Carney hits back at Corker's criticism
September 12th, 2013
03:31 PM ET
10 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. Putin -- The New Leader of the World

    I would like to thank Mr. Obama for leading from behind and relinquishing America's leadership role in the world. I do appreciate him declaring that America is NOT an exceptional nation, because I believe that as well. I appreciate all of the USA allies he has thrown under the bus and all of the choas he has created in the middle east. It has provided me with a once in a life time opportunity to take the leadership role on the world stage. Mr. Obama should feel very relieved that the USA will no longer be hated and viewed as the bully of hte world. All you in America can just sit back and let the Russian Bear take care of things.

    September 12, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  2. What's in that tea anyway?

    @tom l

    @Rudy
    "The Senator (Reid) just seems to be very uncomfortable with the current commander in chief (Bush) of this nation.

    Did I just FIFY? Why? Why? Why? Can't someone disagree with Obama based on Obama's positions? Can't it just be that simple? I just don't understand why you on the left are going down that road?
    -----–
    Ok...let's play along with that useless contrived word salad argument you've posted....what are your positions that have proven so successful? Some facts and pragmatic/logical solutions please.....but given your immensely in depth thought processes, we'll give you some time to put away the crayola's and say something that intelligent folks can ponder....Making the popcorn now

    September 12, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  3. Name jk. Sfl. GOP conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Congress has an 11% approval ratting, so who cares what the GOP says or thinks and they will lose the house in 2014 midterms , their vote rigging and gerrymandering wont save them.why would anybody vote for the total incompetents of the gop teaparty losers , even the red states!!!!!

    September 12, 2013 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  4. Gurgyl

    Bob Corker is an idiot. Dont worry.

    September 12, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Libertarians should not be allowed to drive on highways, have fire and police protection, use public libraries, national parks, etc. they are the true, "Something for Nothing" crowd. And with a leader like Rand, an angry group of misfits.

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

    @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.
    =============
    ha ha....guess you missed the memo, Randy Paul is your flag bearer and he's a frequent spokes hole for Faux News and Fools. So you don't watch Faux huh? You just come up with that idiocy all on your own huh? Good job...they've got a position over at the right wing ding a ling tv....say hello to ole' Hockey Mom Sarah Failin' fur us ...M'kay????

    September 12, 2013 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  7. you just can't make this stuff up

    Yupp.... Obama's paid liar is appropriately named...

    car·ny1
    /ˈkärnē/
    noun
    informalnoun: carney
    1. a carnival or amusement show.
    "a carny atmosphere"

    September 12, 2013 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  8. just saying

    Tampa Tim
    Libertarians should not be allowed to drive on highways, have fire and police protection, use public libraries, national parks, etc. they are the true, "Something for Nothing" crowd.
    --

    wow.... a leftist government welfare supporter taking about others wanting something for nothing? what next?!

    now maybe if you add to the list they can keep all their money and not have any of the insane leftist laws apply to them, libertarians might jump on that offer! but you know libertarians nelieve in government, just small government. you leftists always want to present the false choice of massive overbearing government and no government. just your usual lies i guess.

    September 12, 2013 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  9. tom l

    @What's in the tea
    Why so much anger? If you haven't noticed, I'm here on CNN which makes me much more open and understanding of different opinions than you. I believe it's important to listen to different points of view. You don't. You want to stifle debate. You have no interest in trying to understand the other side. You just like to throw out childish ad hominem attacks and say truly silly things that a 10 year old would say like "Faux News".
    I'm sorry that I believe in the individual. I'm sorry I don't trust the govt. I don't understand how, after 8 years of Bush, you're so ready and excited to grow the govt even bigger. It's odd to me. Some day your guy won't be in office and things like the NSA spying on us will bother you again. You won't want drones flying over our heads again when your guy is out of office.
    My motto: the bigger the govt, the smaller the individual. Why do you want some monolithic massive beauacracy running your life and making decisions for you?
    Oh, and Rand Paul is not a "spokesman" for Fox News. And I don't find Sarah Palin to be my hero, either. I'm not sure why you are so intolerant of someone who has a different opinion than yours.

    September 12, 2013 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. tom l

    @What's in the tea
    "what are your positions that have proven so successful? Some facts and pragmatic/logical solutions please.....but given your immensely in depth thought processes, we'll give you some time to put away the crayola's and say something that intelligent folks can ponder....Making the popcorn now"

    What topics would you like to discuss and I believe I can give you some solutions that are reasonable and take both sides positions into account. But your post is far too open and vast for me to answer without a little direction. So would you like me talk about healthcare, immigration, Syria? What would you like my opinion on? I'd be happy to share it with you and I only hope that you actually listen to it rather than get angry and spew off some vitriol towards me.

    September 12, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  11. Bamabegone!

    Carney: ain't he a prize!

    September 12, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  12. don in albuquerque

    How pathetic a people we have become. I sit and read these posts every day (mostly because they give me a chuckle), and I am always amazed. The POTUS has been given the job of repairing a country (us) with an almost destroyed economy, an almost destroyed world economy (thanks mostly to us), two wars, a congress that is totally devoid of the idea of representative government, a country now run by big business in an effort to turn us back to fiefdom, a SCOTUS that now operates completely politically and more like good ol' King George in their arrogance, a country completely bankrupt in the area of morals..........the list goes on and on. And then we tied his hands behind his back for political reasons, nothing else. In most of the posts I find alot of finger pointing, name calling, and in some cases outright calls for violence. But for the most part I see no solutions (at least very few) offered up for consideration.
    "Too boldly go where no man has gone before". Old television show opener, silly and mundane I know, but foolishly I always read more into it. I saw it almost as a mission statement for our country. I had to admire Newt when he began talking about moon units. The ghost of JFK must have been smiling. We all snickered, and knew there was no point even talking about it. We cannot solve problems here, and we want to take them into the Universe now? But at least he was looking at something that was bigger then himself, something that might rekindle a spirit of working together for a common good and goal. Silly me. I guess it is more fun to gripe about problems then fix them.
    Now we have both sides of the aisle wanting to move into War again. If not in one place then somewhere else. I see a congress more interested in game playing then in serving. I guess going boldly anywhere is now a pipe dream, and will not happen, at least not with this country in the lead. I suppose it would just be refreshing to find more posts with solutions, even dreams, then hate filled tirades.

    September 12, 2013 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  13. Bmike

    These comments I read makes me wanna throw up...you got these racist remarks on here about our president..get over it he's president..he's this and he's that you republicans are the worst thing this country has to deal with your basically worthless..he's not educated..duh he went to two colleges..I mean REALLY that's all you fools got....

    September 12, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  14. declan

    Jay Carney is clueless.

    September 12, 2013 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  15. w l jones

    Some people very uncomfortable not knowing the miltary code when president trying to avoid a war not to critiize him in .public which will give comfort and aid to the enemy.

    September 12, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  16. ThinkAgain

    @Silence DoGood: "He [Obama] is a War President like the cowboy before him."

    The difference being that Bush took us to war with Iraq by claiming there were WMDs and telling the world that Saddam Hussein was behind the 9/11 attacks (and in 2003 USA Today did a poll that showed 70% of Americans believed it; 10 years later in 2011, 38% of Americans STILL believed this BS).

    President Obama's threat to launch air strikes into Syria is in response to real, verifiable evidence that Assad used chemical weapons against his own people. If you can't see the difference between that and cowboy bush, then you're beyond help.

    September 12, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  17. Lynda/Minnesota

    "Oh, and Rand Paul is not a "spokesman" for Fox News."

    I don't watch FOX, so I can't attest to what Rand Paul is a "spokesman" for or against. I seriously doubt even he knows who or what he really supports. That being said, if Paul is going to make a run as President, you might want to remove the chip from you shoulder and support him without the "see your side does it too" nonsense. Not only is it juvenile, it is a losing argument. ALL sides do it. It's expected, Tom. Really it is. Otherwise CNN would not be in business.

    Oh, yeah. You might just as well get used to the bickering. With Paul on the ticket should he run, it's going to get ugly very fast. That, my friend, is what HE is in the business for. To rile. To rant. And to make sure we all suffer the consequences.

    September 12, 2013 05:55 pm at 5:55 pm |
  18. declan

    An ever growing number of dems are fed up with obama. Enough said.

    September 12, 2013 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  19. ThinkAgain

    @Putin - The New Leader of the World: "I would like to thank Mr. Obama for leading from behind and relinquishing America's leadership role in the world."

    You are as clueless as Putin if you believe this line of bull you just wrote. Without the credible threat of an attack, Putin would NEVER have requested a meeting with President Obama, nor would he have had an incentive to reign in his monster in the Middle East.

    September 12, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  20. Data Driven

    @tom,

    Fair enough about name-calling from Pelosi and Reid, but let's not get carried away with the equivalence thing, shall we? All Presidents have been called names, sometimes by other politicians, but none, perhaps with the exception of Andrew Johnson, have been the recipient of such open contempt like Obama has. I'm betting I'm older than you, and I've never seen anything like it. Congresscritters shout at him when he speaks to them, calling him a liar. Why such contempt? Only logical reason I can think of is that America was ready to elect a black President, but was not ready to be governed by one.

    It's 75 degrees and achingly beautiful in San Diego, since you asked.

    September 12, 2013 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  21. Liam O'Blique

    All The Elected Republicans who supported the stupid Iraq invasion and every borrow and spend request for it have now been turned into Born Again Peacniks, by President Obama.

    September 12, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  22. Laughable

    @Joe

    Well said and could not agree more – and I bet those very same chicken hawks will be warbling the Stars Spangled Banner hand on heart on the 4th of July thinking how wonderful they are – sickening –
    they are a complete disgrace!

    September 12, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  23. declan

    Never in my long life did I ever think Obama could make Carter look good and Bush Great. We need help.

    September 12, 2013 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  24. kayla

    nobody was more clueless than bush

    September 12, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  25. Jeffrey Paul

    Speaking of approvals, Corker only gets a 36% approval rating back home. He's actually losing in a poll for re-election.

    September 12, 2013 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
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