The Clinton camp faced a series of questions from reporters seeking to clarify what, exactly, is Penn's new role with the campaign.
"I appreciate the question, but I'm not going to answer it," said Howard Wolfson in a campaign call today.
He did, however the following example, tailored specially for his audience: "The difference would be between the editor-in-chief of your newspaper and somebody who plays an important role in your newspaper but isn't in charge," he said, adding that it was the difference "between somebody who is playing the key role and somebody who is playing an important role."
The Clinton camp also argued that Penn's actions were less bad than those made by Austan Goolsbee during last month's NAFTA flap, which prompted this response from the Obama camp:
"Even though Senator Clinton said she'd distance herself from her chief strategist for meeting with the Colombian government, we later found out that he's still very much part of her strategy team. The comparison Senator Clinton tried to make today is laughable, but also typical of a candidate who has said one thing but done another this entire campaign."