Live blogging Obama's news conference
February 15th, 2011
10:59 AM ET
4 years ago

Live blogging Obama's news conference

The CNN Political and White House teams are bringing you the latest developments and reactions from President Obama’s news conference. Please continually refresh this page for the latest updates (CTRL-R).

UPDATE: Read the full CNN.com story on Obama's press conference.

12:08 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN OBAMA SUMMARY: Cold to spending cuts this yr, wants long-term fix. But so far he and GOP at stage 1: trading barbs, not plans. #tcot #p2

12:05 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN OBAMA LIKES CRITICISM more: Says it's a good sign that the GOP called out his lack of entitlement reform – it shows they agree it's needed.

12:01 p.m. ET @KateBolduanCNN Big question now - How long will the American pple have to wait for that confirmation? #CNN

12:01 p.m. ET - @KateBolduanCNN Obama final thought at presser: What the american pple want is confirmation that this place (Washington) can work.......

11:59 a.m. ET – Total questions: Ten. Total times mentioning the scalpel and machete metaphor: Three. Maybe this one will officially replace "driving the car into the ditch" from last year's midterm campaign as his favorite repeated line.

11:57 a.m. ET - QUESTION 10: New York Times' Jackie Calmes asks why the president isn't inviting Republicans to the negotiating table right now. He said he had conversations with Republicans and the Democratic leadership. "I did before the budget was released and I will afterwards." I expect all sides will have to do a little posturing on television, speak to their constituencies. He wants quiet, toned-down conversation...

11:55: a.m. ET - Obama says in response to Fox's question: "I do think it's important when thinking about corporate tax and individual tax reform, that we keep taxes as low as possible but we also have to acknowledge that as families have to pay for what they buy. The government has to pay for what we buy." He's been saying this for months now.

The president wants to have an adult conversation where everyone says what is important and how to pay for it. There will be disagreements. He admits he'll have to compromise on things and hopefully others will say the same.

11:51 a.m. ET - QUESTION 9: Mike Emanuel of Fox News asks, "The number one concern for many Americans is jobs. If you look at the budget there are tax hikes for energy, higher income people… but do you worry about the impact on jobs?"

11:49 a.m. ET - Responding to Ed Henry's question, his message to protesters – the US supports their aspirations to speak their mind. What happens in each of these countries will be determined by the citizens in these countries. But POTUS said need make sure transitions don't degenerate into chaos and violence. That's "not just good for us" but good for those countries.

11:48 a.m. ET – Obama says about the protests in Egypt, there was very little anti-American sentiment and very little anti-Israeli sentiment so, "In a complicated situation, we got it about right."

11:46 a.m. ET - QUESTION 8: CNN's Ed Henry asks what's his message is to protesters – taste freedom but only if it will bring stability to U.S. interests?

11:45 a.m. ET – On getting Davis freed, the president said: "If our diplomats are in another country, they are not subject to that country's prosecution. We do that. We hope that Pakistan will do that too…We'll continue to work with the Pakistani government to get him released." Obama also says we're not callous about the loss of life but there is a broader principle at stake.

11:41 a.m. ET - ABC's Jake Tapper asks about getting US embassy worker Raymond Davis freed from Pakistan. He's being held for the murders of two Pakistanis.

11:40 a.m. ET - QUESTION 7: ABC's Jake Tapper asks if he's willing work with GOP on a continuing resolution (funding bill) to avoid government shutdown. The president says his goal is to work with Republicans on continuing resolution – funding vital government functions this year. He says I want to work with everybody to get the issue resolved. He doesn't want to make series of "symbolic cuts" that could endanger the recovery. Uses the scalpel not a machete line again

11:39 a.m. ET - The president says someone is writing a book about the 10 letters from the public he reads every day. He spoke to the author yesterday. Says he gets frustrated as he wants to help everybody but he can't.

11:38 a.m. ET - Obama says he doesn't need to be making calls for Rahm for his Chicago mayoral race. But on the budget cuts, he says, "Now we're in a budget crunch. Costs have skyrocketed. "If we continue on this pace, we're just going to have to chop off eligibility…. Instead we said, how are we going to trim?" Also says, "My goal is to make sure that we're looking after the vulnerable, the disabled, the seniors, making sure education is serving our kids.. and doing that in a way that is sustainable."

11:36 a.m. ET @KateBolduanCNN: Obama on "tough choices" in budget: "I feel folks' pain"

11:34 a.m. ET - There goes the scalpel metaphor again – this time about trimming the Pell Grant program. Better than chopping off eligibility he says. Who's administering a tourniquet?

11:31 a.m. ET - EEOB's South Court Auditorium where this presser is taking place is not so presidential. A podium and flags might do the job in a tight shot, but the blue drape and bland room doesn't match the Rose Garden or East Room

11:30 a.m. ET - QUESTION 5: April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks asks about proposed budget cuts to community grants, pell grants in a time of recession but also asks POTUS, "Have you been placing calls for your friend Rahm Emanuel?"

11:25 a.m. ET – Obama says, to get things done, it will require "everybody having a serious conversation. So that we are all getting into the boat and the same time so it doesn't tip over."

11:22 a.m. ET – It turns out that Fiscal Commission was really just a "framework for a conversation."

11:21 a.m. ET - Obama avoids the questions by saying that we're just impatient about every thing… saying that even the Egypt revolution taking 18 days, why did it take so long?

11:20 a.m. ET - QUESTION 4: NBC's Chuck Todd asks, "What was the point of the fiscal commission? Why has their work been shelved?"

11:19 a.m. ET - @KateBolduanCNN Obama on budget: First step is stabilizing our current situation. Second is taking on some of the long term drivers (medicare/medicaid)

11:17 a.m. ET QUESTION 3: CBS' Chip Reid needs glasses to read question. Reads budget numbers from page 171 – says he assumes Pres. Obama has seen it. Think he has?

11:16 a.m. ET - The president continues... answers the Iran question by saying, "You can't maintain power through coercion…. There has to be consent." Especially when people can connect by picking up a smart phone and connecting through social media."

11:16 a.m. ET - @KateBolduanCNN: Obama on unrest in Middle East: Let's look at Egypt's example as opposed to Iran's example.

11:14 a.m. ET - QUESTION 2: Reuters reporter asks about what Obama's message is to the Iranian people. The president repeats some of what he just said in previous answer about Egypt. AP's Feller also asked about uprising in Egypt's impact in the region. Obama said it's very important all the protests we're seeing throughout region that "governments respond to protests peacefully."

11:10 a.m. ET - Further into his answer: Obama said that ultimately the government will need to rein in Medicare and Medicaid costs. He said he also believes "we should strengthen Social Security for future generations." But bipartisan cooperation is required, the president said.

11:07 a.m ET - QUESTION 1: AP's Ben Feller asks about Obama's budget not addressing Medicare, Social Security. Where is his leadership? POTUS doesn't answer question right away…says he's taking a "scalpel to the discretionary budget rather than a machete."

11:05 a.m. ET - Obama said that "just like every family in America," the government has to live within its means while investing in the future. Obama said that's what his budget accomplishes.

11:03 a.m. ET – President Obama defends 2012 budget. Warns of "larding up legislation" with earmarks.

11:01 a.m. ET - @JohnKingCNN 11a POTUS news conference. An effort to frame the spending/budget/jobs debate, and to talk #egypt, #iran and more. #cnn #fb

11:00 a.m ET: The president has taken the podium.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. rla

    It is astounding what this man says and expects the majority of American's to just accept it. He deludes himself. American cannot afford this President and his programs and ideas. He seems lost in his own world and states things such as "He's done all he can for business and now it's up to business". As a business man, I live in anxious fear about what he will do next to regulate and tax to pay for his escalating social program agenda. No use trying to reason with or talk to what my Grandma would call a man with a hard head. Time to un-elect him in 2010 and get either another Democrat or Republican who hears Americans and can lead us with vision, sensibility, fiscal awareness and without this absurd leadership style.

    As far as Egypt, I also listened to him and he was clueless. The world sees us as weak when looking at this President.

    February 15, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  2. Bob Davis

    This is a lame excuse for journalism. If any of you were good, thoughtful writers you might do better than "Maybe this one will officially replace 'driving the car into the ditch' from last year's midterm campaign as his favorite repeated line." Get it together, CNN.

    February 15, 2011 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  3. shawn

    Does anybody ever cut programs for the wealthy?more blows to the poor,not a shocker!

    February 15, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  4. rla

    My prior comment should have stated "un-elect him in 2012", not 2010. I regret that error.

    February 15, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. admiral ackbar

    lets see them cut the wages and benefits of the people running the three branches of the government

    February 15, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  6. sheba57

    ahhhhhhhh...the cynicism of the press...what would we do without it

    February 15, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  7. Lori Rockford, IL

    Obama tells them to hear what the people have to say.....but he doesn't listen to his own people. American's have a lot of grievances about our own country......Lead our country first!

    February 15, 2011 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  8. Alina77

    Ok, seen it, listen to it, he showed his ideas hi explained his cuts (more or less), now I want to see the Republican ideas and I want to hear their explanation of their cuts. But I am truly afraid that except "American wants to see deficit cuts" I will not hear from them anything that meets our reality, and if they will pull this broken record for another year the "American people will give them the Presidency" hoping maybe then they will hear their ideas.

    February 15, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Howard

    Obama sat back and did nothing, just like when the Iranian protesters risked their lives for freedom. Now, he wants to take credit for the outcome. How dispicable !!!

    February 15, 2011 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Troglodrew

    Wow CNN, you keep trying to outfox Fox news in your blatant conservative anti-obama bias. Your blogs are not informative, they are snippy. Isn't it time for the political ticker to "report" on another Sarah Palin comment "turning heads"? What happened to this being a reliable news source?

    February 15, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. vinny

    Where was he a year ago when the Iranian people were staging protests and being locked up and beaten? Dont let this guy fool you. He only came out in supprot of the Egyptian people because he saw they were going to win. and even then he shut right up when the king of Saudi Arabia told him to cool it. The people of Egypt could probably care less what Obama says or thinks. He isnt fooling anyone except the liberal left

    February 15, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Stefan

    I voted for this president and always defended him, and I never thought I would say this: His hypocricy is baffling, specially when it comes to Iran!

    Obama has always pursued a policy of appeasement with Iran and has consistently failed to be vocipherous and supportive of the uprising in Iran–unlike his strong stance and siding with the people of Egypt. Two years ago when the Iranians took to the street decrying voting fraud, this administration betrayed the Iranians–the most pro-American people (not government) in the Middle East–by remaining tacit and claiming the ranians must choose their own government, despite the fact that the government of the Islamic Republic is the most hostile adversary of the U.S. But this year, Obama had no problem siding with the people of Egypt against Hosni Mubarak–a staunch ally of the U.S.!

    This seems to be a pattern in the flawed U.S. Foreign policy: Ditch our allies (as we did with the Shah of Iran and brought chaos over the entire world with the Islamic Republic) and court the enemies! Mr. Obama has definitely lost the confidence and the votes of the Iranian-American community and most definitely my vote too.

    February 15, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Franjii

    I would like to know why social security, medicare and medicaid are called "entitlement programs"? These are programs for those who are not of the entitled class – they are for the pay-check to pay-check workers who have not had an equal chance at fair earnings in the past due to equal lack of access to means and for those still growing up into the lack of access to means class. As long as there is a class system with those at the lower rung required to stay there to serve those on the top, we will need these programs to at least offer them a chance to retire with a bit of income. And if the retirement age is raised, as most certainly it will be, who will be working longer? – those who have less – so that they can collect the social security fund that they have paid into. Without a doubt, those that have, will be comfortably retired long before any retirement age, still being waited on by those that haven't.

    February 15, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  14. Admonition

    Make all vendors to state, county, city and federal non profit to just what the cost of business, labor and items are. give everyone 6 months to adjust to it if they dont then someone else gets their contract. stop all benchmarks and earmarks that can't or won't adjust to being non profit with legitimate business expense's business and work for their wage and no profit. do it nation wide until the deficit is gone. there is no need to make everyone suffer cause of thankless people that have made a wealth of life being vendor's. have state county and federal public faculties drop contracts such as books and use online resource's and don't buy services outside of the United States. Make all state, county, city and federal public service faculties drive their cars and trucks for 7 years. and be sure to tariff all products coming into the United States especially from china.

    February 15, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  15. Maricela

    The POTUS is not throwing the poor under the bus: he has offered to cut the assistance of the programs closests to his heart because now he has to see what the good ole GOP wants; let's see what they offer to cut that they love sooo much, like big corporations and Insurance carriers.... IT is like a boxing match, you go in the first rounds and feel each other out. Then it gets to the punching and finally there hopefully will be a Knockout in favor of the PEOPLE. Don't criticize the fantastic POTUS thinking process..he is a very smart man.... something we did not have in the previous administration.

    February 15, 2011 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  16. freeatlast

    will our government resign if 4 million people protest for 2 weeks here? I bet they will change their tune real fast if it happens here and call it sedition. funny how people can be 2 faced.

    February 15, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  17. Herman

    Same happened with Reagan and CLinton ... at the End of the day DEM and GOP they are all friends and agree.

    Lori, I guess you are one of those who voted for BUSH twice... So don't blame the new President for Bush's mistakes.
    Think ... Think... GOP' and DEM... they are rich people...do you think they care about you???
    HOnestly do you think they care about you???

    February 15, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  18. khalief

    Obama is doing everything in his power to help this country and to broker a peace between the warring political machines of dem//repub long enough to address the real issues in this country. it's time to compromise and get some things done. dems, we've got to make some cuts and get our financial house in order. repubs, "just say no" is an antidrug slogan not a party platform. come on people we need to get it together.

    February 15, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  19. BCass

    Where is the support for the protesters in Iran?

    February 15, 2011 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  20. Jim

    It is an entitlement program because you are legally entitled to it (until the government takes away that entitlement in the future due to the inability to actually pay as promised).

    February 15, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  21. Jim

    If you send clear signals and speak clearly, there is never a need to explain that you were clear...

    February 15, 2011 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  22. linda

    It would be great to have all the information in a form that laymen could understand. I believe that Obama wants to do the right thing, I am not sure I agree with his assessment of what that means to us. I actually agree with taking money away from the foreign countries aid packages. Or suspending it for our own purposes. There is no other country in this world who would give money away that they don't have. That just seems ridiculous to me. Don't take it away from our populatin in need, take it away from those who don't even seem to appreciate it. I understand that sometimes it is necessary for policy, but not right now. We have to help ourselves before we an help anyone else. Stop spending what we don't have. We need to require the government to have a balanced budget. Cut out the retirement packages of the people who serve. Cut out the President's retirement package. They typically don't need it. Then we would only get those who reallly just want to serve. There are plenty of other ways we can save money, let's look at those first.

    February 15, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. whatnot

    B'rack the Gypper is just as dangerous to the American economy with a scalpel or a machete or even a pen.

    February 15, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. Ramon De Los Santos

    Obama is the president witn mr. clinton best persons that help us in U.S.A. And the world

    February 15, 2011 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  25. Alina77

    So, many of you are angry at Obama that he is keeping American integrity from what happening in the middle east. Are you that simple minded? Do you understand that if we will make one move, we will jeopardize those people, and don't you know how fast slogans in those countries gets erased and become anti American? So many Egyptians after they won said over and over "we can handle our country on our own, America stay away". I know if we would have Republican President right now we would be in crap number III for sure, I think you are just a little bit nostalgic for Bush's " Lets go and have party, here have one tank and pina colada".

    February 15, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
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