Live blogging Obama's news conference
February 15th, 2011
10:59 AM ET
3 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. Rickster

    "President Obama‘s budget, released Monday, was conceived as a blueprint for future spending, but it also paints the bleakest picture yet of the current fiscal year, which is on track for a record federal deficit and will see the government’s overall debt surpass the size of the total U.S. economy. Mr. Obama‘s budget projects that 2011 will see the biggest one-year debt jump in history, or nearly $2 trillion, to reach $15.476 trillion by Sept. 30, the end of the fiscal year. That would be 102.6 percent of GDP"
    --------------------
    Obama's path of destruction continues. Thankfully, the republicans elected in the mid-terms will be able to slow this train-wreak of an administration. Worst President Ever!

    February 15, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Mad Man

    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."
    _________________
    That is like bailing out a sinking boat with a cup rather than a bucket, guess which will lead to going down first.
    Still playing politics at the cost to American citizens, the plan is to let the GOP be the bad guys at cutting entitlements and their associated waste and fraud while Obama and the Dem's continue to play their fiddle.

    February 15, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  3. XWngLady

    Where are all of the folks who swear that Pres. Obama can't speak without a teleprompter? I'll bet that hardly any of them are watching now.

    February 15, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  4. NameSuzanne

    How is Social Security an "entitlement program?" I have been paying into it my whole life. It is my money to be used upon my retirement. I am there now.

    February 15, 2011 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Steve

    He's just laying more people off! He has all these plans for the future. We need leadership today.

    February 15, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  6. Brenda Snow

    I don't like cuts to such things as the energy assistance program. I really don't want to follow all of the commission's advice. After all, that's what it is: advice. I think it is more drastic than most Americans would want or put up with. What I'd like done is to stop the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. They're too expensive and not going anywhere.

    February 15, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  7. Steve

    So much tax money has saved select business and falsey propped up the stock market. Nothing has been done to create jobs. We need a new direction now!

    February 15, 2011 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  8. Anonymous

    What are you doing to strengthen the dollar and to avoid a collapse?

    February 15, 2011 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  9. Paulie

    Sure let the Iranian people have their say – but all Americans dont get their say when it comes to health insurance or other things - anyone else see the hypocrisy?

    February 15, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  10. Shah

    This clearly shows the American Hypocrisy.

    February 15, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  11. james Miller

    Let the games begin--- Guarantee the budget will eventually be passed on the backs of those who are unable to put together a strong lobby effort. And that will be on the poor, elderly, disabled, jobless, etc. What the Repubs won`t admit is they just wish those people didn`t exist ( you get my meaning).

    February 15, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  12. Steve

    He only meets with people who have jobs, journalist etc. They don't care about the unemployed, they want to know about foreign policy current affair etc. He should meet with the unemployed during these sessions, then he would really feel our pain.

    February 15, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  13. Canadian

    It is the utmost hypocrisy for the U.S. to tell what the Iranian can or should do. The U.S. is the country who robbed the Iranian their freedom to have their own elected government & installed the Shah. It is the country who threatens time and again to use nuclear weapon in Iran & other countries. This is just Obama's Hollywood way to destabilize and subdue Iran. If the U.S. wants a better and safe world, it should do some soul searching.

    February 15, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  14. Dr. Ann M. Hetzel

    Why, oh, why has no one addressed one of the most significant issues of income loss by the US government/infrastructure? The US government is the ONLY government that taxes businesses headquartered in the US (24%, I believe) to re-/invest profits from their off-shore offices into their US concerns. This is ridiculous! The off-shore office has already followed the the tax code of the country in which that satellite office is located. The US government practices a policy of greed (collecting tax monies on already taxed funds) which might be invested HERE in the US. No wonder manufacturing is fleeing our country! Come on...let's address this issue. STOP taxing this companies for this issue. Start penalizing US-based companies who flee the US in search of "cheaper" labor – which it a false prospect once one calculates the damages from lead paint incidents, the fact that it requires 6 East Indian IT workers to replace 1 American IT worker, etc. I love all people and believe that we can assist one another to grow and prosper. However, it is time for the US to be blatantly honest with itself/it's citizens. Keep American manufacturing (what little is left) and business here in America. Penalize those who cross borders for reasons OTHER than pure expansion.

    February 15, 2011 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  15. Steve

    Just listening to his answer on job creation. I hate to say this, but he's lost the plot. What happened to him? He was great during his campaign, it's very sad to see a broken man. He has no idea what to do? Best keep the UI coming, or it will be the end for millions of people who want to work.

    February 15, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  16. Canadian

    I want to add that the present Iranian government is an elected government and apparently some countries are trying to destabilize it.

    February 15, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  17. Les Stettner

    Medicare's reimbursement policies are ancient and came out of another era in healthcare delivery. Change must include prevention, genetics, medical advance and yes, euthanasia. The key to lowering medical costs rests in these concepts. Redeveloping medical delivery reimbursement in a way that Doctors are advocates of their patient's health and are rewarded for helping Americans stay healthy will lower costs significantly while Doctors become fairly compensated with the proper incentives. Specialists will see less patients and get paid more for their time. Internists will finally be advocates for better health and be compensated for that. Read the latest about CAD from the Harvard Medical Review. Our leading cause of death and medical costs are about to increase fivefold due to aging demographics of baby boomers. Most of these costs are preventable. Fix Medicare reimbursement so providers and patients win together and Medicare will be there for our children and theirs too.

    February 15, 2011 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  18. MikeS

    This new 2011 – 2012 budget purposed by President Obama’s administration will impact millions of Americans that live, in what’s considered, poverty. I understand that the government needs to address our record deficit. But when reading the purposed cuts, on certain programs, shocked me. The WIC program? Pell grants? Power heating assistance programs? Are you serious? While the fat-cats play the poor are now made to absorb more hardship? Explain to me how making life worse is making things better for our future? There should be drastic cuts in waste and management. Not the programs where our weakest and most vulnerable citizens of America live.

    February 15, 2011 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  19. James

    Much "ado" about nothing–Painful listening to the President–I am not sure what he said that answered any questions–

    February 15, 2011 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  20. Ann

    I'm glad to see Obama is taking a look at Pell Grants. While it sounds like a good idea, millions of dollars are being wasted sending students with elementary level skills to college. I taught at a community college where one third of the entering students were deficient in one or more of the 3 Rs, as low as 4th grade in reading. Some even lower, but the standardized test didn't test that low. Guess what happens to those students–they are not interested in education and flunk out, or their skills are so low they can't even pass remedial non-credit courses and flunk out. What a waste! Of course, the colleges don't say anything about it because a Pell Grant is a cash cow for them.

    February 15, 2011 12:01 pm at 12:01 pm |
  21. danny

    It seemed like Obama and Clintons message was to make sure that they personnally did not get any thing on them and that Egypt was on their own because Obama is in election mode and can not be bother buy affairs of state.

    February 15, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  22. phil

    taking from the poor and giving to the rich will only keep the country on a course to self destruction

    February 15, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Fred Applegate

    The reporters' questions for the President seemed ill-formed, rambling and unfocused, and were asked in a nervous, halting and inarticulate way. Didn't they know there was going to be a news conference? Why weren't they better prepared? Very disappointing performance by the press corp. Sad state of affairs.

    February 15, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. Sgt Schultz

    Yes America desperately need Tax Reform! It just doesn't make any sense to let the "chosen" industries get sweetheart tax loopholes or subsidies to where many companies zero-out and don't pay ANY tax. Yet some businesses get stuck with the max 30% rates. Why should elitist millionaires get special pampering while the rest of us don't get any breaks?

    Obama is the first President since Teddy Roosevelt to have the guts to stand-up to the robber barons and Big $ Lobbyist Machine.

    February 15, 2011 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. Willie12345

    Yep, just like he did with the first Iranian protests. What a huge liar !!!

    February 15, 2011 12:10 pm at 12:10 pm |
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