When pressed by a correspondent from World News Daily, White House spokesman Scott McLellan brushed off questions on the topic.
“What is the president thinking about the propriety of the Republican party accepting $5,000 from a pornographer and the example that is set for the moral climate of this nation?” correspondent Ken Kinsolving asked.
McLellan told Kinsolving he should ask the question to the group sponsoring the event, the National Republican Congressional Committee.
The confrontation became heated when Kinsolving quoted a Bush supporter who was critical of the president for dining with “pornographers.” Kingsolving then asked if McLellan thought TV cameras would ignore the presence of Carey, who was recently arrested on obscenity charges.
“You’ve asked that question before,” McLellan shot back.
“No, no, no — this is a new question. It’s newly worded,” Kinsolving insisted.
McLellan eventually called on another reporter and ignored Kinsolving altogether.
The incident isn’t the first time McLellan has dodged reporters questions on how the president feels about accepting money from an industry he openly opposes. When asked about the dinner last week, McLellan said he hadn’t “looked that far ahead on the president’s schedule.”
Kulkis, who serves as an honorary chairman on the NRCC’s Business Advisory Council, told XBiz he was personally invited to the $2,500-a-plate “2005 President’s Dinner and Salute to Freedom,” expected to raise $23 million for conservative interests.
“We thought it would be good to remind President Bush and other Republicans that we are business people, too,” Kulkis said.