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Obama's defense of Summers not tied to Fed decision: White House

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. "Larry" Summers speaks during a financial and economic event at the London School of Economics (L
Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. "Larry" Summers speaks during a financial and economic event at the London School of Economics (L

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - White House spokesman Jay Carney said on Wednesday that any defense by President Barack Obama of former senior economic adviser Lawrence Summers' record should not be interpreted as a sign the president favors Summers to head the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Obama's defense of Summers at meetings with lawmakers on Capitol Hill was to be expected given Summers' service as a senior administration official during the financial crisis, Carney said. Summers is considered a candidate to replace Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke when Bernanke's term expires in January.

"The president would defend that individual as I would," Carney told reporters at a briefing.

"You ought to take those kinds of statements and view them as what the president or I or others would say about somebody who was such an important and hard working member of the president's economic team, and separate them from speculation about a personnel announcement that will not be made before fall," he said.

(Reporting by Mark Felsenthal; Editing by Eric Beech)

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