White House press secretary Jay Carney just conducted his daily briefing. Here are some highlights:
1.) BIDEN'S ON THE TICKET: No surprise, but Obama will not be dropping Biden from the ticket. More here.
2.) CHAINS: Carney says the national press is the only one that cares about Biden's remark that the GOP wants to put people back in "chains."
3.) GOPERS TRYING TO DISTRACT? Carney: "I noted that having covered a number of presidential campaigns myself..." there is often a point at which one side tries to distract ... "that is invariably because that side is losing the policy debate."
Full liveblog after the jump.
Carney starts at 11:47.
Carney jokes that it's no longer a daily briefing.
No announcements at the top.
Carney takes a question about the tone of the campaign.
Carney insists that Obama's trip has been a substantive, issue filled campaign.
Carney: "I noted that having covered a number of presidential campaigns myself..." there is often a point at which one side tries to distract ... "that is invariably because that side is losing the policy debate."
More: "We are focused on, the president is focused on the issues that matter to the American economy and the American people. ... I think Medicare is a perfect example. What we have seen since late last week, early this week... when the ticket for the other side was filled out was initial announcement that there was a desire for a substantive policy debate."
Carney said that there has "obviously been a desire to change the subject" by the GOP.
Carney is asked about shooting in Afghanistan and the friendly fire incidents.
Carney says the relationship with Afghan forces "is strong."
Carney says that the purpose of being in Afghanistan is to defeat Al-Qaeda.
Carney takes a Syria question.
Repeats that Assad needs to go, that allies of Assad need to recognize that they're "on the wrong side of history," etc, etc.
More: "Assad will not be a part of the future in Syria."
Carney takes a question on welfare reform and the controversy over Priorities USA ad. Says that millions of dollars are being spent on a "fiction."
Carney: "Just false. Factually false."
More: Carney says Obama is focusing on the "issues that matter to the American people."
Q: Chains/Biden replaced.
Carney: "They know what they're saying about this is ridiculous. The vice president was clearly making, as he repeatedly ... a statement about the Republican insistence that if they are able to... they will immediately repeal Wall Street reform."
Carney says the consumer protections need to stay.
Carney: "I understand there's an attempt to distract attention from the actual substance of the discussion ... They don't want to talk about that because they know that most Americans answer that question absolutely, definitely yes."
More, on Medicare: "Republicans don't want to debate that."
More: "We're going to keep talking about the issues."
More: "That's what we're seeing right now."
Q: Do you regret the choice of words?
Q: Obama using Seamus Romney.
Carney says it was a joke, and that a "little levity" never hurt.
More: "One joke as an aside should not become the focus" of the campaign.
More: "A one line joke about the joke" should not be the "principle focus" of the campaign.
Carney takes a few questions about Medicare.
Q: On Jan Brewer's directive.
Carney: "I don't ..."
Q: VPOTUS comments. Doug Wilder.
Carney: "He doesn't have a point. The vice president was talking about Wall street reform."
More questions about
Q: This is the ticket? Obama Biden?
Carney: "Yes, and that was settled a long long time ago."
Carney: One place I would not go for advice on presidential running mates is John McCain
Q: Obama's ET interview. Why doesn't he condemn Priorities USA?
Carney: "He doesn't dictate to, or coordinate with..."
Q: I disagree...
Carney: "You hear his tone when he speaks. ... There has been a relentless critical evaluation."