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Gingrich and White House Spar Over "Food Stamp" President

Columbia, S.C. - White House Press Secretary Jay Carney pushed back against Newt Gingrich's critique that President Obama has been the country's greatest "food stamp president."

"The fact of the matter is this country is emerging from the worst recession since the Great Depression, the greatest economic and financial crisis of our lifetimes," Carney told reporters, who pressed him about Gingrich twice during the White House press briefing. "When this president took the oath of office in January of 2009, our economy was in freefall. We were hemorrhaging jobs at the rate of nearly 800,000 a month. The economy was contracting or had contracted in the previous quarter, the last quarter of President Bush's term in office, by nearly 9 percent."

A reporter told Carney that "the language that the Speaker uses is that these are people that President Obama put on food stamps."

"Well, you know as well as I do that that's crazy," Carney responded.

Gingrich fired back, arguing that blaming the country's economic problems on the previous administration "was true in January of 2009" but "in the three years since then it has been Obama's policies which have weakened the economy, crippled American energy, and put Americans on food stamps."