There is no “set price” to meet with President Obama, White House press secretary Jay Carney said today amid continued outcry over the role of Organizing for Action, the outside group supporting the president’s agenda.
“Any notion that there is a set price for a meeting with the president of the United States is just wrong,” Carney said during his daily briefing.
Since OFA is intended to back the president’s agenda, it makes sense that Obama would meet with the group, Carney said. “As anyone would expect, the president would likely meet with their representatives to discuss his agenda.”
“But, again, any notion that there’s a price for meeting with the president is simply wrong,” he added.
Carney’s comments followed critical weekend editorials from The New York Times and The Washington Post. Major donors will get spots on an advisory board that will have regular meetings with the president, “behavior that has become all too common in this town and carries more than a whiff of influence-peddling,” the Post editorial board said.
The Times was more blunt, writing that a spot on the advisory board “is nothing more than a fancy way of setting a price for access to Mr. Obama.”
Decrying hypocricy from a president once critical of the role of big money in politics, watchdog Common Cause last week called on Obama to ask OFA’s leaders to shut down the group. Carney signaled that Obama would be doing no such thing, saying its existence is “perfectly appropriate.”