By Amie Parnes - 01/17/12 06:22 PM EST
Newt Gingrich's comment that President Obama is "the food stamp president" is crazy, the White House said Tuesday.
"You know as well as I do that that's crazy," White House press secretary Jay Carney said at his Tuesday briefing after a reporter asked if the characterization was accurate.
Carney said when Obama took office "our economy was in free fall" and as a result there was a "dramatic increase" in unemployment and of people who needed assistance.
The press secretary said that was a result of the terrible recession at the time.
Asked about other remarks Gingrich made on Tuesday, who said he wants to "knock out" the president, Carney said "the campaign trail is filled with exuberant rhetoric."
"I'll just let that one pass," he added.