Jay Carney: No "Set Price" For Donor Access To Obama


ED HENRY, FOX NEWS: Two other quick things. More than a week has passed since the initial reports suggesting that some of the President's outside advisors were offering access to him for a $500,000 contribution to Organizing for Action, this outside group that is at least connected with the President and his former campaign aides like Jim Messina. My question is groups like Common Cause, which are usually not very friendly to the President's opposition, shall we say, has said that this group should be shut down altogether. Can you give us any idea whether the President thinks that's a good idea? Is he concerned about the perception out there? Are you trying to push back on the idea that they will get access for $500,000?

JAY CARNEY, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECRETARY: Well, I think I pushed back on it and I'll push back on it again. Any notion that there is a set price for a meeting with the President of the United States is just wrong. As you know, Organizing for Action was set up to promote the President's public policy agenda. Therefore, as anyone would expect, the President would likely meet with their representatives to discuss his agenda. But again, any notion that there's a price for meeting with the President is simply wrong.

I would send specific questions about how they do their fundraising to the organization. But it is worth knowing that they are going beyond what is required by disclosing donors and not accepting any funds from lobbyists. The bottom line here is that this is a separate organization, as we've noted, the existence of which is perfectly appropriate. And the White House will engage with it consistent with the way we engage with a whole host of other outside constituencies.

ED HENRY: But basically, people could still give money to this outside group as long as it's not directly attached to access. You've got nothing to do with the money that's going in there.

MR. CARNEY: The White House sets the President's schedule. And there is no price to meet with the President. Organizations have fundraising. They raise money and this one has committed to disclosing its fundraising activities. But I would refer you to them for more on that.

Show commentsHide Comments

Latest Political Videos

Video Archives