The Return of Rev. Wright: Today's Q's for O's WH - 5/17/2012

TAPPER: Jay, you joined the Obama team long after President Obama had cut off his ties with Reverend Wright, but his name has re-emerged in the news lately. First of all, there's this - there was this proposal for a super-PAC, that The New York Times broke, to run an ad campaign that generally - that talked a lot about the influence of Reverend Wright on President Obama, and then also Reverend Wright himself gave some interviews to a conservative author in which he talked about his conversation with then Senator Obama and made some other allegations. I was wondering what you thought about, first of all, the idea that this would be re-emerging now, and second of all, if the administration had any response to the things Reverend Wright has been saying in these interviews?

CARNEY: Well, let me - on the first issue, the - I certainly did see the article, and I would point you to, I think, the - a statement that the campaign put out about this issue. I mean, it - I'll echo that and say that to launch a multimillion dollar divisive attack campaign is not what the American people want, and I think these - there are moments when you have to stand up and say that that's not the right way to go. And I would - you know, I would point to numerous comments that echo that, not just from Democrats and political observers, but by Republicans today.

Secondly, I - you know, I - the book that is the foundation for the other element of your question is, you know, not one that I would read because I know that the author lacks - it is the - it is the - it is what has given rise to this. It lacks a certain amount of credibility. And I haven't listened to the interviews that you talk about. I'm not a regular viewer of Sean Hannity or a reader of Ed Klein. But I think what I can say is simply that, you know, we've - some of these issues were featured, as you mentioned, in the 2008 campaign, much discussed. The president gave, as a candidate, a very memorable, detailed speech about his views at - in Philadelphia at the Constitution Center. And you know, I think that was a memorable moment. And right now in 2012, we're focused in what the American people are focused on: jobs, the economy, issues of national security that Tom Donilon just spoke about.

-Jake Tapper