The following is an excerpt from Foxnews.com | September 24, 2012 |
White House Press Secretary Jay Carney faced pressure to explain Monday why President Obama has made no public plans to meet one on one with world leaders on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly.
Asked repeatedly at the briefing about the president’s plans, Carney said that Obama likely would run into foreign leaders at a reception Monday evening and continues to stay in contact with them. He urged Americans to tune in to the president’s U.N. speech on Tuesday.
“The president’s obviously got a busy schedule. He has a busy schedule all the time,” Carney said at one point.
But Carney did not appear to give a direct answer when asked why Obama was able to fit in 13 one-on-one meetings on the sidelines of last year’s summit and none this year. Obama instead was letting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handle the meetings this year while he and first lady Michelle Obama were sitting down Monday for a taping of ABC’s “The View” — sparking criticism that he was putting the election campaign above such issues as Iran’s quest for nuclear capability and the violent, deadly protests in the Middle East and North Africa.
It’s still possible that Obama could schedule a last-minute meeting, but none so far have been announced.
Carney stressed that, amid the violent unrest in the Middle East, Obama recently has had phone conversations with the leaders of Egypt, Libya, Yemen and other nations.
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