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White House on the Wisconsin protests

From Jay Carney's press briefing on February 17th, 2011:

QUESTION: Jay, on Wisconsin, is the President keeping up with what's going on there? Speaker Boehner today said the President should tell OFA to stand down.

MR. CARNEY: I want to make clear that -- something about what -- the President's comments in the radio -- the television interview he gave the other day. There are two points he made. One is that he is very understanding of the need for state governments, governors, state legislatures to reduce spending, to be -- to make tough choices, to be fiscally responsible. He's doing that at the federal level and he understands that states need to do that at the state level.

But he also feels very strongly that we need not to make this an assault on the collective bargaining rights of workers in a given state. Public service workers need to make sacrifices just like everyone else, but there's a distinction here that he sees. And I just want to make sure that people see that he was very clear about his recognition that states need to deal with their budgets just like the federal government needs to deal with its budget.

By Greg Sargent  | February 18, 2011; 5:25 PM ET
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