Friday's White House Press Briefing included two economic advisers to discuss the volatile economic situation here in the US, though they were careful to not paint to dire a picture. Obviously, with crude oil trading at record levels and OPEC releasing a statement blaming the price on the weakness of the American dollar, the media might be expected to ask a question or two. However, White House Spokesperson Dana Perino was not having any of it.
Q I'd like to follow up on their refusal to talk about the dollar, if I could. I mean, we're in a kind of a bad situation here, when OPEC says the reason for $105 or $106 a barrel of oil is the falling value of the dollar -- and you won't address that issue. Where do we go to find out who is right?
MS. PERINO: Well, as he just said, the Treasury Secretary is where you go to talk about the dollar. It's a longstanding policy that predates this administration, and I'm not going to change it today. But Treasury can talk about it.
Q I don't expect you to change it, but I do expect you to be able to say whether OPEC is completely wrong about this, or whether there is at least something to their claim that the dollar is responsible for the high price of oil right now.
MS. PERINO: Wendell, I'm under strict instructions, and have been from the beginning, to not talk about the dollar, and I'm not going to get fired to satisfy your question.