June 7th, 2009
10:35 AM ET
6 years ago

Axelrod: Stimulus package starting to work

Obama senior adviser David Axelrod discussed the economy and health care reform in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.
Obama senior adviser David Axelrod discussed the economy and health care reform in an interview that aired Sunday on CNN's State of the Union.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus package is beginning to work, his senior adviser told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday.

David Axelrod cited the latest unemployment figures that showed the rate of new job losses slowing.

Although those figures showed the overall unemployment rate at a 26-year high, Axelrod said the stimulus money takes time to infiltrate the economy.

"Hopefully that is a sign that this is turning," Axelrod said. "It feels as if we're moving, and the stimulus package now is not nearly done, it's just really at its beginnings."

In a wide-ranging interview with CNN's John King, Axelrod also said Obama believes that capping tax deductions for high-income Americans is the best way to help offset the cost of expanding national health care.
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Filed under: David Axelrod • Economy • Health care • State of the Union
June 7th, 2009
10:20 AM ET
6 years ago

Clinton originally rejected Secretary of State offer

Secretary of State Clinton accompanied the president on his recent trip to the Middle East.
Secretary of State Clinton accompanied the president on his recent trip to the Middle East.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - When then President-elect Barack Obama first asked Hillary Clinton to be his top diplomat, she turned him down and recommended others for the job, the secretary of state said in an interview broadcast Sunday.

Speaking to ABC's "This Week," Clinton also said the president has answered the central question she raised about him when she was his chief rival for the Democratic nomination last year.

In her famous "3 a.m." ad, she questioned whether Obama was the right candidate to handle a middle-of-the-night international crisis.

"Has the president answered it for you?" host George Stephanopoulos asked.

"Absolutely," Clinton replied. "And, you know, the president, in his public actions and demeanor, and certainly in private with me and with the national security team, has been strong, thoughtful, decisive, I think he is doing a terrific job. And it's an honor to serve with him."

The former senator from New York and former first lady revealed details of how she came to accept the role.

"I never had any dream, let alone inkling, that I would end up in President Obama's cabinet," she said. "When I left the presidential race after getting some sleep and taking some deep breaths, I immediately went to work for him in the general election... And I was looking forward to going back to the Senate and, frankly, going back to my life and representing New York, which I love. And I had no idea that he had a different plan in mind."

When her name was mentioned in the media as a possible member of Obama's cabinet, Clinton said, she found the idea "absurd."

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Popular Posts • President Obama
June 7th, 2009
09:49 AM ET
6 years ago

Critics 'didn't pay attention' to Cairo speech, aide says

WASHINGTON (CNN) –- As the world continues to digest and dissect President Obama’s historic speech directed at the Muslim world, a senior aide to the president is pushing back on the suggestion that Obama’s latest overseas trip amounted to an apology tour.

The president’s criticis “didn’t pay attention to this speech or any of the speeches he’s making,” senior adviser David Axelrod said in an interview aired Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “Embedded in this speech was a very strong explanation, explication of who we are and what we’re all about, our values as a country and our history as a country.”

Axelrod likewise rebuked the suggestion that Obama was critical of his predecessor while addressing the Muslim world from Cairo Thursday.

“Iraq was a war of choice that provoked strong differences in my country and around the world,” the president said in Egypt. “September 11th was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable. But in some cases it led us to act contrary to our traditions and our ideals,” Obama also said.

Those comments were not specifically directed at the previous occupant of the Oval Office, Axelrod said Sunday.

Obama “didn’t point a finger at George W. Bush and he didn’t offer those observations to make a political point,” Axelrod told CNN Chief National Correspondent John King.

“He offered them to report candidly on the history of the last few years. That is well understood and well-known . . . you can’t be candid about other people’s actions and responsibilities and not your own.”

“It wasn’t meant to criticize any one person,” Axelrod added. “It was meant to discuss in an open and honest way where we’ve been in order to, as I’ve said, clear away the debris so we can move forward.”

During his appearance on State of the Union, Axelrod also discussed the Obama administration’s plans to jump start the Middle East peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

June 7th, 2009
09:45 AM ET
6 years ago

Clinton: Obama has 'absolutely' passed '3 a.m.' test

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says President Obama has answered the central question that she raised about him when she was his chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination.

In an interview with ABC's "This Week" broadcast Sunday, Clinton was asked about her famous "3 a.m." ad last year, which questioned whether Obama was the right candidate to handle a middle-of-the-night international crisis.

"Has the president answered it for you?" host George Stephanopoulos asked.

"Absolutely," Clinton replied. "And, you know, the president, in his public actions and demeanor, and certainly in private with me and with the national security team, has been strong, thoughtful, decisive, I think he is doing a terrific job. And it's an honor to serve with him."


Filed under: Hillary Clinton • Popular Posts • President Obama
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