President Barack Obama took an impromptu tour of the White House press work area yesterday. The president made the surprise visit on his second full day in office. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)
From CNN's Jack Cafferty:
When President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press room yesterday he was asked how he justifies his new policy banning lobbyists in his administration when his pick for Deputy Secretary of Defense lobbied for Raytheon.
President Obama said he just came to visit and this is what happens. He added that he wouldn't be able to stop around informally to visit if he gets grilled every time.
When the reporter from Politico pressed further the President got serious and, by some accounts, sounded irritated. He said, "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that's all I was trying to do."
During the 10-minute visit, President Obama was also asked if he's been able to work out or play basketball. And the President asked some questions of his own about who sits where and so on, as he checked out reporters' offices, shook hands with members of the press corps and noted how small the space is.
Here’s my question to you: Was it unfair to ask President Obama a substantive question during an informal visit to the White House press room?
Interested to know which ones made it on air?
Joe from Delaware writes:
The question was fair. Talk is cheap. He needs to walk the walk.
Liz frpm Towson, Maryland writes:
It wasn't unfair, but it was inappropriate for the reporter to push Obama for a response. It’s one thing to ask a question, but it's another to be rude to the President. Obama is also correct that there's a time and a place for pressing for answers, and a time and a place for cordial greeting.
Kevin from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania writes:
Give the guy a break already. He went down to say "Hi", shake hands and try to set the stage for a new kind of presidency. I am quite frankly tired of this new paparazzi attitude of shoving questions in his face just like cameras. He's the President of the United States for goodness sake. Show some respect.
Jim from North Carolina writes:
Why not? Sunlight, transparency, accountability, etc. His rules.
Rick from Davis, California writes:
It's never unfair to ask the president a substantive question. It is sort of silly to expect a substantive answer in an informal setting.
Jay from Brownwood, Texas writes:
No, it wasn't unfair. It is clear that President Obama just wanted his visit to be a publicity shot showing he will be accessible to the press and the American people. But what good is accessibility if he is unwilling to answer the important questions that we want answers to?
Jim from El Paso, Texas writes:
Sure it was Jack but what do you expect from press people? They have no sense. You are not included in that bunch.