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White House says it makes effort to grant press access to Obama

White House press secretary Jay Carney said Tuesday he is sympathetic to growing concerns about press access to President Obama.

“Having been where you are, I understand,” said Carney, a former reporter for Time magazine.

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While he said he also understood why “there was a desire” to have a photo of Obama hitting the links with golf pro Tiger Woods, he explained, “The president had some down time. He was playing golf.”

Carney's comments come after the White House press corps fumed when it was denied access to Obama’s golf game with Woods on Sunday.

Carney said the White House is “making an effort to provide access” and that no one received more favorable treatment with the Obama-Woods golf outing.

Carney came to the briefing armed with statistics. He said Obama has had 35 press conferences while former President George W. Bush had only 19 press conferences at this point in his presidency.

The White House spokesman also added that Obama has done 591 interviews since taking office, including 104 with major television networks.

Asked what Obama thinks of access issues, Carney replied, “He deputizes me to have that reaction.”