It was a punchy day for the press secretary, who pledged at the top of his briefing — with just a trace of irony — to offer "candid and succinct" answers to reporters' questions.

Carney also provided a joking answer when pressed on whether the White House was ready to announce what gift the Obamas would send to the newly born Prince of Cambridge.

Carney said he had no new announcements, but quipped, "I think James would be an excellent choice in name — just a thought."