Obama spoke to editorial writers of the Philadelphia Daily News and the Philadelphia Inquirer:
The problem actually with this most recent episode is not that I was saying one thing behind closed door and saying something else in public. The truth is actually that I’ve made these same comments in a similar way on “The Charlie Rose Show" back in 2004 or 2005, and I had said it in town hall meetings in small towns.
The problem is that I just mangled it, which, you know happens sometimes. The point that I was making was actually two separate points that got conflated.
Sigh, of course it comes to this. When all else fails, use the John Kerry Defense – it was a botched joke:
“You know, the economy, if you make the most of it, you change hard, you have your unity and you make an effort to be hopeful, you can do well. If you get bitter, cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like you or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment, you get stuck in Altoona.”