Dan Rooney clarifies his future as US Ambassador to Ireland
Downplays report he is leaving shortly to help Obama re-election
US Ambassador Dan Rooney has clarified comments he made in an Irish Times interview that he was ready to move back to the US help President Obama with his re-election.
In the interview. Rooney said, "I would probably have to resign to campaign for President Obama's re-election. I think that would be the No. 1 thing I can do for him, and I'd be willing to do so. He's the best man for the job without question."
Now Rooney has issued a statement clarifying but not denying his statement.
"Some readers have drawn the incorrect conclusion from my comments to The Irish Times on April 23, 2011," Rooney said "I was asked what I could do to help President Obama in the next election and I responded that the best thing I could do would be to help him campaign. Were I to do so, it would require my resignation as ambassador to Ireland. However, I am very pleased with my accomplishments to date and I intend to continue to carry out my duties."
Tanya Powell, a State Department official said Rooney was not set to leave "What appeared in The Irish Times was assuming he had been asked by the president to help in his campaign. That hasn't occurred," she said.
Rooney, 80, a co-founder of the American Ireland Fund has been ambassador since July 2009 and Obama’s vist to Ireland next month will be the highlight of his stay.
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