After 15 bank executives paraded out of their White House meeting with Pres. Obama last week, a flock of reporters moved in and herded them to a set of microphones for a debriefing.
The execs were intent on putting a positive spin on their meeting, emphasizing points of agreement with the administration. Reporters, on the other hand, probed more negative issues, like excessive executive pay and bonuses. One CEO, Bancorp’s Richard Davis, went a bit too far with his response and it precipitated more pointed questions.
Here’s a partial transcript with the potentially offending language highlighted, and a video of the complete segment is right below that.
“We appreciate the fact that’s a winnowing point for the press…it’s not something the industry supports or wants the press to pick up on…We’re changing the dialog and we’re looking forward to giving you new opportunities to celebrate peoples’ special stories of success…and we are responsible in some part for some of the sound bites that have come out along the way…but we’re going to move forward to give you better things to write about, to talk about and better stories to show what’s happening in the great recovery of this country…”
One other note. Davis unequivocally stated that the pay and bonus issues were not discussed with the president. However, Obama told Face the Nation host Bob Schieffer on Sunday, March 29th that the issue did come up because he brought it up. An edited video here illustrates the contradiction: