October 10th, 2009
09:55 PM ET
5 years ago

'I have no plans to leave,' top Obama lawyer says

White House counsel Greg Craig, shown here with the president on Inauguration Day, says he has 'no plans to leave whatsoever.'
White House counsel Greg Craig, shown here with the president on Inauguration Day, says he has 'no plans to leave whatsoever.'

WASHINGTON (CNN) – White House Counsel Greg Craig is trying to put to rest rumors that his time as the president’s top in-house lawyer is coming to an untimely end, according to a report by the National Law Journal.

"'I have no plans to leave whatsoever,'" Craig reportedly told the legal publication. "'The rumors that I'm about to leave are false. The reports that I'm about to leave are wrong. I have no plans to leave.'"

As the Obama administration has begun to send signals that it may not meet its own one-year deadline for closing the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, a deadline that that the new administration set for itself with much fanfare on President Obama’s first full day in office, Craig has found himself increasingly subject to rumors that he is headed out of the White House.

In the interview with the National Law Journal, Craig denied a September 25 report by the Washington Post that he had played a leading role in developing the administration’s initial plan to close the controversial facility by late January 2010.

To address the setbacks it encountered in closing the facility, “the administration has shifted its leadership team on the issue,” the Post’s September 25 report said. “White House Counsel Gregory B. Craig, who initially guided the effort to close the prison and who was an advocate of setting the deadline, is no longer in charge of the project,” the Post reported, citing two senior Obama administration officials.

But Craig says the Post’s report is inaccurate.
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October 10th, 2009
09:54 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: 'We should not be punishing' gays in the military

President Obama speaks Saturday night at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington.
President Obama speaks Saturday night at the Human Rights Campaign dinner in Washington.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama told nation's largest gay rights group that his administration is "moving forward" with the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

"We should not be punishing patriotic Americans serving this country," Obama said.

Obama's speech at Saturday's dinner for the Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay rights group, comes as activists have lost patience over the lack of change to key issues for the gay community.

"I think there was a lot of excitement that things were going to change and I think there is impatience that there hasn't been change fast enough," said Steve Elmendorf, a gay Democratic lobbyist.

Gays and lesbians expected more action from Obama, such as delivering on his campaign promise to urge Congress to pass legislation repealing "don't ask, don't tell" - a policy banning homosexuals from serving openly in the military.

Another issue is same-sex marriage, a battleground point in many states. While the president does not support same-sex marriage, he does want to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as exclusively between a man and a woman.

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October 10th, 2009
07:24 PM ET
5 years ago

Gay rights advocates gather ahead of President's speech

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Gay rights advocates gathered near the Washington Monument on Saturday to express opposition to the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy just hours before President Barack Obama was expected to speak to the Human Rights Campaign on issues affecting the gay community.

Many of the protesters said they were disappointed with what they saw as Obama's inaction on gay rights.

"I don't think that President Obama has done enough. I think we need action, real action, we need it now. We are standing up to demand our equal basic human rights, and that's what this is about," said Dave Valk, who helped organize the protest for the National Equality March.
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October 10th, 2009
07:01 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama to address major gay rights group

In June, the president and first lady hosted a reception at the White House in honor of LGBT Pride Month.
In June, the president and first lady hosted a reception at the White House in honor of LGBT Pride Month.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - While the gay rights community awaits President Barack Obama to make good on major campaign promises, he intends to address a range of issues, including hate crimes protections, when he speaks to the Human Rights Campaign on the eve of a massive gay rights rally.

Obama's speech at Saturday's dinner for the HRC, the nation's largest gay rights group, comes as gay rights activists lose patience over the lack of change to key issues for the gay community - including the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy.

"I think there was a lot of excitement that things were going to change and I think there is impatience that there hasn't been change fast enough," said Steve Elmendorf, a gay Democratic lobbyist.

Gays and lesbians expected more action from Obama, such as delivering on his campaign promise to urge Congress to pass legislation repealing "don't ask, don't tell" - a policy banning homosexuals from serving openly in the military.
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October 10th, 2009
02:15 PM ET
October 10th, 2009
12:15 PM ET
5 years ago

Analysis: Did Obama win Nobel for not being Bush?

A 'surprised and humbled' Obama said he would accept the Nobel peace prize as a 'call to action.'
A 'surprised and humbled' Obama said he would accept the Nobel peace prize as a 'call to action.'

LONDON (CNN) - Did President Obama land a Nobel peace prize at such an early stage of his presidency simply because he's not George W. Bush?

Diplomatic circles are certainly not dismissing such a notion and a "surprised and humbled" Obama has himself agreed that the award (for which nominations had to be submitted only two weeks after his inauguration) can hardly have been a recognition of anything he has yet accomplished. It is a prize for aspiration rather than achievement.

One of the best deliberate laughs Bush obtained in his last days in office came when he expressed himself pleased at the street reception during his attendance at a NATO summit in Romania.

"A lot of the crowd were waving... some of them with all five fingers," he said.

Bush was acknowledging that many in Old Europe at least could not wait to say goodbye to a man whom they saw as a Cold Warrior at heart, the president who had led the world into a disastrous intervention in Iraq and a man heading a gas-guzzling nation who was not prepared to help the world cope with climate change.

For many Europeans, the chief concern through the long, drawn-out race for the Democratic nomination and through the presidential election was that the result should give them anybody but Bush.

Full story


Filed under: George W. Bush • Nobel Peace Prize
October 10th, 2009
11:25 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama highlights 'consensus' on health care reform

WASHINGTON (CNN) - In his weekly address out Saturday, the president discusses health care reform and mentions some prominent Republicans who have come out in support of reforming the nation's health care system.

Read the full text of Obama's remarks after the jump.

Related: LeMieux delivers weekly Republican address

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Filed under: Congress • Health care • President Obama
October 10th, 2009
11:05 AM ET
5 years ago

GOP takes on Dems' health care reform proposals in the Senate

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Senator George LeMieux of Florida delivers Saturday's weekly Republican address.

Responding to LeMieux's remarks, in a statement, the Democratic National Committee said Saturday that "LeMieux reiterates the same debunked GOP claims we’ve heard over and over for weeks on end. Despite the fact that the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office reported this week that the Baucus health care bill [currently under consideration in the Senate Finance Committee] will reduce the deficit and bend the cost curve while covering almost 95% of the uninsured, Republican leaders continue to deny that the health reform bill will bring down costs."

Read the full text of Saturday's Republican weekly address after the jump.

Related: Obama highlights 'consensus' on health care reform

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Filed under: GOP • Health care • Popular Posts • Senate