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Carney On "There Will Be Blood" Comment: "I'm Not Sure" What They Mean

Q Quick question on Michigan and the right-to-work debate, which has gotten a bit testy today on the House floor. There’s one Democrat, Doug Geiss, who said today that if this right-to-work initiative is signed into law, “there will be blood.” Since the President weighed in yesterday, and obviously made his feelings known, but has talked about changing the tone here in Washington and around the country, does the White House feel any obligation to tell fellow Democrats to debate this issue, but debate it in a peaceful and sort of --

MR. CARNEY: The President believes in debate that’s civil. I haven’t seen those comments and I’m not sure that they mean what some would interpret them to mean. I just haven’t seen them. You heard the President talk about his views. He has always opposed the so-called right-to-work laws. As he said, those laws are generally political and not economic. They’re more about the right to earn less pay than they are helpful to our economy. And he presented those views yesterday in Michigan.

Q Last thing on that -- when we were asking about the Chicago teacher strike in September, right before the election when that was getting a little tense, you were kind of suggesting it was a local issue. At one point you said that the President “has not expressed any opinion or made any assessment about this particular incident” that was going on in his hometown in terms of the teacher strike. So why was this different? This is playing out in Michigan. It’s playing out in various states; we saw it in Wisconsin several months ago. Why all of a sudden -- I understand that he was in the state of Michigan, but he was also -- he’s from Chicago. So why did he not weigh in before the election?

MR. CARNEY: The President’s position on right-to-work laws, so-called right-to-work laws is well known. He stated before. He stated it again yesterday. The specific teacher strike was one where he called on all sides to work together to reach a compromise that was in the interest of the children, who had the most to lose from a prolonged strike. And he welcomed the resolution of that strike.

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