By Randy Foreman, White House Correspondent
WASHINGTON – (Newsblaze) Barack Obama’s Spokesman Josh Earnest made pretty much an immediate about face from an an earlier Sunday position of not commenting on the President’s non-attendance at Sunday’s Paris rally mourning the victims of the Charlie Hebdo magazine and a Kosher butcher shop to saying that the President should have joined other world leaders.
“I think it’s fair to say that we should have sent someone with a higher profile to be there.” Earnest remarked almost right off the bat. As Earnest said that, the noise of reporters’ keyboards grew louder.
During several exchanges with reporters, Earnest mentioned that the White House’s non attendance was based on security concerns and that the planning of the rally took place in 36 hours.
“I’m confident that the professionals at the Secret Service could overcome those challenges, but it would have been very difficult to do so without significantly impacting the ability of common citizens to participate in this march, and additionally that had the circumstances been a little bit different, I think the President himself would have liked to have had the opportunity to be there.”
However, as Earnest was proposing this as an argument as to why the President was not in attendance, the Nation’s top rated radio talk show host, Rush Limbaugh, noted that the Israeli Prime minister was not invited.
“I heard that Bibi Netanyahu, Benjamin Netanyahu, of Israel, was not invited to whatever this thing was, freedom march, I don’t even know what it’s called, the rally, the thing in France. He went anyway. In fact, he may have been told not only that he wasn’t invited, they may have told him to stay away, and he said, screw that, and he showed up.”
Still other reporters were rejecting the White House’s security argument such as Ed Henry of Fox News who queried Earnest, noting that President Obama showed up to the funeral of former South African President Nelson Mandela on short notice.
The White House rejected that idea by saying that there were conversations for some time about that event before his death.
Additionally Henry pressed the White House as to why there why the President was not visible at rallies in DC. “What about this rally in D.C.? There was a rally, I believe it was a march from the Newseum to the French Embassy. We should note the President did go to the French Embassy last week, obviously. He signed a condolence book, he expressed his solidarity with the French people. But I understand the President is probably not going to go marching through the streets of D.C., but the White House Chief of Staff, the Vice President, a Cabinet secretary somewhere – how come you didn’t have someone in D.C. at a rally?”
When Earnest was posed with questions like that he continually went back to a refrain of “there is no doubt, and there should be no doubt, about the commitment of this administration and the commitment of the American people to standing shoulder to shoulder with our allies in France as they deal with the aftermath of these terrible terrorist attacks and as they continue the fight for the kinds of values that we hold so dear on both sides of the Atlantic.”
Josh Earnest will address reporters on Tuesday in the West Wing.