not Red America, Blue America. We are the United States of America. And I think that that is a fundamental fact about Barack Obama. And it has been the guiding philosophy and principle behind the policy decisions he has made.


REPORTER: The campaign said in their response to Mitt Romney’s statement that it is hard to serve as President for all Americans when you’ve disdainfully written off half the nation. And you’ve said repeatedly now that, obviously, the President does represent all Americans. Why is that any different from Mitt Romney when he makes a comment like this?

CARNEY: I’m not sure I… What is the question again?

REPORTER: The question being that if the President can make a comment like he did in 2008, where he sort of offended a large - I don’t want to say offended - but when he made a remark in direct relation to a large portion of the electorate. And Mitt Romney makes a similar remark, offending…

CARNEY: Then Senator Obama never said that he did not worry about, or would not worry about 47% of the population. A lot of folks when we travel around the country ask why the President is campaigning on a bus in towns and communities and counties that trend red or Republican. Why is he there? If he’s not likely to win the county. Because he’s there to take his message about his economic vision and agenda for the country to everybody. Because he firmly believes that building this country up helps everybody. You’ve heard him talk about it. That if we do the right things for our economic policy. If we take a balanced approach to dealing with our fiscal challenges. If we reduce spending, reform our entitlements, ask millionaires and billionaires to pay a little bit more, that everybody will benefit, including millionaires and billionaires. That’s the essence of his governing philosophy and it is at the core of who he is.

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