Josh Earnest’s 5 Most Arrogant Assertions of 2016

Craig Bannister | December 22, 2016
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With Thursday’s announcement that GOP communications chief Sean Spicer will replace Josh Earnest as White House press secretary, let’s recap some of Earnest’s 2016 lowlights.

Here are the Top 5 most arrogant assertions by Obama’s press secretary so far this year.

#1 - Earnest Declares Dems ‘Not Particularly Concerned’ About GOP Opponent

Commenting on the GOP Iowa caucus in February, Earnest said Democrats couldn’t care less who their presidential candidate would face in November’s election:

“We’ve seen campaigns characterized by candidates trying to exploit people’s fears and anxieties and insecurities about the future -- and those candidates ended up doing pretty well last night,” he continued. "I think it’s why a lot of Democrats wake up this morning, at least at this point, not particularly concerned about the potential match-up that we would face in a general election."


#2 - Earnest Refuses to Admit Democrats ‘Lost’ Presidential Election

Even when Hillary Clinton did lose, Earnest still wouldn’t admit it. The White House Press Corps actually burst out laughing at Josh Earnest’s weak attempts to “spin” the election loss at a press briefing.


#3 - Earnest's Obstinate Snub of Reagan Corrected by WH

“I’m confident the facts are on my side,” White House Press Sec. Josh Earnest insisted in a condescending rebuke of a reporter in July – only to be corrected by the White House, which had to change the argument to fit Earnest’s claim.

Earnest smugly declared that Pres. Obama is “the first president since Pres. Eisenhower” to win two straight elections with a majority of the popular vote – and rebuked the reporter who tried to correct him by pointing out that Pres. Ronald Reagan accomplished the same feat.

“Reagan did not do it twice,” Earnest chided the reporter at a press briefing on Thursday. “I'm confident the facts are on my side on this one,” he boasted.

In fact, Reagan did do it twice – so, the White House went back and corrected the claim on its website, changing the measurement from “majority” to “51 percent” in order to make Earnest accurate.


#4 – Earnest: No, That Wasn’t Ransom Money, No Matter What the State Dept. Says

In August, Earnest doubled down on President Obama’s claim that the $400 million paid to Iran in exchange for American hostages was not a ransom, just part of a settlement deal. 

But, State Dept. spokesman John Kirby had already admitted during a press briefing earlier in the month that the cash was, in fact, ransom for four Americans being held hostage in Tehran, contingent upon their release. 


#5 – Earnest Admits Politics Will Drive Supreme Court Pick, Then Denies It

After the death of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in February, Earnest said politics will drive Obama’s nomination of a replacement on the court – then, quickly changed his tune and denied it.

“Well, listen… Politics are going to be part of this, particularly in an election year. I don’t think anybody disputes that,” Earnest replied.

After admitting that politics will, in fact, play a part in the President’s decision, the press secretary immediately backtracked.

“No, I don’t think so,” said Earnest. “The President’s made clear that he’s not on the ballot. The President’s interested in fulfilling his constitutional duty to appoint the person that he believes is the best person in America to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court.”


Honorable Mention:

#1 - Carrier ‘Will Have to Explain’ Why They’re Keeping Jobs in America

Asked by reporters about Carrier’s decision to keep 1,000 jobs in the U.S. rather than move them to Mexico, Earnest twice declared Carrier executives will have to “explain” their motives:

“So there's a lot to unpack here.  Ultimately, I think the executives at Carrier, if they choose to do so, will have to explain the decision that they made.”

“I think ultimately we’d have to rely on the executives at Carrier to explain why they made the decision that they did.”


#2 - Trump ‘Snorted’ Before His Debates, So Why Worry About Clinton’s Drug Use?

In October, Earnest responded to a question about Trump’s suggestion that he and Hillary Clinton take a drug test before the next debate by implying the Republican candidate had been using cocaine to get through previous debates:

“Well so you’re telling me that the candidate who snorted his way through the first two debates is accusing the other candidate of taking drugs? That’s a curious development in the campaign,” he said.

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