On the Today show this morning, the <$NoAd$>president's campaign chairman Marc Racicot, said that that forecast of 2.6 million new jobs this year wasn't a forecast but rather a "goal".
That prompted this exchange in this morning's gaggle ...
QUESTION: Scott, on taxes and jobs, your campaign chairman, Marc Racicot this morning said that the job prediction or the job forecast in the CEA report was a "goal." You indicated to us yesterday that it was simply a figure that was based on economic modeling. So what is it? Is it an objective analysis of the current state of the economy, or was that a political document?
Scott McClellan: John, I think it is what it is. The data is a snapshot that economists use at a point in time for economic modeling. That's what I said yesterday. So it is what it is --
QUESTION: Right, but Racicot --
Scott McClellan: -- and it's based on the data available at that point in time.
QUESTION: So was Racicot wrong in describing it as a goal?
Scott McClellan: I haven't seen those specific remarks. I'll be glad to look at them, but it is what it is, and it is how I described it yesterday.
[Here there's a short and snappy back-and-forth between John and Scott on the difference between predictions and goals, and what the definition of 'is' is.]
Scott McClellan: John, I'm giving you the facts. It is what it is.
QUESTION: And the meaning of the word "is" is?
Scott McClellan: Well, John, I think that where the discussion of policy should be -- or the discussion should be is on policy. And the President is a decision-maker. The President leads by making policy decisions. And the policies we are implementing are working to strengthen our economy and create an environment for robust job creation. New jobs are being created. The unemployment rate is declining. The policies this President has advocated and passed are working. And I think the American people think the discussion should be there on the policy decisions that are being made. Some don't want to discuss the policies. But it's important for a President to lead and make decisions, and then defend those decisions.
QUESTION: You understand the difference between a forecast based on economic modeling and a stated goal. Racicot just seems to indicate that this is a stated goal.
Scott McClellan: It is the economic forecast for our annual Economic Report. That's what it is.
QUESTION: So it's not a goal?
Drip, drip, drip ...