Live blog from Obama's press conference
June 29th, 2011
01:00 PM ET
3 years ago

Live blog from Obama's press conference

(CNN) - President Barack Obama will hold a news conference Wednesday at 11:30 a.m. ET in the East Room of the White House. Follow live updates below. Read the full story on the presser here.

12:49 p.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: OBAMA DEADLINE: He told Congress if no progress on debt talks by end of this wk, "we'll have to cancel things". Like mid-July recess?

12:48 p.m. ET - Obama took 10 multi-layered questions over 66 minutes.

12:47 p.m. ET
@ReincePriebus: “Leaders are going to lead”? If Obama had been leading on fiscal responsibility, he wouldn’t have to raise taxes. http://bit.ly/jlEjse

12:47 p.m. ET
– Obama talked about getting letters from regular Americans and they are feeling some desperation. He said we know what to do, educate our kids, invest in infrastructure and we have to control our deficit. These folks want to think their leaders are not playing games. It requires us to get out of short term approach, he said we have to think long term.

12:45 p.m. ET
- @AWMooneyCNN: time for the 'i feel your pain' segment - 'these folks are counting on us'

12:43 p.m. ET – Obama said we could separate decision on debt ceiling and pay roll tax cuts. Don't need to decide together.

12:42 p.m. ET
- @christineromans: President Obama must walk the line between spooking global markets and also prodding Congress to avert a debt default.

12:40 p.m. ET - Tenth question from Reuters. Asking about debt limit again.

12:39 p.m. ET @LisaDCNN: OBAMA: I'm here. I've been dealing with Afghanistan, the debt crisis, Greece. I'm here. Congress is in one week, out the next.

12:38 p.m. ET - Obama said his kids finish their homework early. They are 13 and 10 they are not pulling all nighters. Congress can do the same thing.

12:37 p.m. ET - Obama on debt ceiling debate: "I am not engaging in scare tactics." He said I try to be responsible and somewhat restrained so folks don't get "spooked." August 2nd is a very important date, and there's no reason we can't get this done now.

12:36 p.m. ET - "The money has been spent. Obligations have been made," Obama said about the debt ceiling deadline. "This is urgent and it needs to get settled."

12:35 p.m. ET
@EWErickson: Funny how Obama would comment unequivocally about the constitutionality of DOMA, but not on Libya.

12:33 p.m. ET - Obama said Aug. 2 deadline to raise the debt ceiling is a "hard deadline." He stresseed this is a jobs issue ... we have run out of tools to make sure bills are paid. Obama said U.S. government can't pick and choose what bills to pay.

12:32 p.m. ET - Obama called on and congratulates CNN's new Chief White House correspondent @YellinCNN. She asked about debt ceiling – why should the America people believe the Aug. 2 deadline is the final deadline ... what will happen if the debt ceiling is not raised by that date?

12:31 p.m. ET - @CNNPolitics: Obama calls on CNN's @YellinCNN: "Congratulations. First question here? No pressure, you're gonna do great."

12:30 p.m. ET - Obama said e-verify needs to be a system that works. He said he wants Dream Act passed.

12:29 p.m. ET Shepherd: Obama's last press conference wrapped around this time -after the eighth question. Obama still has not called on CBS or CNN, of the major television networks.

12:28 p.m. ET - Eighth question on gun running in Mexico and e-verify, which deals with hiring practices of immigrants.

12:26 p.m. ET – Obama said we need to restore business confidence and confidence of the American people and we're on track. He said this is a "tough slog" but we're still moving forward.

12:25 p.m. ET - @AWMooneyCNN: how many more times can Obama politically afford dodging gay marriage question?

12:25 p.m. ET - Obama said he was not going to make news today on the same sex marriage question.

12:23 p.m. ET
- Seventh question from Wall Street Journal. They asked about deficit and debt talks and whether he supports same sex marriage?

12:23 p.m. ET
– Obama said he would accept Gadhafi stepping down in a way he would no longer be in charge of the Libyan military. "He needs to step down, he needs to go."



12:22 p.m. ET
- Obama on Libya: The initial phase would take days if not weeks ... "promise made, promise kept."

How Obama would define success in Libya ... He said Libyan regime has been compromised ... as long as Gadhafi is still presenting himself as the head of the Libyan government and as long as he controls a number of troops the Libyan people are going to be in danger. He said there is no doubt that Gadhafi stepping down from power is going to be the primary way to ensure that the Libyan people are protected.

12:19 p.m. ET
– Sixth question from Jim Sciutto of ABC News, on Libya: Are you prepared for this operation to last another year and what is success?

12:18 p.m. ET
@AWMooneyCNN: Websters: Victory =Defeat of an enemy or opponent; Successful =Having a favorable outcome #equivacation?

12:18 p.m. ET
- @rolandsmartin: Smart move by POTUS to make the argument that our Afghan policy is about beating Taliban/Al-Qaeda, not about building schools/roads

12:18 p.m. ET - Obama said he laid out a plan to draw down troops in a responsible way, adding that the U.S. understands Afghanistan is still a dangerous place. He again said "the tide of war is receding."

12:17 p.m. ET - What's an Afghanistan victory? Obama said he used the word "success" but not "victory." He said he laid out a plan in which we are going to draw down troops after "10 very long years" but we will draw them down in a responsible way that will allows Afghanistan to defend itself and give us the opportunity to continue to put operational pressure on al Qaeda.

12:15 p.m. ET
- Fifth question Mike Emanuel from Fox: Can you define what is "victory" in the war in Afghanistan, you haven't been using that word to describe the mission there?

12:14 p.m. ET – Obama said the goals are to apprehend those who attacked the U.S ... get all the intelligence we can that is consistent with due process of law and try them according to the rule of law. He said we do have a process to work through all the agencies – DoD, FBI, etc. – to think through on a case-by-case basis to figure out how a particular individual should be dealt with.

Their mission is to apprehend the individual, they do so safely – American people be assured that any time we initiate a mission like this, our priority to make sure this individual cannot carry out attacks on the U.S. and gather as much intelligence as possible.

12:11 p.m. ET - Fourth question: How to treat terror suspects?

12:11 p.m. ET - @rolandsmartin: POTUS didn't adequately make the connection as to why opening global markets means job creation in the U.S.

12:09 p.m. ET @LisaDCNN: OBAMA: business always complains about regs. I have obligation to uphold smart regs. We are reviewing all regs to look for bad ones.

12:08 p.m. ET
- Continuing on the economy, Obama said we can focus on jobs and focus on debt and deficit reduction. He said we "have to be able to walk and chew gum at same time"

12:08 p.m. ET
- Goldberg also asked about the National Labor Relations Board-Boeing fight -a big topic on the campaign trail for GOP presidential candidates. Obama appears to be waiting until the end of answer to comment.

12:06 p.m. ET – Obama said it's important to look at the tax code. A whole range of things we could be doing to create jobs, used the trade deal with Korea as an example.

12:05 p.m. ET - Third question from Julianna Goldberg from Bloomberg ... debt and deficits, is the debate keeping you from creating jobs?

12:03 p.m. ET @CNNPolitics: Obama: "We cannot defend the fed govt poking its nose into what states are doing & putting a thumb on the scale against same sex couples."

12:03 p.m. ET
- Obama on NY legalizing gay marriage: What happened last week "was a good thing" – we saw the people of New York having a debate, talking through issues, but ultimately they made a decision to recognize civil marriages. Obama said he thinks that's how it ought to work.


12:01 p.m. ET - Schultze: Twenty minutes and only two questions so far.

12:01 p.m. ET
- @rolandsmartin: POTUS turns around and says he doesn't think DOMA is constitutional. You can't have it both ways.

11:57 a.m. ET - On Libya: Obama said Gadhafi was responsible for more American deaths than just about anybody else on the planet – before Osama bin Laden. He said "we have done exactly what I said we were going to do" – have not put boots on the ground ... not seen a single U.S. casualty ... there's "no risk" in escalation. Obama added on Gadhafi: We've got him "pinned down and the noose is tightening around him."

11:55 a.m. ET
- Second question from NBC's Chuck Todd ... what is constitutional? Included bombing in Libya (War Powers), debt limit set by Congress and gay marriage.

11:54 a.m. ET – Obama said hopefully sooner rather than later Republicans will make "the right decisions for the country" ... everyone else has been willing to move from their maxims position and he's hoping Republicans will do the same.

11:53 a.m. ET – Obama said "we will reach a deal that will require our government to live within its means," while inspiring confidence in the business community.

11:52 a.m. ET - Schultze: Obama said everyone says we need a balanced approach. He said we are gonna have to look at entitlements and reduce costs. He said if everyone will give up something then Republicans should give up tax breaks for the wealthy. Obama said you can't reduce the deficit without revenue increase.

11:52 a.m. ET - Obama said any agreement on the deficit will include "tough decisions and balanced solutions." He said Democrats and Republicans can "bridge our differences" in "a way that does not hurt our economy right here, right now."


11:49 a.m. ET - Obama said what we've seen in negotiations is a lot of people say a lot of things to satisfy their base and get on cable news, but hopefully leaders rise to the occasion. He said that's what I expect to happen this time. "Call me naïve" ... but my expectation is that "leaders will lead."

11:49 a.m. ET White House Producer Emily Schultze: First question from Ben Feller of the Associated Press: Are tax increases a red line for you? This is in reference to raising the debt ceiling and the ongoing negotiations.

11:47 a.m. ET
- "We got to seize this moment," Obama said on debt talks – said Obama/Biden will continue negotiations with both parties "for as long as it takes."


11:46 a.m. ET - Obama said it's only fair to ask an oil company or corporate jet owner to give up a tax break that no other company enjoys ... said he doesn't think that's all that radical.

11:45 a.m. ET - Vice President Biden's debt talks ... can't get to the $4 trillion of savings we need by cutting just 12 percent of the budget ... going to need to look at the whole budget…eliminate waste wherever we find it ... trimming the defense budget ... tackle entitlements…reform the tax code. Obama said he spent the last two years cutting taxes for ordinary Americans ... said he wants to get rid of tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

11:43 a.m. ET
- Obama said there are things Congress can do right now to create more jobs ... there are pending bills in Congress that they can send to his desk, including Free Trade deals.

11:42 a.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: OBAMA: blasts Congresssional inaction by listing Jobs Bills Congress could pass "right now". #tlot #p2 #teaparty #tcot

11:41 a.m. ET @AWMooneyCNN: Obama's purple tie very bipartisaney

11:40 a.m. ET - Shepherd: Obama opened with remarks about the economy. Said a lot of folks still struggling with the effects of the recession ... struggles of the middle class families were a big problem before the recession hit in 2007 ... our economic challenges are not going to be solved overnight.

11:39 a.m. ET
- White House Producer Shawna Shepherd: The president's last press conference was on March 11 – 110 days ago

11:28 a.m. ET - @LisaDCNN: GET READY: Obama newser in two minutes (or so), GOP newser probably to start just a few minutes after that.

11:24 a.m. ET - @ReincePriebus: Would be curious to hear if Obama defends his labor board's job-killing actions. #NLRB #Boeing

11:17 a.m. ET @rolandsmartin: I expect Obama to be asked about gay marriage, Libya, debt ceiling, maybe even Gingrich, Bachmann saying he does nothing for blacks & jobs

11:07 a.m. ET - @MeganGrantCNN: Jessica @YellinCNN makes her debut as chief White House correspondent today covering Obama's 11:30am news conference. #CNN http://yfrog.com/h33t9vlj

11:05 a.m. ET - @SpeakerBoehner: Here are 7 questions about #jobs for President Obama’s news conference: http: http://j.mp/mBU1bg What are your Qs for POTUS?


Filed under: President Obama • White House
soundoff (85 Responses)
  1. Rick CT

    Did he ever answer the Boeing question. This goes to the heart of the jobs matter. Does Obama really want to create an environment that will create jobs – or does protecting his union buddies come first.

    June 29, 2011 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. commonsense

    Obama I voted for you in 2008, not to begin war, but to end war. You are losing my support, especially as you continue to mount pressure on Libya. What is your motivation? You are no better than Bush. Stop wasting the tax payer’s money in Libya and use the money to aid the poor and the elderly who so desperately need help here in the US. Have you forgotten your campaign pledge? We cannot police the world. Let Libya handle their own problems. Soon Americans are going to get tired of this crap coming from both the Democrats and the Republicans, and they will demand a regime change here in this country. People are losing their cars, homes, savings, and even their minds. But the politicians play lip service to us, and they do nothing to help the struggling American people, but rather the bidding of their wealthy contributors and Wall Street executives. This nation is on its way to hell, and the Obama I voted for is a no show. I like many other Americans am giving up on all these crooks called "politicians".

    June 29, 2011 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. sonny chapman

    Why must Fox viewers use sports analogies to all aspects of life ? Even complex issues like fighting el quida ? VICTORY-over the terrorists, cancer, drugs,etc.

    June 29, 2011 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  4. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    He again said "the tide of war is receding."
    ==================================
    Oh really??? Tell this to the Libyans you are bombing. It isn't "receding" in Afghanistan either as the Taliban has a vote in the matter. Maybe he mistakes his RETREATING in Afghanistan for "receding"? Yes, that's it.

    June 29, 2011 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  5. Mark H

    Who does the WHite House think they are fooling? What do you think is going to happen if tax breaks are discontinued for "Big Oil"? The oil companies are not going to eat it. They will simply raise the prices at the pumps. So, it turns out to be an indirect tax on the American people.

    June 29, 2011 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  6. Four and The Door

    Mike
    The solution to the economic problem is very very simple!! Impose a 100% TARIFF on all foreign goods and services. PROBLEM SOLVED!!
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________
    That's the problem with having Economics 101 so early in the morning. People like Mike here sleep through the entire course.

    June 29, 2011 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. stevegee

    Is our economy recovering? NObama.
    Has unemployment improved? NObama.
    Is federal spending under control? NObama.
    Are illegal immigrants being stopped? NObama.
    Is American better off than we were two and half years ago? NObama.
    Vote YES for Republicans in 2012.

    June 29, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  8. heerobya

    Yes Four and The Door, we do that, and every single Walmart will go out of business and millions will lose their jobs and millions more will have no where to shop they can afford.

    That's a GREAT plan!

    June 29, 2011 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    Mark H – with tax cuts in place (and loopholes) for 10 years, gas prices have continued to rise anyway. Keep paying more AND collect no taxes? Does not compute. By the way – Bush still had the highest ever gas prices when Katrina hit. Check your facts. We don't need republican propaganda. 10 years of that crap is enough.

    June 29, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  10. Dave IL

    "Leaders will lead". WHAT A HYPOCRITE! Obama's leadership has been missing in action for 2+ years. He's content to stand back, wait for the Congressional dust to settle and then take credit wherever he can for what he hasn't done.

    June 29, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  11. Peter s

    Can someone say genious!!! This guy is down to earth!!! against all odds atleast he has been able to turn things around against Karl Rove Vodooo!! economics. Way to go Mr. President let the croaking frogs keep on making noise!!

    June 29, 2011 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  12. Mikey

    Reality check time:
    @ Bob in PA – It has been under the GOP Administrations that the middle class (I guess the "surfs" you refer to) have stagnated economically. GOP controlled WH for 20 of 28 years from 1980 – 2008. Middle class had net 1% increase in income after inflation, while top 1% saw real income double. Please use actual history, not mythology as your guide.

    @ Mark H – Do you understand supply and demand? They can pass on costs that way if demand curve has normal negative slope. If demand is totally inelastic they can raise all they want, but that would be true with our without tax breaks. Economics 101.

    June 29, 2011 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. kyle

    Well we know that tax cuts for the rich do not work, and oil welfare for big oil doesn't work either, we still have high unemployment and high gas prices.

    June 29, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  14. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    "The money has been spent. Obligations have been made," Obama said about the debt ceiling deadline. "This is urgent and it needs to get settled."
    ==================================================================================================
    Oh... so this is the new Obama and Democrat government model. Spend money we don't have, and assume the credit card will always be there with an unlimited credit limit, backed up by all of our paychecks!! Total insanity devoid of simple common sense. The Democrats MUST be removed in 2012 if this country is to survive.

    June 29, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  15. Jo Jo

    @ stevegee – right on...

    $14T in debt. Increased more under Obama than last 3 presidents combined. NObama
    Is our economy recovering? NObama.
    Has unemployment improved? NObama.
    Is federal spending under control? NObama.
    Are illegal immigrants being stopped? NObama.
    Is American better off than we were two and half years ago? NObama.
    Vote YES for Republicans in 2012.

    At least he should man up and admit he's a socialist bent on bringing the capitalist system to its knees... come on you wimp.

    June 29, 2011 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  16. Texwake

    Yes Lets punish the American dream...millionaires. I thought we founded this country so that every person that wanted to be an entrepreneur could make money and keep what their hard work produced. Instead were giving money to people who do not even belong on welfare, stripping health care from the companies that already provide benifits to their employees, and also shipping jobs overseas.
    Obviously someone needs to go back to college and relearn the trickle down effect becasue this is what Obama did in his first year of presidentcy...look at where we are today and he is already repeating that history today.

    June 29, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  17. Sagebrush Shorty

    Obama: "We cannot defend the fed govt poking its nose into what states are doing & putting a thumb on the scale against same sex couples." I wish he felt that way about States anti -illegal immigration laws.

    June 29, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. tstranko

    so tired of hearing him say the economy is recovering when it isnt... I visit small businesses and review small business financial every day. It's not getting better at all. He's living in a dream world and people are blindly buying it

    June 29, 2011 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  19. Four and The Door

    Obama opened with remarks about the economy. Said a lot of folks still struggling with the effects of the recession ... struggles of the middle class families were a big problem before the recession hit in 2007 ... our economic challenges are not going to be solved overnight.
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________
    But struggles for everyone got that much worse in the last 2 years as the national debt increased 40% and unemployment went up 23%. Obama can't be pleased with this performance or he would not have fired his entire team of Economic Advisors last year. The problem is, his new Economic Advisor recommended against tax increases in order to help the economy recover. Now this guy's gone too. Certainly Obama can find an Economic Advisor who understand Democratic political philosophies. Okay, maybe not.

    June 29, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  20. Jo Jo

    I say tax everyone to death let the golden goose finally croak.
    Let's get the crash and burn phase over with and start over. Then we play by my rules.

    June 29, 2011 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  21. Jo Jo

    @ Mikey
    Reality check time:
    @ Bob in PA – It has been under the GOP Administrations that the middle class (I guess the "surfs" you refer to) have stagnated economically. GOP controlled WH for 20 of 28 years from 1980 – 2008. Middle class had net 1% increase in income after inflation, while top 1% saw real income double. Please use actual history, not mythology as your guide.

    Mikey....don't forget the democrats who controlled congress for much of that time. Remember, they write the laws and tax code...

    June 29, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  22. Dave IL

    'He told Congress if no progress on debt talks by end of this wk, "we'll have to cancel things". Like mid-July recess?'

    As long as it doesn't impact his vacation, golf and political fund raisers!

    June 29, 2011 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  23. Obama/Biden - 2012 - Four More years of Unemployment, Debt, Deficits, Leading-from-Behind, Golf Outings, Vacations and Celebrity Events

    After this press conference, I fear The messiah has lost his very tenuous grip on reality. I fear he is starting to believe the screened and pre-arranged crowds he sees and mistakes them for reality. I fear he is too arrogant to admit his mistakes and change his approach and direction. I fear we will have another 1.5 years of failure.

    June 29, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  24. A True Centrist

    @Mikey – The highest unemployment rate under Reagan was 9.7%, the highest under Obama was over 10%. 10% is greater than 9.7%, so I'm not sure how Obama is fairing better in this area.

    Also, let's make this real clear so even you could understand...Government Motors received $49.5 from the US government. Somehow, the government considered only $6.7b of that a true loan. The other money was two-fold but for the most part, considered special leasing in essence. The Obama administration put $13.4 billion of the aid money as "working capital" in an escrow account when the company was in bankruptcy. The company then used a portion of the escrow money, yes the government money, to pay back the "government loan". Just another scam by the political machine!!!

    June 29, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  25. Sniffit

    "Is American better off than we were two and half years ago? NObama."

    Yes. 2.5 years ago we were losing jobs at a rate of 750K+ per month. Today we're gaining them slowly. 2.5 years ago, gay people serving in our military were treated like second class citizens despite their willingness to make the same sacrifices as any other service member and soldier. 2.5 years ago there was no Lilly Ledbetter equal pay act. 2.5 years ago our economy was on the brink of collapse, but today the metrics show slow growth and the DOW is hovering in the 11k-12k range. 2.5 years ago insurance companies could deny you coverage or pretend to rescind your insurance contract based on pre-existing conditions or even just their loose claims that you "hid one from us" etc. 2.5 years ago bin Laden was alive. 2.5. years ago we were about to lose GM and other huge American employers that have since been saved and are doing well and paying us back. 2.5 years ago we hadn't renewed and revamped our nuclear proliferation treaties with the world's other largest owner of nuclear warheads. 2.5 years ago Wall Street was allowed to run rampant with regulations poorly designed to control their unethical and abusive risk-taking and now we've at least begun the process of reining that in. 2.5 years ago, Dubya was POTUS. The list goes on...

    June 29, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
1 2 3 4