Updated: November 22, 2011 11:13AM
WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Jay Carney on Sunday chose his words carefully when asked what he thought of Rep. Joe Walsh’s (R-Ill.) decision to boycott President Obama’s jobs speech before a joint session of Congress on Thursday.
“The idea that the president of the United States giving a speech about the need to grow the economy and create jobs is political — I’ll let you judge that for yourself,” Carney said after he was asked about Walsh skipping the speech during a briefing.
Walsh, a freshman and part of the Tea Party caucus, threw a spotlight on himself earlier this summer when he made a video saying Obama should “quit lying” about the consequences of not raising the debt ceiling.
Walsh told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer on Friday, “This is nothing but a political move by this president, and I simply didn’t want to be a pawn in this political theater.”
Instead, Walsh said he will return to Illinois for the speech, telling MSNBC’s Martin Bashir on Friday, “I’m going to fly back home and talk to the folks who really know what we need to do when it comes to job creation, not this president.”