The White House today defended President Obama's decision to go ahead with prepared remarks that criticized Republicans on the economy -- even as investigators just a few miles away were grappling with a mass shooting.
"Tonally," asked Fox News' Ed Henry, "Did it not seem a little bit off in the middle of this manhunt... to move forward with an attack on the other side?"
Press Secretary Jay Carney said the White House never considered cancelling the event -- which occurred before there were reports of a death toll. Obama opened his event by decrying the shooting.
"I think that's an important thing for the president to talk about," Carney said of upcoming budget battles. "It's an important thing for Congress to talk about and act on. And it's entirely appropriate today for the president to talk about that. We face, as the president noted, some looming deadlines. Congress needs to act. It has some very clear top-line responsibilities. Fund the government. Pass bills that pay for the activities of the United States government."
He continued, "Time is short. We need to address these challenges. It is also true that we had an unfolding situation here in Washington with regards to a violent action and shootings. And it's entirely appropriate for the president to address that at the top of his remarks."