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Jay Carney kick-saves a debt ceiling response: 'That's been his position forever… as president'

By Doug Powers  •  January 23, 2013 09:31 AM

**Written by Doug Powers

From the White House transcript of yesterday’s press briefing, notice how Jay Carney quickly qualified his debt ceiling answer so “forever” was defined as “four years and two days”:

Q You said the President would not stand in the way if a piece of legislation similar to what is being voted on in the House tomorrow passes. That means he would sign it?

MR. CARNEY: It means he wouldn’t stand in the way. Clearly, we support extension of the debt ceiling without drama or delay. That has been his position forever — as President and since we’ve had these rather novel debates about whether or not we should engage in games of chicken over the full faith and credit of the United States.

Nice save. Carney didn’t want to leave the impression that “forever” included years as far back as 2006:

“The fact that we are here today to debate raising America’s debt limit is a sign of leadership failure,” he said. “It is a sign that the U.S. Government can’t pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government’s reckless fiscal policies. … Leadership means that ‘the buck stops here.’ Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt and a failure of leadership.”

Or 2008:

For an answer of how long it will take to pay off the amount of debt that continues to accumulate, consult the standard definition of “forever.”

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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