MR. CARNEY: Hello, everyone. Thanks for being here. I have no announcements to make, so let’s go straight to questions. Karl, go first.
Q: Jay, if the president is, as Chief of Staff McDonough said, “madder than hell,” why did he wait so long to say anything about the VA scandal? He campaigned on being a champion for veterans, on fixing the VA, but he did nothing to address the problem. Why?
MR. CARNEY: Karl, he has spoken about it continually. Just because it may have been in private, sometimes alone, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. A tree falling in the woods does make a sound. As for the second part of your question, he’s doubled the budget for the VA. If that’s not caring I don’t know what is. I know I judged my parent’s love by the sum total of the money spent on my Christmas gifts, not whether they were what I wanted.
Q: But there are systemic problems in the VA, problems he’s known about for years, and he’s done nothing to address them.
MR. CARNEY: Again, Karl, I know you want to get into ‘who knew or did what, when?’ But now isn’t the time. The president is a Democrat. On top of that, he’s the first black president. You need to keep that in mind when you attempt the racism of holding him to the same standards as every previous President.
Q: That doesn’t come close to answering my question.
MR. CARNEY: Ed, why don’t we just get you out of the way now?
Q: Um, ok. When did the President first hear about the allegations of deaths caused by excessive wait times at the Phoenix VA. Where was he? And what was his reaction? and where was he and what was his reaction?