Carney hits back at Corker's criticism
September 12th, 2013
03:31 PM ET
12 months ago

Carney hits back at Corker's criticism

(CNN) – White House Press Secretary Jay Carney on Thursday defended President Barack Obama after Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican ally for the president, questioned in a CNN interview the president's ability to be commander in chief.

"I think that the American people, at least in my assessment, appreciate a commander in chief who takes in new information and doesn't celebrate decisiveness for the sake of decisiveness," Carney said in the daily press briefing.

Corker offered some unusually tough criticism of the president, blasting the way he has handled the situation in Syria and arguing Obama's credibility has taken a blow on Capitol Hill.

"The president just seems to be very uncomfortable being commander in chief of this nation," Corker said Wednesday in an interview with CNN's Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash.

Corker, who was part of a small group of GOP senators that had dinner with Obama and Vice President Joe Biden on Sunday, said the president is "confident and very engaging" in a private setting. The two have met often on policy issues and went golfing together as recently as May, something the president rarely does with members of Congress.

"He's very good in an interpersonal setting, he just cannot follow through," he added. "He cannot speak to the nation as a commander in chief. He cannot speak to the world as a commander in chief. He just cannot do it, and I don't know what it is."

About four in ten approve of the job Obama is doing on foreign policy, with 57% of those questioned giving the president a thumbs down, according to a CNN/ORC International survey. The 40% approval rating on foreign policy is Obama's lowest level ever on that issue in CNN polling.

Specifically on Syria, 31% of the public approves of the president's policies and actions, with 63% giving him a thumbs down. Four in ten Democrats say they disapprove of the job Obama's doing on Syria, with 54% saying they approve.

Overall, the president's approval rating stands at 45%, with 52% saying they disapprove of the job he's doing in the White House. The 45% approval rating is unchanged from CNN's previous poll, which was conducted in June.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report.


Filed under: Bob Corker • Jay Carney • President Obama • Syria
soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. JC

    I k we this would get liberals up in arms, but Corker is right. Obama has a tendency to sound like he's whining, or worse, like he's trying to convince himself of what he's saying. There's a lack of confidence in his voice that makes me think he hates what he's saying, or just doesn't believe what he's saying. I think he became a president he didn't want to be, and it makes him uncomfortable. EventhoughBush had an IQ that matched his shoe size, he never sounded unsure. A lot of that has to do with who you surround yourself with. Bush had great minds on his staff that made it easy for him. Obama has the equivalent of a bunch of high school freshmen. Carney is one of them. He's the second worst press secretary behind Obamas first on Robert Gibbs. Remember that guy? He told a reporter that a 16 year old kid was killed in a drone strike because he had a bad father. That guy was a nightmare.

    September 12, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  2. Donna

    Now we know why Obama always wanted to lead from behind, because it was another way of saying he didn't want to lead or didn't know what he was doing and didn't want to lead. Now he steps to the forefront to lead and it is either a comedy of errors or a disaster in the making.

    And now our adversary Russia, who wasn't supposed to be our adversary because Obama and Hillary Clinton had hit the reset button, smells and senses weakness and indecision. Of course Putin is being aggressive and protecting himself, Syria and Assad. Obama dithered for two years on Syria, leading from behind, spouting off about red lines that it wasn't our job to enforce. Now the whole world knows he's a blowhard so he's ready to bomb Syria to prove he isn't.

    There is simply no way to look at this entire situation and come away not believing the USA and our image has been badly damaged by Obama.

    September 12, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  3. tom l

    @Data Driven
    Was Al Gore way out of line when he said "He betrayed our country! He played on our fears!" Or was Reid way out of line when he called Bush a loser? Or was Pelosi out of line when he called Bush a liar and that he was a failure? Come on, man. Have some perspective. There is no difference.

    By the way, how's San Diego? What a great city.

    September 12, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  4. just asking

    anotherGDlefty
    Read the comments from the GOTP here and you know exactly why Putin has no problem slamming the US, these dopes will swallow anything from anyone as long as it's anti-Obama.
    Fox News is bad news for America.
    ---

    more excuses and finger pointing to deflect from the failure in the white house. it just never ends. the only bad news for america is that we have to endure 3 more years of this obama clown show/nightmare.

    September 12, 2013 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  5. Herrman

    How DARE this Senator insult der Fuhrer!! Send out the droids to round him up and have him dealt with.

    September 12, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  6. tiffinS

    Carney's last name is so appropriate... This Administration is a 3 ring circus. Dit dit diddle diddle dit dit da da....

    September 12, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  7. Washing Observer

    Washington has become toxic ever since Obama took office. Extreme partisanship. FInger pointing in the media. Everything seems to begin with, it's not my fault, or they are responsible for this. or he or she or it is to blame. Or we are n such bad shape because of so and so..... Instead of leading, compromising, brokering deals, and getting things done – QUIETLY – and not in the press have become ancient relics of past administrations. And as a result, we are polarized and stagnated. I would much rather have a President who owned everything and worked behind the scenes and across the aisle to get things done - whenever Mr Obama takes the pulpit and starts blaming somebody else, I get totally annoyed and frustrated – that is NOT the way to lead –

    September 12, 2013 04:49 pm at 4:49 pm |
  8. Michigan patriot

    We don't have a Commander in Chief. Corker is right, Obama has never been a leader and it hurts the country.

    September 12, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  9. rs

    Silence DoGood

    @thinkagain "bin Laden, many top al Qaeda leadership and three Somali pirates"

    Obama killed the better part of 1000 innocent people in the process of getting those folks. And then we don't know how many dies in the bombing of Libya. And he was lined up to bomb again if not for the outcry of the people. He is a War President like the cowboy before him.
    ----------–
    And by your logic, Bush killed 125,000 innocent Iraqis. So?

    September 12, 2013 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  10. Tampa Tim

    Tom l – You got nothing. You express Fox talking points as facts. It is time for you and the rest of the right wingnuts to give Putin his daily lap dance. See you in anger management.

    September 12, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. rs

    more excuses and finger pointing to deflect from the failure in the white house. it just never ends. the only bad news for america is that we have to endure 3 more years of this obama clown show/nightmare.
    ___________________________
    Really, except the "failures" the Right makes up- just what are those? Ending the disaterous Bush war in Iraq perhaps? Getting rid of the Libyan dictator without troops on the ground? Is your definition of success crashing the economy while killing thousands?

    September 12, 2013 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  12. Lynda/Minnesota

    It is because I have DO have a choice that I will be sticking with (and continue living in) the United States of America. Even on her worst of days, she is so much better than any other country world wide. And yes. There have been some mighty awful days, even in America.

    Mr. Putin can keep Russia. So too can those who want to turn this into yet another anti-Obama feeding frenzy.

    September 12, 2013 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  13. Tony D

    I hope this country has learned its lesson about electing a celebrity president. Yeah, we never had a balck guy there, yeah let's make history. But wait, what experience does he have? WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE?!!

    NOW you care about substance?!! NOW you care about leadership ability?!! NOW you see what DIIFFERENCE IT MAKES!!

    September 12, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  14. McRCN

    Nothing wrong with what Corker said. Anyone paying attention can see that when Obama is talking. Let Obama speak about a LGBT or a Voter ID type issue and he speaks with authority, it comes from being a community organizer. However, he is totally out of his element as Commander In Chief.

    September 12, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  15. Tampa Tim

    Der Fuhrer? You right wingnuts do realize the entire world is laughing at you?

    September 12, 2013 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  16. rs

    "Oh, and if you and your liberal friends had any type of perspective or intellectual honesty, you would realize the awful things you said about Bush. You called him a liar"
    _______________________
    Yeah, funny how that worked out isn't it? They never did find those Iraqi WMDs Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice said they had did they? He really was a liar. The difference is today, it is the Right spinning lie after lie with their faux outrage over pretty much everything. I guess that beats doing the real work for the American public, right?

    September 12, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  17. Tone

    @ghags- you are calling the president an uneducated black man.

    Most republican leaders and people who voted for them like your self are uneducated and racist many of you in redneck states just basically have an 8th grade education if that much. this President is the best thing that ever happen to America not bush who cannot pronounce nuclear properly, and run this country over a cliff.

    September 12, 2013 04:59 pm at 4:59 pm |
  18. What's in that tea anyway?

    @Washing Observer

    Washington has become toxic ever since Obama took office. Extreme partisanship. FInger pointing in the media. Everything seems to begin with, it's not my fault, or they are responsible for this. or he or she or it is to blame. Or we are n such bad shape because of so and so..... Instead of leading, compromising, brokering deals, and getting things done – QUIETLY – and not in the press have become ancient relics of past administrations. And as a result, we are polarized and stagnated. I would much rather have a President who owned everything and worked behind the scenes and across the aisle to get things done – whenever Mr Obama takes the pulpit and starts blaming somebody else, I get totally annoyed and frustrated – that is NOT the way to lead

    ------

    Reallly? How do you even negotiate, discuss, find agreement with a band of angry racists whose only job is to make sure you fail. Please show us all how its done.....your tin foil hat appears to be a bit tilted. Try starting with reality and then get back to us with your solutions.

    September 12, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  19. What's in that tea anyway?

    @Michigan patriot

    We don't have a Commander in Chief. Corker is right, Obama has never been a leader and it hurts the country

    ------
    So let me guess, Pres. Obama's predecessor was a real CIC? ...Mission Accomplished" "I don't know where Bin Laden is and I don't worry about it much"...."This war will pay for itself"......."We'll get the people who knocked down these buildings (WTC).....Both you and Corker need to find your hats because all we see are your overcoats....if you get my drift.

    September 12, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  20. delos

    How do you define a leader, it for sure GW was not a leader, Putin after meeting this nut turned to his staff and said all deal or off. adn let's be honest Ronald was a total nut this is what the republican party looks for as repesentives they are incapable of people of substance because this sort of person yends to ask WHO, WHAT WHEN AND, WHY.
    THEY GRAVITATE TOWARD PRECIEVED HEROS, particularly actor because they no how to memorize a script.
    Note; They loved Ronald the actor but hated his wife because she took him off script all the time, I do hope you see the the pattern .

    September 12, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  21. Ihatefatwomen

    Carney is a liar, as usual.

    September 12, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    @Tom I: Care to repeat the comments you made to Tampa and aim them at ghags? Didn't thinks so. You lose.
    @just sayin: You can list your little heart away, there is not enough paper in the World to list what GW did.
    But truth is not in your vocabulary.

    PS I bet you a dime Putin didn't write that silly op-ed. He probably doesn't even understand what it means.
    Like someone said, that little KGB midget doesn't know the meaning of "created equally".
    Have fun boys, we enjoy the laughs.

    September 12, 2013 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  23. Silence DoGood

    rs
    Silence DoGood

    @thinkagain "bin Laden, many top al Qaeda leadership and three Somali pirates"

    Obama killed the better part of 1000 innocent people in the process of getting those folks. And then we don't know how many dies in the bombing of Libya. And he was lined up to bomb again if not for the outcry of the people. He is a War President like the cowboy before him.
    ----–
    And by your logic, Bush killed 125,000 innocent Iraqis. So?
    ---–
    So Bush was more of a War President than Obama (so far). My point is I would like a progressive peace president sometime. Not just one who says he is. So you are OK with his use of the military in killing innocents in Pakistan and claiming there were only terrorists killed? Why do you think his promise of less terrorists has fallen flat? The people in those villages were a little upset.

    September 12, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  24. tom l

    @Tampa
    I would spew Fox talking points if I watched Fox. I am a libertarian. I thought you on the left were more tolerant and open to different opinions but it clearly is not the case. You want to stifle debate. You have desire to try to understand the other side. Your only desire is try and shut dissenting opinion down. It's a really bad characteristic.
    On the other hand, I have no hate. I have disappointment. I have sadness. I have frustration. Those feelings all come from the incredible lack of ability that people like you have to tolerate another person's opinion even if it's different from yours.

    September 12, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  25. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    If the CNN poll held any water , Romney the tax cheat would be president and the GOP would still be incompetent along.with their idiot GOP teaparty brothers, what morons!!!!!

    September 12, 2013 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
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