This blog continues the discussion that we began with Epic Journey: The 2008 Elections and American Politics (Rowman and Littlefield, 2009).The latest book in this series is Divided We Stand: The 2020 Elections and American Politics.
Q Last thing. The President spoke out in the news conference about how people need to be careful with their language in general, and he spoke about his own daughters and setting an example. I know he's not the language police, you're not the language police from this podium to pick on people on the left or the right. But there is a letter that went to the Chief of Staff today from a conservative group, Concerned Women for America, saying that the President should direct this super PAC, on the Democratic side, that took a million-dollar check from Bill Maher, who has had some pretty coarse things to say about conservative women.
And I understand the President can't -- he's not in charge of the super PAC, it's an outside thing. But he did bless that PAC and say to his supporters, you should give to this PAC if you want to. So can he also say, give a million-dollar check back if it's from somebody who said these things?
MR. CARNEY: I think the points that you made as you were asking your question are the ones that I will make, which is that we are not, and cannot be, the arbitrator of every statement that everybody makes in the policy and political arena.
As a general matter, obviously language that denigrates women is inappropriate. And I think I would point you to what the President said when he was asked about this during his press conference, which is that he chooses to lead by example, or to try to. He chooses to, in the pursuit of a more civil discourse in our public space, he chooses to try to practice that civility himself. And he calls on everybody to do just that.
A new video documents Maher's remarks about women and people with disabilities: