09/27/2012 11:48 EDT | Updated 11/27/2012 05:12 EST

White House calls return of NFL referees a 'great day for America'

How important is it to get the NFL's regular referees back on the job? The White House calls it a great day for America.

Without prompting, U.S. President Barack Obama's spokesman, Jay Carney, on Thursday applauded news of a deal between that the National Football League and the referees' union.

"The president's very pleased that the two sides have come together," Carney said, adding, "It's a great day for America."

The underwhelming performance of replacement officials has drawn the ire of fans, players and politicians.

A blown call at the end of Monday's game cost the Green Bay Packers a win. Carney said the focus can now return to the games, not the officiating.

Republican Mitt Romney, campaigning in Virginia, was asked Thursday what he thought about referees coming back to work.

"I sure hope they do," Romney said, seemingly unsure that the dispute had been settled.


Associated Press writer Matthew Daly in Springfield, Va., contributed to this report.