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Can You Translate What Jay Carney Just Said While Trying to Defend Obama on Solyndra?


"51 agonizing seconds"

It's been a rough week for White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Last week he gave such a rambling answer to a question about Occupy Wall Street that it was comical (and awkward). This week he's back with an answer to a question comparing Obama's green energy record to Mitt Romney, and it almost sounds like one of those TV reporters getting confused and tongue-tied on air.

Carney was essentially asked how Romney's job at Bain is any different from Obama picking winners and losers in the green industry and gambling with taxpayer money. The obvious answer is probably something like, what the president did is worse. But that's not even close to what Carney posited, which isn't a complete surprise. But wait until you hear what he did say.

Here's how Jim Treacher sets up the answer:

The job of the White House Press Secretary is simple: to answer questions from the press without actually answering them. To form aloud words that are assembled into sentences and then stacked up into paragraphs, giving the appearance of communication, but without communicating. When this job is done well, some listeners might even believe that a few real answers have been given.

This is how Hot Air describes it:

[...] 51 agonizing seconds of Carney trying to explain on the fly why Solyndra going bust is a normal win-some-lose-some result when you’re investing in new ventures whereas Bain’s investments going bust is proof that Mitt Romney’s a vampire who enjoys seeing people laid off. There are of course easy distinctions that can be made here, but unfortunately for JC they don’t favor his position. [...] If any of you manages to translate it into English, leave a note in the comments.

Here's what Carney said:

Look, there, there, there is the, the difference in that your overall view of what, uh, your responsibilities are as president, and what your view of the economic future is. And, and the president believes, as he’s made clear, that a president’s responsibility is not just to, uh, those who win, but those who, in-- for an example, in a company where, uh, there have been layoffs or a company that has gone bankrupt, that that, you know, we have to, uh, make sure that, uh, those folks have, uh, the means to find other employment, that they have, uh, the ability to train for, uh, other kinds of, uh, work, and that’s part of the overall responsibility the president has.

And here's how he said it:

Got it?

You can see the reporter's full exchange with Carney starting at 31:30 below (and notice how Carney takes a "those we don't speak of" approach to the name "Solyndra"):

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