From the White House press corps gaggle on Air Force One, en route to Minnesota today:
Q Also, anything on these protests outside the White House on this pipeline? Has the President decided against TransCanada’s permit for the pipeline? It’s the tar sands pipeline. There have been a lot of arrests outside the White House about it.
MR. CARNEY: I don’t have anything new on that. I believe the State Department has — that’s under the purview of the State Department presently, but I don’t have anything new on that.
Q Is the President aware of the protests?
MR. CARNEY: I haven’t talked to him about it.
So, there you have it: almost six hundred protesters arrested right in front of the White House — including, today, actress Daryl Hannah — and Press Secretary Jay Carney claims he doesn’t know if the President is aware of the protests because he hasn’t talked to him about it.
This is a credibility gap.
Here’s Bill McKibben:
Now, here’s the thing: while it’s great to see the press corps pushing the Administration to recognize our demonstration, the fact that Carney hasn’t yet briefed the President on the protest and the pipeline is a worrying sign about how out of touch this administration is on this issue.
“Just in the last two days everyone from the president’s chief climate scientist to an 84-year-old grandmother was arrested on his front doorstep,” said environmental author Bill McKibben, who is spearheading the White House protest. “This is the largest civil disobedience action in the environmental movement in a generation, and if they really aren’t even discussing it with the president, that signals a deep disrespect for their supporters, especially young people who have demonstrated that the environment is a top priority.”
Welcome to “under the bus,” environmentalists and eco-conscious Eaarth citizens. We gays have decorated it quite festively, and our Latino and other immigrant communities have added their own touches as well. We’ve all been thrown under here, sacrificed to the highest goal: Obama’s re-election. You’d better clear the way, though, because there are other disappointed Obama constituencies joining us under here soon.