CNN Asks Carney How Mandela Influenced Obama Even Though They ‘Only Met One Time’

'That influence extends, as he said yesterday, well back in time'

CNN Asks Carney How Mandela Influenced Obama Even Though They ‘Only Met One Time’ (Mediate)

Thursday’s sad passing of world civil rights icon Nelson Mandela was a frequent topic of discussion at Friday’s White House daily briefing, as several reporters asked Press Secretary Jay Carney to elaborate on Mandela’s influence, and on details surrounding his funeral. CNN Chief White House Correspondent Jim Acosta asked about “this great impact” that Mandela had on the President, while repeatedly stressing that President Obama had only met Mandela once.

Acosta began with a personal observation, telling Carney that “it just sort of struck me that the President talked about this great impact that he had on his life, but he only met with Nelson Mandela one time face-to-face.”

“I was just curious,” he continued, “for people who are wondering, if you could provide more details about Nelson Mandela’s influence on the President’s life. Have you had a chance to talk to him about this? I know he made some comments about this yesterday. People might just be wondering.”

“They only met one time,” Acosta reiterated, “but yet he had a big impact.”

“Well, I think that Nelson Mandela had a profound impact on millions and millions of people around the world, and beginning with the citizens of South Africa — millions and millions of people who have never met him — who never met him,” Carney said. “And the President, as senator, had the good fortune to meet him. But I don’t think that’s the reason why he had an influence on Barack Obama. That influence extends, as he said yesterday, well back in time.”

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