Asked if the White House specifically picked the time of Obama's speech to coincide with the debate, Carney said, "No, of course not. There were a lot of considerations that — once you decide you want to do a speech to Congress and you have to deal with Congressional schedules and other — there are other — there are many other factors here. And obviously, one debate of many that's on one channel of many was not enough reason not to have the speech at the time that we decided to have it."
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the president's request showed strong leadership and demonstrated a renewed urgency to address the dismal economic situation.
"President Obama made a clear, strong statement today about America's top priorities: creating jobs and strengthening our economy. And with an address before a Joint Session of Congress next week, the President will give renewed urgency to the jobs crisis facing our nation," Pelosi said in a written statement.
Requests for comment from the offices of Boehner and Reid were not returned.
Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., right, hugs Harold Schaitberger, General President of the International Association of Fire Fighters, after the Congressman spoke at the IAFF's Legislative Conference General Session at the Hyatt Regency on Capitol Hill, March 9, 2015. The day featured addresses by members of Congress and Vice President Joe Biden.