Obama ducks questions on birth-control mandate

President Obama had a lot to say on Thursday. He praised a housing settlement at one event at the White House. He talked about No Child Left Behind at another.

But Obama didn’t have much to add about the looming contraception uproar that has plagued the White House in recent days.

Appearing in a photo-op with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti in the Oval Office on Thursday afternoon, Obama didn’t respond to two questions on the divisive topic.

“Do you stand by your contraceptive decision?” one reporter asked him, as he stood before a slew of television cameras.

“Is there anything you want to share with us about your contraception rule?" another reporter asked.

“Thank you, everybody,” Obama responded, ignoring the questions. “Thank you.”

When reporters didn’t pick up on Obama’s cues, he pointed to the prime minister, as if to say he didn’t want to discuss those matters in this setting.

“Come on, guys,” he said, trying to usher the press corps out of the room.

The White House hasn’t said much about the controversial topic on Thursday, and White House spokesman Jay Carney did not hold his daily briefing with reporters.