Carney: Obama crying video was ‘not a media event’

A video of President Obama crying while thanking his campaign staff has gone viral, garnering more than 1.7 million views on the campaign's YouTube channel already. But reporters who cover the White House were surprised that the video was released by the Obama campaign, considering the traveling press corps was not allowed into the event Wednesday in Chicago.

Obama made the remarks in a stop at his campaign headquarters in the Prudential Building downtown the day after he won re-election. The White House press pool, a small group of reporters that shadows Obama in his motorcade and on Air Force One, was kept waiting outside in the motorcade press vans during the stop.

Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry, who is the president of the White House Correspondents' Association, asked press secretary Jay Carney why reporters were not allowed to witness the emotional remarks, especially considering the campaign released video of the meeting Thursday.

"It was a meeting with his campaign team, which had worked very hard over many weeks and months and the campaign released that video, which was perfectly appropriate and fine," Carney responded. "It was not a media event, not a press event; it was a meeting with the campaign team. He was not speaking about the fiscal cliff or Benghazi. He spoke from his heart about how much he appreciates young people who worked so hard in that campaign. The president was having a meeting with very young members of his campaign team who worked their hearts and he thanked them."

Reporters were also unhappy that Obama did not take questions during remarks in the East Room about the economy. The president read a statement before departing.

"He will continue to give interviews and very soon looks forward to taking questions from the White House press corps," Carney said.

David Nakamura covers the White House. He has previously covered sports, education and city government and reported from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Japan.
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