Really, Jay?

WASHINGTON — White House press secretary Jay Carney sought to refute characterizations of President Obama’s second inaugural address as a unabashed embrace of liberalism.

“I would say that it was forceful and I would say that it was confident,” Carney told reporters at a briefing Tuesday. “I would reject the idea that this was an ”ism’ speech. This was in fact the opposite of that.”

He said the agenda items Obama mentioned — addressing climate change, immigration reform and equal rights for women and gays — are not ideological issues unique to liberals, but rather are responsibilities shared by all Americans.

They are not “only a province of liberalism or the Democratic Party,” he said. “I know that Republicans reject that too.”

Carney said: “The only ”ism’ that was a part of that speech was a rejection of absolutism.”