The White House requested valuable primetime coverage for an impromptu Tuesday night address to brag about Obamacare “enrollments” passing the 7 million mark, according to a new report.
However, President Barack Obama was denied.
President Barack Obama, with Vice President Joe Biden, gestures as he speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 1, 2014, about the Affordable Care Act. The deadline to sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act passed at midnight Monday night. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
“Three sources familiar with the request confirmed the White House asked for the prime time slot in their effort both to emphasize a bright moment following the challenging roll out and, more important, to try to reintroduce the country to a law that remains unpopular,” BuzzFeed’s Evan McMorris-Santoro reports.
The White House does not routinely request primetime air, especially for a political announcement. Obama has only delivered primetime addresses to the nation on a few occasions, including announcing the death of Osama bin Laden and during the Syrian crisis.
But network officials weren't willing to play ball, so Obama was “left instead cutting into the much smaller audiences of Ellen and other daytime shows” during his Tuesday Obamacare announcement, the report adds.
It wasn’t immediately clear which networks snubbed the primetime address.