(CNN) – One day after squaring off with reporters in an especially combative White House daily briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney underwent a major shift in tone as he faced the same reporters Wednesday.
Gone were Tuesday's repeated expressions of frustration, stern demeanor, and the suggestion that questions about scandals relating to the IRS, Benghazi talking points, and investigations of media outlets had become as frivolous as those that were raised about President Obama's birth certificate.
Instead, a more cheerful Carney on Tuesday went out of his way to praise White House reporters for getting tough, saying that there are a lot of "legitimate questions out there [and] it's part of our democracy and it's a great part of our democracy."
"The approach we take is, we get the information to you that we have as soon as we can, and we try to get that information to you as quickly as possible and as comprehensively as possible," Carney also said. "Now, quickly and comprehensively are not objectives that [we] always meet. And our approach is, we get the information we have to you and, as we get more information, we fill in the details."
Later, Carney declared that "we absolutely understand that some of the reporting on what are apparently criminal investigations are of interest and in particular interest to reporters and [there are] absolutely valid questions about that…so that's an environment that's legitimate, and we understand."
The charm offensive continued when Carney, who turned 48 Wednesday, said he felt "lucky" to be spending his birthday fielding reporters' questions and that he was "sincere" in his respect for a free press.
There was also individual praise to various reporters, declaring that one asked an "excellent" question regarding Syria and another had come up with a "smart way" to phrase a question on the Department of Justice investigation into the Associated Press.
"There are a lot of you, and you're good at your jobs and you're smart," Carney declared at one point to the more than 30 reporters in the White House Press Briefing room.
"When we have a ton of incoming questions, legitimate questions, you guys are doing your job," he also said.