(CNN) - It was a prime time mix up.
Steve Thomma, a reporter for McClatchy, got called out in jest by President Obama at Wednesday's press conference for asking a question when in fact the president had called on a different reporter.
Late into his prime time press conference, Obama called on the Cleveland Plain-Dealer's Steve Koff to ask a question, but Thomma instead rose to the microphone.
Seemingly unaware of the mix up, Obama answered Thomma's question on health care reform, and dropped references to his impending trip to Cleveland Thursday.
But the president, upon finishing his answer, was quickly made aware the wrong reporter asked the question.
"Oh," Obama said as the press corps erupted in laughter. "I said Steve Koff but he (Steve Thomma) just stood up, huh?"
"That's not fair. Shame on you," Obama, appearing amused, added.
Koff was then allowed to ask a question.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - Police in Cambridge, Massachusetts, "acted stupidly" by arresting Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates after they were called to his home on a report of a burglary last week, President Barack Obama said Wednesday.
Disorderly conduct charges against Gates - one of the most prominent African-American academics - were dropped Tuesday after the incident drew national attention, with all involved calling it a "regrettable and unfortunate" incident. Asked about the matter in a White House news conference Wednesday, Obama said it shows "how race remains a factor in this society.
"That doesn't lessen the incredible progress that has been made," said Obama, the first African-American U.S. president. "I am standing here as testimony to the progress that's been made. And yet, the fact of the matter is that, you know, this still haunts us."
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday confirmed an agreement with fiscally conservative Democrats to create an independent group of doctors and medical experts empowered to eliminate waste and inefficiency in Medicare.
Obama said at a nationally televised news conference that he backed adding such a panel to health care reform legislation. He said the panel would make recommendations requiring approval by Congress.
Such a panel could both "save ... money and ensure the long-term financial health of Medicare," Obama said.
So-called Blue Dog Democrats questioning the costs of initial.
(CNN) - Sen. Jim DeMint sharply responded to a Democratic National Committee ad Wednesday that criticized the South Carolina Republican for stating that defeating President Obama's health care plan "will be his Waterloo."
The ad states, "Sen. Jim DeMint is playing politics with our health care, putting the special interests in Washington ahead of South Carolina families and businesses. The only plan Jim DeMint supports is no plan at all."
DeMint said the ad was full of "false personal attacks."
"It's disappointing that President Obama has lowered the discourse of this important debate with false personal attacks," he said in a statement. "Beyond the fact that the President's accusations are patently false, it is disturbing that he and his team would respond to a policy debate with political attack ads."
Full statement after the jump:
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday chided opponents of his health care reform push for making the issue purely political.
"I understand how easy it is for this town to become consumed in the game of politics - to turn every issue into running tally of who's up and who's down," Obama told a nationally televised news conference.
"I've heard that one Republican strategist told his party that even though they may want to compromise, it's better politics to 'go for the kill.' Another Republican senator said that defeating health reform is about 'breaking' me," he continued.
"Let me be clear: This isn't about me," Obama said, noting that he and every member of Congress - including those trying to scuttle health care reform legislation - "have great health insurance."
Instead, he said, the debate is about people lacking health insurance
(CNN) - President Obama defended the stimulus measure and said health care reform is central to building a stronger economy his opening statement at a prime time press conference Wednesday.
"Let me be clear: if we do not control these costs, we will not be able to control our deficit. If we do not reform health care, your premiums and out-of-pocket costs will continue to skyrocket," Obama said, according to prepared remarks. "If we do not act, 14,000 Americans will continue to lose their health insurance every single day. These are the consequences of inaction. These are the stakes of the debate we’re having right now."
Full statement after the jump
WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama on Wednesday dropped a direct reference to a government-funded public health insurance option when describing the benefits of health care reform he is pushing.
Until now, Obama has consistently touted the government-funded public option as competition for private insurers in expanding access to health coverage.
In his opening statement at a nationally televised news conference, he repeated his usual list of benefits from health care reform, but changed the wording to omit mention of a public option.
It was unclear if Obama changed the wording.