White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Wednesday that any defense by President Barack Obama of former senior economic adviser Lawrence Summers' record should not be interpreted as a sign the president favors Summers to head the U.S. Federal Reserve.
Obama's defense of Summers at meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill was to be expected given Summers' service as a senior administration official during the financial crisis, Carney said. Summers is considered a candidate to replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke when Bernanke's term expires in January.
"The president would defend that individual as I would," Carney told reporters at a briefing.
"You ought to take those kinds of statements and view them as what the president or I or others would say about somebody who was such an important and hard working member of the president's economic team, and separate them from speculation about a personnel announcement that will not be made before fall," he said.