The White House will not say whether anyone will have to pay the Obamacare penalty in 2014:
"Is there going to be a single person in 2014 that's going to pay the penalty? A single uninsured American that is going to end up paying the penalty in 2014 at this point?," asked MSNBC host Chuck Todd.
"Chuck, I can't talk to you about how many people are going to be subject to the penalty," said White House deputy senior advisor David Simas, sidestepping the question. "I can say that in Massachusetts, you saw a rapid decrease in the number of uninsured because when they had choices, people signed up. And that's what we're seeing today."
President Obama went after MSNBC host Chuck Todd for asking too many questions at a press conference today in Jerusalem, Israel:
Obama told Todd, who had asked about the president's failures to achieve Middle East peace, that he should be more like the Israeli press, and only ask one question. And the president called Todd "incorrigible."
MSNBC host Chuck Todd asked the co-chair of the Democratic party's convention, L.A. mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, why there are more Republican women and Hispanic governors:
"Let me ask you though, this one question, why is it that the Republicans have elected more women governors and have two Hispanic governors and the Democrats don’t?," asked Todd. "Don’t have as many women governors and don’t have Hispanic governors, why do you think that is?"
The White House briefing room is often known as the place where news goes to die. Reporters try hard to get the press secretary to “make news” – or say something useable for their television/radio/print/web stories of the day. They often fail, in part because the job of the press secretary, in many respects, is to avoid doing exactly what the reporters in the room are trying to get him to do – make news. Every once in a while, though, there is an exchange in the White House briefing room that provides clarity on a major issue of the day.
MSNBC White House correspondents Savannah Guthrie and Chuck Todd asked White House press secretary Robert Gibbs some hard-hitting questions today.
Hinting that intelligence is perishable, Guthrie asks Gibbs, "Did you lose an opportunity to interrogate by Mirandizing too soon? This was not a product of reflection that went all the way to the top."