President Obama is very accessible to the White House press corps, if the topic is sufficiently unimportant.
Obama has been criticized at times for avoiding the White House press while trolling entertainment media for positive coverage, but he took a moment to comment again on the National Football League referee fiasco upon his return to the White House today.
“Terrible,” Obama said of last night’s Packers-Seahawks game as he exited his helicopter. “I’ve been saying for months, we’ve gotta get our refs back.” The NFL is using replacement referees while trying to negotiate a new contract with the referee union.
The press pool noted that Obama stopped to take the question after ABC’s Devin Dwyer shouted “Packers” at him over the sound of the helicopter “and that word alone was enough to make Obama stop to talk to press for a few seconds.”
Obama also made sure his spokesman was prepared to field such questions. “”He said that what happened in that game is a perfect example of why both sides need to come together, resolve their differences so that the regular refs can get back on the field and we can start focusing on a game that so many of us love rather than debating whether of not a game is won or lost because of a bad call,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters today. “He thinks there were real problems with the call.”
Reporters can’t always get Obama to answer questions. He ignored a reporter, after his statement on the Libya attacks, who asked if the assault was an “act of war.” Obama also ignored reporters who asked him to comment on Mitt Romney’s selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate.