The tone of the question borders on the smug but the substance is absolutely fair. And White House reporters, in particular, have tended to shy away from such pointed questions in recent years. But Obama’s answer struck me as pretty powerful, too:
“Well, here’s where I’ve been, Jake,” Obama replied. “I’ve been president of the United States dealing with the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, an auto industry on the verge of collapse, two wars. I don’t think I’ve been on vacation. And so, you know, I think all of us have to do some reflection on how we prioritize what we do here in Washington.”Obama added that there was more involved in keeping children safe beyond dealing only with guns and reiterated his confidence in Biden and his task force.“And as I said on Sunday, you know, this should be a wake-up call for all of us to say that if we are not getting right the need to keep our children safe, then nothing else matters,” he continued. “It’s my commitment to make sure we do everything we can to keep our children safe. A lot of things are involved in that, Jake. So making sure they have decent health care, making sure they got a good education, making sure that their parents have jobs — those are all relevant as well. Those aren’t just sort of side issues. But there’s no doubt that this has to be a central issue. And that’s exactly why I’m confident that Joe [Biden] is going to take this so seriously over the next couple months.”
Presumably, the president was expecting the question and was well prepared; otherwise, this is some world class thinking on his feet on display.
Once again I'm glad the guy in the White House is not Mitt Romney, because his answer would have been completely self-serving gobbledegook. But the current President got this one right.