Live blog of the president's address
April 13th, 2011
01:10 PM ET
4 years ago

Live blog of the president's address

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama entered politically tricky territory Wednesday when he outlined his plan for reducing long-term deficits and the national debt amid a climate of tense budget negotiations in a speech at The George Washington University. Follow the latest developments with below with the Ticker's live blog. Read the full story here.

3:40 p.m. ET - @BarackObama: There’s nothing serious about a plan that claims to reduce the deficit by spending $1 trillion on tax cuts for millionaires & billionaires.

3:21 p.m. ET - House Speaker John Boehner responded to the president's speech with a statement Wednesday: "Republicans, led by Chairman Ryan, have set the bar with a jobs budget that puts us on a path to paying down the debt and preserves Medicare and Medicaid for the future. This afternoon, I didn’t hear a plan to match it from the President," Boehner said. “He is asking Congress to raise the debt limit to continue paying Washington’s bills. The American people will not stand for that unless it is accompanied by serious action to reduce our deficit. More promises, hollow targets, and Washington commissions simply won’t get the job done."

2:39 p.m. ET - According to a pool report, Republican congressmen Dave Camp, R-Michigan, Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, and Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, left G.W. together at same time, asking a policewoman outside for directions to 21st Street.

2:37 p.m. ET
– Obama referenced former President Lincoln once, former President George H.W. Bush twice, former President Clinton once, and former President Reagan twice. He did not utter President George W. Bush’s name one time.

2:35 p.m. ET @LisaDCNN: OBAMA DROPS "RADICAL": A CNN editor noted Obama took out "radical" when describing "the sort of steps" in GOP plan. (35 min into speech)

2:32 p.m. ET - Obama referenced a letter he received from a man from Florida who didn’t vote for him. He said the man told him he still believes the American dream is alive despite the intensity of the debate today. Obama said the man told him the country must use its dollars to rebuild and refurbish the country our ancestors left for us.

2:30 p.m. ET
– Obama said the current debate is about the size and role of government. He added that “it's not a bad thing” that debate has gotten more vigorous, but that America has always believed we can’t just think about ourselves but must think about our country and fellow citizens and what is required to pursue American dream for future generations.

2:29 p.m. ET - Obama called on Vice President Joe Biden to begin regular meetings with leaders in both parties of Congress to come to an agreement on a plan to reduce the deficit by the end of June. He said while he doesn’t think the final agreement will look exactly like the approach he pitched today, he is “eager to hear other ideas from all ends of the political spectrum.”

2:28 p.m. ET - Obama said the country has come together before to meet big challenges, citing former President Ronald Reagan and former Democratic House Speaker Tip O'Neill who came together to work on Social Security. He also referenced former President Bill Clinton and former President George H.W. Bush’s work with opposing parties in Congress. Still no specific mention in speech of former President George W. Bush.

2:26 p.m. ET
- Obama's message to those who think we shouldn't make any reforms to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security: Then “we wont be able to keep our commitment” to the next generations of retirees, Obama said. And his pitch to progressives in his own party: “We have the obligation to prove that we can afford our commitments.” He said we must make government “smarter, leaner, and more effective.”

2:23 p.m. ET - Obama said there will be those who disagree with his call to raise taxes on the wealthiest of Americans. As he did in the 2008 campaign, he cited his friend billionaire Warren Buffett, who Obama said, “doesn’t need another tax cut.” He added that he believes “most wealthy Americans would agree with me.” He said they want to give back, but “Washington hasn’t asked them to.”

2:20 p.m. ET - Obama said step four of his plan is to reduce spending in the tax code. He said he agreed to extend the Bush tax cuts because it was the only way he “could prevent a tax hike for middle class Americans.” Today he said we can’t afford it. “I refuse to renew them again.”

2:19 p.m. ET
- Obama said he will preserve Medicare “as a promise we make” to each other in this society. He said Social Security faces challenges but is not the cause of the deficit, saying we must reform the program without affecting present retirees or "slashing benefits” for future generations.

2:17 p.m. ET - Obama said the third step of the plan is to further reduce health care spending in budget. He said the “difference could not be clearer” between his plan and the Republican plan. Obama said health care reforms already passed from his health care legislation would reduce $1 trillion from the deficit. He said we will change the way we pay for health care with new incentives for doctors and hospitals.


2:16 p.m. ET
– Obama said his second step is to find additional savings in the defense budget, and cited comments from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs who said, “the greatest long-term threat to America’s national security is America’s debt.” Obama pledged to conduct a fundamental review of America’s missions, capabilities and role in a changing world.

2:13 p.m. ET - Twenty-five minutes into his speech, Obama addressed his proposal for “a more balanced approach to achieve $4 trillion in deficit reduction over twelve years.” He said the first step is to keep domestic spending low. “We will make tough cuts” necessary to make these savings, he said, adding that he will invest in new roads, education, job training and clean energy.

2:11 p.m. ET - In the last decade, Obama said the bottom 90 percent of Americans saw a decline while the top Americans saw an increase. Using himself as an example, he said it was not right for him to get a tax increase on the backs of 33 seniors each having to pay more for health costs to finance a tax cut for the wealthy.

2:10 p.m. ET – Obama said Medicare plans floated by the GOP mean Americans would pay $6,400 more if you need healthcare, ending "Medicare as we know it,” Obama said. He claimed 50 million Americans will be without health insurance if the Republican plan goes forward. These Americans, he said, will be left to “fend for themselves.”

2:09 p.m. ET – Obama cited China, South Korea, and Brazil as examples of nations that are investing in the future and said the United States is not.

“We are presented with a vision that says the United States of America – the greatest nation on Earth – can’t afford any of this,“ Obama said.

2:07 p.m. ET
@RepWeiner: why im not president. my version : "the gop plan is a disaster and ill chew my arm off before i sign it"

2:07 p.m. ET - 2012 reference: Obama noted one vision championed by Republicans and “embraced” by several Republican presidential candidates aims to reduce the deficit by $4 trillion over the next 10 years, and addresses challenges of Medicare and Medicaid.

“Those are both worthy goals for us to achieve," Obama said. But the way this plan achieves those goals would lead to a fundamentally different America than the one we’ve known throughout most of our history. “

2:05 p.m. ET - Obama said truth is that two thirds of the budget is spent on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and Defense. He said clean energy, education, the environment and other programs only account for 12 percent of the budget. Any serious plan will require America to put everything on the table and take on excessive spending, he said.


2:03 p.m. ET
- Obama said the good news is that a debt laden country doesn’t have to be our future. He said we can come together, but we need to be honest about the causes of the debt. Obama added that not all government spending is bad.

“Most Americans tend to dislike government spending in the abstract, but they like the stuff that it buys,” he said.

2:02 p.m. ET - Obama claimed by 2025, the amount of taxes we take in will only be enough to pay for health care, Social Security, and the interest we owe on our debt. “That’s it. Every other national priority – education, transportation, even national security – will have to be paid for with borrowed money.”

2:00 p.m. ET - Obama joked Biden is not young, like some of the G.W. students in the crowd.

1:59 p.m. ET - While Obama didn’t name former President George W. Bush by name, he managed to sneak in a reference, saying by the time he took office, the projected deficit was more than $1 trillion.

1:58 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: OBAMA PLAN – Social Security: From WH factsheet: “The president does not believe Social Security is in crisis…” Punt.

1:58 p.m ET @LisaDCNN: *OBAMA PLAN – Bush Tax Cuts: As he has said in the past, Pres. Obama wants to end the Bush tax cuts for incomes >$250K.

1:58 p.m. ET - Obama said America lost its way after the fiscal discipline of the 1990’s. He said we didn’t pay for new spending of two wars and tax cuts that forced us to borrow an average of $500 billion every year over next decade.

1:57 p.m. ET - Obama referenced former President George H.W. Bush and former President Bill Clinton by name, but not former President George W. Bush. “To meet this challenge, our leaders came together three times during the 1990s to reduce our nation’s deficit. They forged historic agreements that required tough decisions made by the first President Bush and President Clinton; by Democratic Congresses and a Republican Congress….. As a result of these bipartisan efforts, America’s finances were in great shape by the year 2000.”

1:57 p.m. ET - @RepWeiner: Somewhere Joe Wilson is yelling "You Lie!" over and over at his TV. President is doing great setting the debate.

1:55 p.m. ET - White House pool reported that Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin and Rep. Jeb Hensarling or Texas are seated in the front row next to Democratic Rep. Jan Schakowsky of Illinois.

1:55 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: OBAMA PLAN – Medicaid: Listen up, states. Pres.Obama would dump the many Medicaid match formulas now and give states one funding rate.

1:54 p.m. ET
- Obama said we recognize that hard times, illness or lost job may strike – “There but for the grace of God go I,” he said, before adding that Medicare and Social Security make the country better.

1:52 p.m. ET - Obama said that "this debate over budgets and deficits is about more than just numbers on a page, more than just cutting and spending. It's about the kind of future we want. It's about the kind of country we believe in."

1:49 p.m. ET - Obama started his serious speech with a joke: “It’s great to be back at G.W. I want you to know that one of the reasons I kept the government open was so I could be here today with all of you. I wanted to make sure you had one more excuse to skip class. You’re welcome.”

1:49 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: WHILE WE WAIT: I'm going thru embargoed text of the speech. I see first mention of Obama's proposal more than 1/2way through. #p2 #tcot

1:44 p.m. ET – Obama's motorcade arrived at G.W.

1:42 p.m. ET - @DanaBashCNN: @SpeakerBoehner suggested to reporters potus said he's open to debt ceiling vote that's not "clean" (w/ conditions) – as repubs want

1:36 p.m. ET @RepWeiner: Health care for the poor gets paid for one of 2 ways : efficiently or inefficiently. Slashing Medicaid only moves the cost.

1:23 p.m. ET
- @LisaDCNN: OBAMA DEFICIT speech: We expect it to be about 40-45 minutes. So pop the popcorn, pour the glass, now.

1:21 p.m. ET @franksesno RT @edhenrycnn: At obama speech. Simpson/Bowles here. Word is Prez will take "big bite" of commish recs tho will "lean left" a bit. Stay tuned.

1:21 p.m. ET @edhenrycnn: President will lay out plan w/ $4 trillion in deficit reduction in 12 yrs or less - speech coming at 130pm ET #devilindetails

1:19 p.m. ET - @RepWeiner: Lets review the bidding : Democrats proposed and created Medicare, Social Security and Medicaid. #GOPstillHatesEach

1:15 p.m. ET - @DanLothianCNN: Obama to set a goal of reducing the deficit by $4 trillion in 12 years or less, according to a snr admn.official.

1:14 p.m. ET– Among those expected to attend the speech Wednesday according to a pool report: Vice President Joe Biden, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jacob Lew, White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Chair of the National Economic Council Gene Sperling.

1:12 p.m. ET - @wolfblitzercnn: Obama wants to cut $4 trillion over 12 years; GOP wants $6 trillion over 10 years. Watch Obama speech 1:30PM ET #CNN

1:04 p.m. ET - Obama will set a goal of reducing the deficit by $4 trillion in 12 years or less in his speech Wednesday, according to a senior administration official, CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian reported.

1:00 p.m. ET @RepWeiner: I'm gonna livetweet during the President's budget remarks at 1:30 #OtherOptionIsTalkingBackToMyTV

12:53 p.m. ET @ChuckSchumer: @SpeakerBoehner should heed advice from business leaders, stop playing politics with debt ceiling. It’s playing with fire

12:32 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: I would like to thank the GOP for responding to the president's speech over an hour before he gives it.

12:23 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: NOW BOEHNER throws gauntlet: "Raising taxes will not be a part of it"... of dealing with the deficit. #p2 #teaparty #tcot

12:20 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: DEFICIT SHOWDOWN heats up: McConnell just drew a hard line, said "We will not be discussing raising taxes." Read: Bush tax cuts. #tcot #p2

11:58 a.m. ET - @SpeakerBoehner: By the #s: learn more about the largest spending cut since WWII http://j.mp/fdcfUK #jobs

11:57 a.m. ET - @RepWeiner: Looking at embargoed fact sheet on Potus plan. Not allowed to tell you about it yet. #ButMyHashtagLikesWhatHeSees

11:00 a.m. ET - President Barack Obama will call Wednesday for an end to the Bush-era tax cuts for Americans making over $250,000 annually, according to a senior administration official, CNN White House Correspondent Dan Lothian reported.

9:42 a.m. ET - On the Senate floor Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, said: "The truth is the president is only entering this debate at all because he can no longer ignore the growing bipartisan calls for action. If he were serious he'd be talking about a detailed road map for action not just grabbing headlines by announcing another speech,. Of course we can hope that the president presents more than just his vision for the future this afternoon."


Filed under: Budget • President Obama
soundoff (325 Responses)
  1. dmeredith

    This guy is a huge Joke!

    April 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  2. Laverne Rucker

    Choose greed over compassion; there is a way that seems right to man, BUT the end thereof is death. Choose.

    April 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  3. Miguel Rodriguez

    Poor speach no resolutions same story

    April 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  4. CL

    I applaud the president for asking US to help one another in time of need for the common good. It's not "every man for himself" but "one for all and all for one."

    April 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  5. Jan

    Let's stop referring to the elimination of tax breaks for the wealthy as "raising" taxes. It is simply saying that the sale is over and now you have to go back to paying full price.

    April 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. Q

    Awesome speech. Very proud of the President for taking a stand for college students, senior citizens and the under-privileged. Obama 2012!

    April 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  7. Gary

    No substance or specifics in the Presidents speach. Disappointed in the fact Joe Biden is going to preside over negotiations. Biden may as well be the President as the one we elected doesn't seem to want to lead.

    April 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  8. wayne

    Mr. Obama is an economic moron. He has no idea as to how to run this country. The questiom is: is he ruining the country on purpose?

    April 13, 2011 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  9. Fox

    So if we are at 14+ Trillion dollars of debt and counting how does cutting 4 trillion in 12 years help at all. At current rate of debt climb then it seems that it won't do any thing at all.

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  10. Natasha Wiegand

    Why is no one talking about the cost of the three wars we are waging? Why is this off the table? Until we address our international aggression any discussion about the budget really isn't looking at the whole picture!

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  11. Dave C

    Here is a question you will never hear asked by cnn. Mr President what percentage of the tax base make up the rich? What was that less than 2%, oh and how much of the tax revenue comes from them. I agree they need to pay there fair share but to punish them for having money is, well out there in my mind. Why not have everyone pay the same rate. Just a thought. Oh one more thing how about a pay freeze to all politicians until the debt is paid off, after all they created it.

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  12. David B

    Obama needs to stick to his guns and make his plans happen, its time to stop being so open to other ideas. America needs him to be the leader we voted him to be. Americans need to wake up to what going on in congress and stand behind our president who actually is looking out for the interest of middle class Americans.

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  13. Kathie Williams

    Fairness.

    What else can we ask?

    Left relax, Right relax, Middle Stand Up......We need to be in this together.

    Relaxing,
    Democrat

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  14. Ron

    The President used a lot of fine words, but very little substance in his "Political" speech. He gave no solutions, just political intentions and positions...very poor for the budget problems, but a political position for his new Presidential campaign. No leadership of any kind IMO...!

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  15. Name sam

    Great speech, hits on all areas now what we need is the back bone to see it done...roll your sleeves up Mr. President .

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  16. Stephen A Davis, Sr

    I am really anxious to hear exactly how the cuts will end up, but I am THRILLED that the president said what NEEDED TO BE SAID and did so without targeting the most vulnerable in OUR society ONLY...(which is the republican way of doing things). With this approach we should be able to get done what needs to be done and keep AMERICA the greatest country on the planet. Lets get this done, and done the RIGHT WAY!!!

    Stephen A Davis, Sr
    Retired USA

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  17. sandy

    Glad go see proposal to use Medicare clout to lower prescription drug costs. Should save a lot of money for both the government and senior citizens.

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  18. AAA

    The best tax cut idea I have heard. I like that he gave a history and summary of how we got to this deficit emergency. The idea of lessening tax deductions for the high income is an excellent proposal. He should go further to remove corporate tax loopholes and have more fees attached to wall street exchanges.

    April 13, 2011 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  19. Dan McMenamin

    Finally – some intelligence from Washington. Obama is sincere and wants to do the right thing for everyone.

    If cool heads prevail – the solution is available. Just do it.

    Thanks President Obama

    April 13, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  20. njg

    I loved what President Obama had to say today. He wants to keep the American Dream alive.

    April 13, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  21. Independent Patriot

    How can this man continue to claim that he inherited all of this debt??? He has created more debt in his administration than was created from 1787 – 2009 combined... The campaign speech just finished was filled with more empty promises and a myriad of lies...

    April 13, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. jerry B.

    I believe our president is living in Disney Wold's Fantasy Land.We can all keep
    having our apple pie and ice cream and the only one that has to sacrifice is the
    the guy that makes the apple pie and ice cream. SWEET!!!!

    April 13, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  23. dmeredith

    This "president" is a colossal waste of time. What a worthless speech.

    April 13, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  24. Michael

    Great speech. If the older Americans who rely on Social Security and Medicare stopped voting Republican, then they may actually maintain their standard of living. People need to connect the dots between their votes and their specific needs. I am mystified that elder Americans suport Republicans thinking that they too will live like them. Voting for the wealthy does not translate into living like the wealthy.

    April 13, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. David from Flatonia, TX

    I am a supporter of the President. I think that we have to take ideas from both his proposal and the Republicans, we need common sense approaches. I do not favor though cuts in education, I won't be going to college if it wasn't for the scholarships, grants and funds that the government gives.

    April 13, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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