Remember when the Drudge Report was the first thing that the people who live and breathe politics turned to in the morning for the latest scoop? Now, it seems, not so much. At his daily briefing with reporters on Aug. 7, White House spokesman Jay Carney dismissed a report on the web site that President Obama had told a supporter that Central Intelligence Agency chief Gen. David Petraeus will be rival Mitt Romney’s vice presidential choice.
“I can say with absolute confidence that such an assertion has never been uttered by the president,” Carney said, adding this warning to his questioner: “Be mindful of your sources.”
Carney, who frequently punts campaign-related questions to the campaign, also denounced a new Romney campaign ad that accuses the president of trying to “gut welfare reform” implemented by Bill Clinton that requires recipients to conduct serious job searches in exchange for benefits.
“This advertisement is categorically false, and it is blatantly dishonest,” Carney said.
But Carney was not so adamant when asked about a new television ad produced the Priorities USA super PAC that suggests Romney was responsible for the death of the wife of Joe Soptic, who lost his job and benefits after the steel mill he worked at was acquired and sold by Bain Capital.
“You know, I have not seen the ad, and I would refer you to the campaign or to the organization,” Carney said. “I can’t comment on an ad I haven’t seen.”
He may not like what he sees, however. A fact check has found that Soptic’s wife was employed and had access to health care coverage through her job when her husband lost his and she actually died in 2006, as Romney was nearing the end of his term as Massachusetts governor.