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Live Blogging Obama's Press Conference


President Obama takes questions tonight in the East Room, in his second prime-time televised news conference, which focused largely on the economy. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

9:30 p.m.
President Obama mounted a staunch defense of his policies tonight during the second full-scale press conference of his administration, parrying criticism of his budget proposal and reminding Americans that "there are no quick fixes, and there are no silver bullets" to fix the nation's economic problems.

Fielding 13 questions and a handful of follow-ups during a session that lasted just under an hour, Obama ranged far afield, focusing heavily on the economy but also answering questions on race, stem cell research, China, Israel, Mexico and the military budget. Like the economic crisis, Obama suggested, none of these problems have simple solutions.

"This is a big ocean liner, it's not a speedboat," he said, and so not easy to turn around quickly. Of the budget, Obama said: "If this were easy, then we would have already had it done."

Forceful at several moments, the president reserved his strongest answer for what turned out to be the sharpest question of the night - a query from CNN's Ed Henry suggesting that New York attorney general Andrew Cuomo was getting "all the action" on the American International Group bonus scandal. Henry asked the president why he hadn't gone public with his "outrage" over the bonuses earlier?

"It took a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak," Obama said.

Overall, Obama said his legislative program was designed to "make sure we do not return to an economic cycle of boom and bust." Twice, Obama referred to the "fleeting" or "narrow prosperity" of recent years and said his administration would pursue a different course.

But the president also faced several questions about the budget deficit, and about how his $3.6 trillion spending blueprint would increase the debt substantially over the next several years. Obama called his budget "inseparable from this recovery," and argued that the latest Congressional Budget Office projections were too pessimistic about economic growth and thus overstated how much debt would stem from his budget plan.

As for his critics from the GOP, "Some of those Republicans have a short memory. I inherited a $1.3 trillion debt" from the Bush administration, Obama said.

Though he defended the overall thrust of his budget plan, Obama would not reveal how committed he was to two key controversial planks in his proposal - a middle-class tax cut and an energy "cap-and-trade program" to reduce pollution. Obama declined to say whether he would accept a budget that did not include one or both of those programs, instead emphasizing that he wanted to hear Congress's own ideas on how to reduce pollution and pay for health-care reform.

Obama called on a variety of questioners during his session, including reporters from Univision, Ebony and Stars and Stripes. He did not call on representatives of many major newspapers - including the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today or the Wall Street Journal - but did take a question from the Washington Times, about stem cell research.
-- Ben Pershing


9:12 p.m.
Taking a question from the Washington Times on his executive order regarding stem cell research, Obama had a chance to address what a host of critics said was a failing of his remarks on the day of the order -- that they suggested Obama had insufficiently weighed the ethical questions raised by the research. Pressed by the questioner, Obama conceded that "there's always an ethical and moral element" involved in decisions about stem cell research, and he said he hoped that one day science would make it possible to cure diseases using technologies that have "100 percent consensus" from the public. But he stuck to the bottom line of his remarks on the day of his order, that science should be leading the way.

He also resisted pointing out an inaccurate phrasing in the question, which suggested that research on adult stem cells has so far proven more fruitful than that with embryonic stem cells. This is not the case. There have been some breakthroughs with adult skin cells, but the vast majority of scientists agree that embryonic stem cells hold far more promise. If they haven't produced more breakthroughs, that is partly because the biggest funding source in the world, the NIH, has been prohibited from funding most research involving embryonic stem cells -- until now.
--Alec MacGillis


9:04 p.m.
President Obama had a message to the new right-leaning Israeli government: "The status quo is unsustainable." Binyamin Netanyahu, the incoming Israeli prime minister, has been deeply skeptical of the idea of creating a Palestinian state, but Obama indicated that the administration would press him to rethink that position. "We are going to be serious from day one in trying to move the parties," he said.
--Glenn Kessler


9:02 p.m.
In response to a question by Politico's Mike Allen, Obama gave a vigorous defense of his plan to lower the charitable deduction and mortgage interest deduction for wealthy taxpayers, from the 36 or 39.5 percent savings they would get under his proposed marginal tax rates to 28 percent, closer to the savings that lower-income taxpayers get from the deductions. The change in the charitable deduction, which alone is estimated could provide $180 billion over 10 years, has come under fire from charities and universities that worry it will reduce giving, and from key Democrats such as Charlie Rangel and Max Baucus, who have hinted the proposal will not survive.

But Obama rebutted such criticisms in somewhat tart terms. The rate would simply be going back to where it had been under President Reagan, and wealthy people would give to charities even if they were getting a slightly smaller tax savings, he said. "If it's really a charitable contribution, I'm assuming [the tax savings] shouldn't be the determining factor of whether you're giving to the homeless shelter down the street." The change in the deduction rate, he added, "is not going to cripple" wealthy taxpayers. As for charities, what would help them the most is a stronger economy -- which he said his budget proposal would help produce.
--Alec MacGillis


8:55 p.m.
Ann Compton of ABC News Radio, who admitted to being surprised that Obama called on her (perhaps because he had already called on Jake Tapper, also of ABC), asked the president a question about race. She wondered whether the subject of race was raised often in the White House as he handled his daily duties and whether it affected how he was judged. Obama responded: "I think that the last 64 days has been dominated by me trying to figure out how we're going to fix the economy, and that affects black, brown and white."

He said he contemplated the "searing" history of racial division in the U.S. after his election and that "lasted about a day" before he got to the business of trying to save the economy, and added that he was confident that "right now the American people are judging me exactly the way I should be judged" -- based on how well he was doing his job, not on his race.
--Ben Pershing


8:46 p.m.
Jake Tapper's question to Obama about the budget was moot in one sense, since the president does not actually have to sign the congressional budget resolution. Notable, though, was the way the president talked about the budget elements that Tapper focused on -- by leaving out the connection between them.

Obama explained that the middle-class tax cut is already paid for over the next two years by the stimulus package, and said that in the years beyond that, "We have identified a specific way to pay for it. If Congress has a better way to pay for it we're happy to listen." But he left out what that way is: the White House plans to pay for the "Making Work Pay" credit by using most of the money that would be raised from carbon-emitting industries under a cap and trade program.

From 2012 to 2019, Obama's budget envisions $526 billion of the $646 billion it expects to raise from cap and trade going toward the tax cuts.

That linkage has come under criticism on both sides of the aisle, from those who argue that cap and trade should be debated on the merits, and not justified because it happens to be the budgetary source for middle class tax cuts. Who knows -- perhaps those critics kept Obama from making the explicit link between the two big parts of his budget when he had the chance to do so tonight.

Obama also seemed to be cognizant of one of the other main criticisms of his cap and trade plan, that it would devastate the industrial Midwest and South, areas already hurt by the recession. He said that the plan "has to take into account regional differences" -- a statement that may reassure some midwestern Democratic congressmen, but cause anxiety among environmentalists hoping for a tough carbon regime.
--Alec MacGillis


8:41 p.m.
CNN's Ed Henry opened the door for President Obama to get off his best zinger of the night so far.

Henry asked Obama why New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo seems to be getting more results than the White House on the AIG bonus controversy -- by issuing subpoenas and strong-arming company executives to give back their bonuses or risk being publicly identified.

Obama's answer evidently did not satisfy Henry, who followed up by asking why it took the White House two days to comment on the AIG bonuses, while Cuomo charged out of the gate.

"Because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak," Obama shot back.
--Frank Ahrens


8:34 p.m.
Obama was reminded that he has said he did not run for president to pass on problems to the next generation -- and then proposed a budget that will increase the national debt by trillions over the next 10 years.

"I expect some of the Republican critics have a short memory," Obama began. "As I recall, I inherited" -- there's the I-word -- "a $1.4 trillion deficit" from the Bush administration.

Obama reiterated his claim that his budget will halve the deficit in the next five years, but the dispute comes in the "out years," or the years after that.

The dispute, Obama correctly said, is over the forecast of expected U.S. gross domestic product growth over those years.

The Congressional Budget Office has predicted growth of 2.2 percent per year. The White House has predicted a rate of 2.6 percent per year, which Obama said is "consistent with blue-chip forecasters out there."

According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, U.S. GDP for 2007 grew at a rate of only 2 percent, down from 2.8 percent in 2006.

In the fourth quarter of 2008, GDP shrank at a rate of 3.8 percent, the biggest drop since 1982. And for the full year 2008, U.S. GDP grew at a rate of only 1.3 percent.

The Energy Department predicted U.S. GDP to drop by 1.4 percent this year, but the Economist predicted the U.S. GDP will contract by 3.1 percent this year.
--Frank Ahrens


8:33 p.m.
In his question about the national debt, Chip Reid of CBS News referenced the criticisms of Obama's budget by Republicans. Indeed, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said today: "I just think that this may be the most irresponsible piece of legislation I've seen in my legislative career. It's an irresponsible plan that only makes the crisis we're in worse."

Boehner also displayed a chart that illustrated the Congressional Budget Office's debt projections over the next several years under Obama's budget. "This is all of the debt through 2008 that's been accumulated in our country by 43 Presidents in 220 years in our history, and the President's budget will double that over the next six years," Boehner said.

In response, Obama was sharp. "Some of those Republicans have a short memory," Obama said, reminding that he had inherited a deficit of more than a trillion dollars from a Republican administration.
-- Ben Pershing


8:27 p.m.
Obama pushed back against the suggestion that moderate Democrats could undermine the goals of his $3.6 trillion budget proposal by excluding his $800 tax cut for most middle-class families or his proposal to tax carbon emissions, as some on Capitol Hill have indicated they might.

Obama said that while specific points in the budget may be changed, his core goals of moving fowrad on health care reform, initiating a new energy policy and investing in education will be maintained. "I am confident that the budget will have those principles in place," he said.

The tax cuts, he pointed out, are already in place for two years as a result of the economic stimulus plan. "Our point in the budget is, Let's get started. We can't wait."
--Michael Fletcher


8:22 p.m.
ABC News's Jake Tapper asked about the conditions under which Obama would sign the budget resolution; this is a silly question. The president does not sign the budget resolution. It is just a blueprint and it does not require the president's signature.
--Glenn Kessler


8:15 p.m.
In the first question, President Obama was asked why the public should sign on to the broad new sweeping regulatory powers that Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner asked for on Capitol Hill today, given the government bailout's balky first few months.

"It is precisely because of this lack of authority that this situation has gotten worse," Obama said, maintaining that the government needs powers to regulate non-bank financial institutions such as AIG in the way that the FDIC regulates banks.

Obama -- and Geithner and Bernanke -- are asking for something called "macroprudential regulation," a concept in which governments are given the power to try to identify and deflate bubbles before they happen. For instance, if the government determines that asset prices are going up and lots of credit is being handed out -- such as in the housing bubble -- it would require banks to raise capital to fatten their balance sheet if the bubble bursts.

The concept has been tried with some success in South American countries but runs counter to much of America's free-market past. The U.S. may push the idea in the upcoming G-20 summit in London, which kicks off April 2.

Obama addressed the AIG bonuses, saying "I'm as angry as anybody" about the bonuses, which sparked uproar across America and on Capitol Hill over the past several days.

Obama said the economy needs to move from one of "borrow and spend to save and invest," an inventive and possibly memorable takeaway line from the speech and one that might be useful going forward.

He asserted that more loans have been securitized in the past week than in the past four months. The securitization, or secondary credit market -- when loans are chopped up and sold off -- has ground to a halt since the crisis escalated last fall.

Notably in his opening statement, Obama did not say his administration "inherited" the financial crisis from the Bush administration, a phrase that he and his proxies, including top financial adviser Lawrence Summers, have been repeating.

Instead, Obama said the crisis "took many years and many failures" to create, which does not directly blame Bush.
-- Frank Ahrens


8:12 p.m.
President Obama had a line in his opening statement that seemed aimed squarely at the charge, popular in some conservative circles, that he is a "socialist." While saying that Wall Street needed to curb some of its "reckless behavior," Obama also said it was crucial "not to demonize every investor or entrepreneur who looks to make a profit." That instinct, he said, was what had fueled our past prosperity and would help get the economy moving again.
-- Ben Pershing

7:20 p.m. President Obama is set to hold the second full-dress news conference of his young administration tonight, facing the press as he and his economic team seek to battle the recession on several key policy fronts.

Obama will meet reporters in the East Room of the White House just hours after Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner asked Congress to grant him new regulatory authority over non-bank financial institutions like American International Group. On Monday, Geithner unveiled the details of the administration's plan to form a public-private partnership to buy "troubled" assets from banks. And tomorrow, congressional panels will begin considering Obama's $3.6 trillion budget blueprint.

With so many irons in the fire, Obama is expected to focus heavily on the economy tonight. His message: The future is bright, but serious reforms are needed to prevent similar economic meltdowns in the future.

"[W]e've put in place a comprehensive strategy designed to attack this crisis on all fronts," Obama will say, according to excerpts of his opening statement released by the White House. "It's a strategy to create jobs, to help responsible homeowners, to re-start lending, and to grow our economy over the long-term. And we are beginning to see signs of progress."

Obama also will seek to link his budget proposal to a broader economic recovery. The blueprint, Obama will say, will help avert "another crisis like this ten or twenty years from now" by making key investments in renewable energy, education and health care reform. "And in this budget, we have made the tough choices necessary to cut our deficit in half by the end of my first term - even under the most pessimistic estimates," Obama will say.

While the economy is front and center, the administration is also confronting a variety of foreign challenges that could be the subject of discussion tonight. The White House unveiled a plan today to send more money and manpower to the U.S.-Mexican border in an effort to help stem the growing drug-related violence in Northern Mexico. The administration is also expected to focus more on Afghanistan strategy later this week.

Tonight's press conference is only the latest in a series of public appearances by Obama designed to sell his policy plans to the public. The president appeared on "The Tonight Show" last week and taped a lengthy interview for last Sunday's edition of "60 Minutes." The White House scheduled tonight's event for prime time on the East Coast, ensuring the largest possible viewership.

Republicans have already made their response to Obama's message clear. In a prebuttal to the president's press conference, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said this afternoon that his party would continue to offer alternative solutions to the nation's economic problems that would not break the bank. Boehner called Obama's budget proposal "the most irresponsible legislation" he's seen in his congressional career and said that the White House's plans would drive the national debt to unsustainable levels.
-- Ben Pershing

By Paul Volpe  |  March 24, 2009; 9:30 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Economy  
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Comments

Obama is a lucid and intelligent speaker. I wish his actions in office would all be as forceful and lucid as his words. As far as I can see, he's retreated from positions where he sided with the biggest majority of the population, but his actions continue to show that he's in league with the power, he so fondly liked to declare he could talk back to.

I'm afraid I'm one of those who don't buy the lines, "it will take time, and we must make many sacrifices..."

Equal treatment under the law is missing. Not just with the recent AIG retreat on the bonus question... Nice words, nice challenge; but Obama didn't want Congress to tax the bonuses.

When you read the ARRA, there are exemptions for every thing... I pay a mortgage at 7%, income dropping, danger of loosing my home, but the "Affordable housing" only applies if my mortgage is owned Freddie or Fannie... that's a big chunk of population that isn't benefited by that law.

The entirety of the funding will be distributed through the banking community. You can go to HUD, and get one story under the ARRA, and they send you to "your bank" and the bank gives you a 180 degrees the other way.

I'm afraid this is Bush in sheep's clothing. Obama knows how to make the people swallow the bitter medicine with eloquence, and to have patience... You have to live 45 years to understand who is taking you for a ride. My patience has been warn thin...

Posted by: boldhawk | March 29, 2009 10:10 PM | Report abuse

I WAS DISSAPOINTED WITH MANY OF THE REPORTERS. THE QUESTIONS WERE STUPID AND A WASTE OF TIME. WITH ALL OF THE PROBLRMS TO ASK ABOUT, WHY ASK ABOUT RACE OR ABOUT HOW FAST THE PRESIDENT RESPONDS TO NEWS FLASES.

I THINK MR. OBAMA IS AWARE OF RACE BUT IT IS NOT AT THE TOP OF HIS TO DO LIST.
I THINK THE PRESIDENT HAS DEMONSTRATED TIME AND AGAIN THAT HE DOES NOT SHOOT FROM THE HIP ON SERIOUS MATTERS.

I THINK THE MEDIA SHOULD SPEND MORE TIME HELPING AMERICANS UNDERSTAND THE CRISIS AND HOW WE ARE HANDLING THEM THAN THE HOT TOPICS OF RACE AND LEGISLATIVE SOUND BITS AIMED AT DIVISIVENESS AND REELECTION RATHER THAN UNITY AND PROBLEM SOLVING.

Posted by: sm98yth | March 26, 2009 12:48 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Obama did a wonderful job.

I was disappointed in the Washington press corp, though, that saw fit to waste the opportunity on absurd questions about a nonexistent global currency proposal, increasing our "sacrifice" during an economic crisis, and the timing of Obama's outrage over AIG, et al.

Aren't these people supposed to be some sort of informed elite? The press corp at times came off like peevish young teens who had not bothered to finish the assigned reading throwing inane questions at a very forbearing PhD.

Posted by: nodebris | March 25, 2009 10:41 AM | Report abuse

Thank you for the opportunity to share my thoughts.

It is amazing how opinionated we could be. It is barely 65 days or so, since President Obama took office, yet the opinions, comments, and criticism is unbelievable. Did you believe that he was going to reverse the situation in a day? Of course not. President Obama has four years to work things out. He is doing it. Let’s wait and see what happens. It is too early to change what took 8 years to happen.
Do not only sit back and criticize, come up with suggestions if you know better.

Let us be realistic.

Posted by: 1985 | March 25, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Cap and Trade, if passed will drive up the price of electricity, heating oil, gasoline and natural gas. Does this economy need this man-made inflation at this time? This is just another way to tax 100% of the people in this country.

Posted by: askwhy | March 25, 2009 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Education reform should not cost the government anymore money, because this country spends more money per child than any major nation in the world. Real reform would decrease cost and improve student achievement. Throwing more money at our failing education system is not the change that we need. Overhaul the system from the bottom to the top.

Posted by: askwhy | March 25, 2009 8:54 AM | Report abuse

Jake D-
Ed Meese realized that the question, "What would Jesus do?" would steer people away from the right wing agenda, so he changed it to "What would Reagan do?" For this reason the Heritage Society is now the "HERETICS' SOCIETY"
Reagan taught the opposite of what Jesus taught.
Question:
How many letters are in each of the three names Ronald Wilson Reagan?

I hope one day you'll actually read the Gospel without the right wing filter.

Posted by: rooster54 | March 25, 2009 8:43 AM | Report abuse

Does this President and Congress think the American people are stupid? Asking for a new laws to deal with companies like AIG is a pure power grab! The government has the power of the purse, they did not have to give AIG any money without getting the conditions that are needed. Congress is now trying to cover-up what they screwed-up!

Posted by: askwhy | March 25, 2009 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Today "Big Brother Obama" shares the stage with others answering their questions, tomorrow there will be only "Big Brother Obama" 24/7 he will ask and answer the questions and we will be saying

"Big Brother Obama, Big Brother Obama, Big Brother Obama"

watching over us will be the "Thought Police"

VJ Machiavelli
www.vjmachiavelli.blogspot.com
NO MORE SCHUMER
NO MORE PELOSI
NO MORE RANGEL
NO MORE ENGEL AND HIS MILLION DOLLAR HOME IN MARYLAND

Posted by: VJMachiavelli1 | March 25, 2009 12:49 AM | Report abuse

As usual, Obama was disingenuous. He claimed that "the best way to bring our deficit down in the long run is not with a budget that continues the very same policies that have led us to a narrow prosperity and massive debt." So instead he's proposing a budget that's going to multiply the federal deficit outrageously and bankrupt the nation. And he lied when he said there was no existing mechanism to deal with an institution like AIG. How about the mechanism of bankruptcy via which contracts are renegotiated, bad assets are disposed of, and good assets are sold to obtain capital. And this guy is supposed to be "brilliant"? Show me those grades from Occidental, Columbia, and Harvard to prove it.

Posted by: judithod | March 25, 2009 12:31 AM | Report abuse

Right now Obama is a big disappointment.

1. Economy He was supposed to make some modest changes, and is turning into a socialist (from a Democrat who voted for him). No, we don't need to have an omnipresent government making small and large decision about what companies can produce.

2. Health care This is an important issue having little to do with the economy. McFly, there are no secrets, give less expensive care to old people and you reduce healthcare. We don't need the same old charlatan stuff- our plan expands coverage, includes prescription drugs, covers more people, and reduces costs.

3. ADD This is like a government on ADD Try to get a few things right, rather than deal with 25 different issues.

Posted by: bobby5000 | March 24, 2009 11:22 PM | Report abuse

"in which the soulcontracted son of the secret cell groped through life at the expense of the taxpayers, dejected into day and night with jesuit bark and bitter bite"....

Posted by: hankomatic1 | March 24, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Message to the hateful cockroaches who spread their little insect hate on these forums:

"Once upon a time you dressed so fine
You threw the bums a dime in your prime, didnt you?
Peopled call, say, beware doll, you're bound to fall
You thought they were all kiddin you
You used to laugh about
Everybody that was hangin out
Now you don't talk so loud
Now you don't seem so proud
About having to be scrounging for your next meal.

How does it feel?

Posted by: zone22 | March 24, 2009 11:16 PM | Report abuse

Obama is right on with his idea of continuous engagement and gradual progress in the middle east. The comparison with N. Ireland is a great one.

The reporter who asked if Israel's new prime minister "not being completely on board with a 2 state solution" is missing a key point: Hamas is not "on board with a 2 state solution" at all. They don't think Israel has a right to exist.

Israel has had leaders who have varied in their stance towards the Palestinians, Hamas has never accepted Israel.

In 1947, the UN voted 30-13 for a two state solution. Israel agreed, and the Arab states rejected it. Most Arab states do not recognize Israel's right to exist to this day.

Lets get real here. Complaining that a coalition partner has insulted Arabs? Look at the other side. How many rockets did Hamas send at Israel in the one year cease fire - thousands .

Remember, only Nixon can go to China. Israel will make peace and go for a two state solution whoever is in office if there is good faith on the other side.

As much as I liked Obama's answer, I wish he had taken the opportunity to remind everyone of the whole story.

Posted by: gmarcus2 | March 24, 2009 11:12 PM | Report abuse

I like others was generaly impressed with Presidents Obama clearity of expression (as opposed to the former president) but was disappointed in the quality of the questions asked tonight. The following questions below needed to be asked and answered.
(1) Why was the president not asked why Geithers new bank bailout plan (for the Mega Banks)- described as a complex private and public partnership - was needed if the FDIC could step in and better dispose of the toxic assets at much less cost to the taxpayer. Why pay cash for trash if the FDIC can do a better job of reorganizing a failed bank?
(2) In respect to the AIG bailouts, why did Geither and Berneke not first try to change the laws in regards to regulating and breaking up AIG rather than throwing 150 billion initially (under Bush) and then another (under Obama) 30 billion of taxpayer dollars at AIG?
(3) Why not nationalize the troubled big Banks and control their operations rather than invest taxpayer monies and reward bad management and their sharehopders at taxpayer expense.
(3) In terms of the budget, why cut back on medicare and medicaid that have low admin costs and serve the needy and not cut back on the excessive military budget and bring the troops and contractors home from questionable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
(3) in terms of health care reform are you considering expanding medicare to cover everyone as as stimulus and including bargained prescription drugs in medicare.
Also, in your trip to canada , did you review their healh care system in terms of coverage and lower costs.

Posted by: bourgeoisrich | March 24, 2009 10:59 PM | Report abuse

please have barry soetero find his birth certicate and display it for us. If he does not show it then I guess he won't be our true president.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | March 24, 2009 10:42 PM | Report abuse

In my opinion, the dumbest questions came from both top news channel correspondents; Ed Henry from CNN and Chuck Todd from NBC. The worst question of the evening was from Ed Henry when he pressed President Obama that why he hadn't gone public with his "outrage" over the bonuses earlier?

The President had so many answers to this question but I compliment him for giving an answer that shows how stupid the question was.

Kash

Posted by: kash-sidd | March 24, 2009 10:28 PM | Report abuse

"House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said this afternoon that his party would continue to offer alternative solutions to the nation's economic problems that would not break the bank."

How can they "continue" to offer alternative solutions when they haven't started yet? Note to Boehner: "Just say NO" is not an "alternative solution to the nation's economic problems."

Posted by: herzliebster | March 24, 2009 10:26 PM | Report abuse

How you can tell if a Politician is lieing???............If his lips are moving!!!

Were HIS lips moving???
Then he was lieing!!!

Posted by: thgirbla | March 24, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

why won't barry soetero (obama)release his birth certificate?

Send teabags to the white house on April 1st for out tea party.

Posted by: charlietuna666 | March 24, 2009 9:56 PM | Report abuse

JakeD:

What's your definition of murder? If using embryonic stem cells that are going to be thrown in the trash can to study disease mechanisms is murder, then I must be missing something. As far as treatment goes, I'm not talking about treatment for people, I'm talking about treatment for mice and other animals. But don't forget that we're animals, too. I'm not trying to be condescending to you, just that I talked to a guy who ran with me, and he thought that we belonged to the Human Kingdom and that there was a separate Animal Kingdom. Just thought I'd make sure we were on the same page.

As far as Frankenstein, I'd say I define Frankenstein as a zombie. yep. If a person is a Frankenstein b/c of medicine, then I really hope you haven't had any treatments for any life threatening diseases, otherwise, you're a zombie. And as far as the legality of treatments determining how promising they are is pretty ridiculous. That's like saying chemotherapy is illegal in the U.S.A. so it is less promising than eating a "special" diet.

Posted by: tjc1 | March 24, 2009 9:55 PM | Report abuse

spf_zero

"..let's all act as the HUMAN race, as one."

Seems like a natural concept. But then liberals are anything but natural. They group people and in fact are the segregationists on this planet.

Posted by: FraudObama | March 24, 2009 9:54 PM | Report abuse

Will someone please ask him about his birth certificate and school records?

Posted by: Bubbette1 | March 24, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Chicago Judge buster Sherman Skolnick pegged this guy years ago.

Posted by: hankomatic1 | March 24, 2009 9:53 PM | Report abuse

Patrik4, you make a key point about our devalued U.S. dollar. In 2001, the U.S. dollar was worth 1.2 Euro's. By 2008, our dollar had lost a full half of its value only being worth 0.62 Euro's. The Bush/Cheney years were brutal to our currency.

The U.S. dollar now has climbed to ites current value of 0.74 Euro's, but these last weeks have been tough. I do not see the dollar climbing much more this year, but i doubt we will lose any value - due to stimulus measures and the fact that most trading partner nations are also taking drastic actions.

This is something to keep an eye on as we inject money into our eceonomy ... which I see as a tough, but very necssary step.

Posted by: free-donny | March 24, 2009 9:52 PM | Report abuse

To Jake D:
Jake, ole buddy, you gave yourself away with your link to heritage.org.
No one's going to take any issue you raise seriously, including the birth certificate bromide, so you would do yourself a favor and not make such a fool of yourself, if you have any sense whatsoever.
But then ... we digress ...
You guys had your day -- and now, it's over.
Thanks be to God.

Posted by: Judy-in-TX | March 24, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

Obama's main objective is to disable our capitalist economy. This is all part of his Communist agenda and he's smiling on camera every opportunity he gets. What took our forefathers 200 years to develop, he's intentionally destroying it in only a few months.

Posted by: bri2 | March 24, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I love all the comments about "race" in this, ummm, errr, uhhh "discussion". Here's a thought: Drop the race card and let's all act as the HUMAN race, as one.

Posted by: spf_zero | March 24, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

You will never hear any big names in Washington talk about monetary policy. All we hear about are "toxic assets," bank regulations, mortgage-backed securities...

People, this is all a direct result of using a worthless currency. The US dollar is the problem. If you allow banks to print/digitally create money out of nothing, they will. And our Federal Reserve apparently has no reservations inflating the dollar well past its breaking point. It's THEIR JOB to oversee the money supply, and look what happened - exactly what you'd expect by putting a BANK in charge of the money supply. They allowed the creation of trillions of dollars of debt - far more debt than the total net worth of all Americans, if you can wrap your brain around that.

What's going to happen is this - please, by all means call me out if I am wrong, but I won't be: In the next year or two, the dollar will begin a slide the likes of which we have never seen before. The politicians will shout and grumble and scurry about, pointing fingers and making noise, but the damage has already been done. 2009 will go down as The Year No Rich Person Went Broke. The next several years will be a New Greater Depression. If we can take this pain, we'll be much better off for it... because we will have plenty of informed citizens to remind us why the Constitution demands gold and silver *only* as money.

www.constitutionaltender.com

There is a movement at the state and local levels to bring back our nation's only real legal tender - gold and silver. It's not a perfect system (no money can ever be perfect,) but it is far, far better than worthless government paper.

We have all been robbed, and the dollar was the key to the back door. We must come to grips with this concept and create a sound money policy for all.

Posted by: patrick4 | March 24, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

"I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak," Obama said.

Oh...REALLY? Better late than never, I suppose. But by that standard, Adjunct Prof. Obama would never have run for President.

Posted by: zjr78xva | March 24, 2009 9:39 PM | Report abuse

From the front page of the Post: Obama says the economy needs to move from one of "borrow and spend to save and invest."

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!

In just about 60 days Comrade Obama has turned our economy upside down and is on a spending spree like none other.

Posted by: spf_zero | March 24, 2009 9:38 PM | Report abuse

Tonight, President Obama proved he could work all day battling to heal the economy against obstructionist republicans...and then spend an evening answering tough (often stubborn) questions from reporters.

This President is a true breath of fresh American air after eight years of blundering unintelligible mumbling by former president Bush. Slowly, I'm gaining hope that America will emerge from this economic mess stronger and better than before the last administration led us down into the void.

Well done, Mr. President. America is on the move. Even my 401k is looking stronger!

Posted by: free-donny | March 24, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

Chuck Todd needs to be given a tour of the finacial devestation sustained across this country. He is the reason Obama, Pelosi and Reid feel free to push democracy aside for communism. He is a Soviet toad . . .

Posted by: lclifton | March 24, 2009 9:33 PM | Report abuse

I certainly didn't like to see the "senior staff" Twittering/texting during the press conference. Memo to staff: Put your electronic toys away when on television or you will look like that congresswoman during the joint session speech.


Posted by: mortified469 | March 24, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

This guy is bad news. he is the south Chicago part-time senator "community organizer" that we said he was. Pelosi, Reid Yobama - this is sh*&!!!

Posted by: lclifton | March 24, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

This is my post to Chuck Todd on his message board:

Dear Mr. Todd,

What is the world kind of question was that you asked President Obama tonight? What can Americans do to sacrifice? What planet are you from Chuck Todd? Are you not sacrificing? If not, why not? A lot of us have sacrificed a great deal. Pension plans - gone, houses - gone, college tuition - gone. Maybe not yours, huh? What a boneheaded question. You got the answer you deserved too.

Here is a link to the board, I couldn't find an email address for him. http://chucktodd.newsvine.com/_news/2009/03/17/2558100-newsvine-q-a-chuck-todd-on-us-politics#c6035482

Posted by: teadrinker | March 24, 2009 9:27 PM | Report abuse

We now ended up with a very disrespectfull President with a big attiture, also a President that DOSN't answer the questions. His responses are all the same, at times not related to the actual question.

Posted by: office6 | March 24, 2009 9:24 PM | Report abuse

Ed Henry is a turkey. His questions were unrelated. His second question was repetitive. His second question was answered brilliantly by Obama, but, encouraged by Bill Bennett, Henry transformed himself from a reporter to a pundit. Puffing himself up like a peacock, he pretended that Obama didn't answer his question. He either didn't listen to anything except his own words or he doesn't have the intelligence to understand Obama's explanation that investing in America is precisely the difference between solid growth and tepid growth. What an egomaniac. CNN, you have a responsibility to field intelligent, diligent reporters, not showoffs.

Posted by: richardshaker | March 24, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Alec:

Nazis started medical experimentation on Jews too. Is THAT O.K. with you?

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 9:23 PM | Report abuse

Let me take a chance to air my own opinion, before I get accused by the bloggers who support Obama here on the this fourm. Thank you Washington Post for providing this fourm. I find here I do the most good for what I believe in.

First, what we see in any president is one of two value added contributions to our country. Presidents are either strong on domestic issues or weak on foreign policy or the other way around. Seldom to we have a president who performs poorly on both levels. It is obvious with Obama tap dancing around the tough questions, which were finally asked of him that he is weak on both fronts. However, he did show some anger toward republican criticizm and he lied when he said there wasn't an alternative plan or budget. It was offered and ignored. Republicans proposed a plan that would cost half as much and create twice as many jobs.

Obama will have problems overcoming what he has created. The simple plan is stop spending, but I guess from his perspective the problem is too complicated for that simplicity.

Posted by: Chris561_561 | March 24, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

OMG I am bored to death with this idiot. I thought Busch was ignorant but Obama takes the cake.

Posted by: zmopar1 | March 24, 2009 9:20 PM | Report abuse

Yobama dawg is doin' such a rightous job over here, he be thinkin' he can herd the Jews too. You da Dawg, bama. You and Jeremiah!

Posted by: lclifton | March 24, 2009 9:19 PM | Report abuse

Wow a president with a brain, it's been so long since we've had one, some I see can't recognize one when they hear him. Your are forgiven, it's tough to adjust from the shock of your disappointment in Bush.

Posted by: AverageJane | March 24, 2009 9:17 PM | Report abuse

tjc1:

Embryonic stem cell TREATMENT has not been approved in the U.S. Adult stem cell TREATMENT has. What's your definition of "promising"? How about your definition of "murder" or "Frankenstein"?

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 9:14 PM | Report abuse

"Don't tell fish stories where the people know you; but particulary, don't tell them where the people know the fish"....Mark Twain

Posted by: hankomatic1 | March 24, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

I wouldn't loan this creep five bucks. He has a different rap every day and NOTHING makes any sense. BLA-BLA-BLA . . .

Posted by: lclifton | March 24, 2009 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Glenn:

Wasn't "DAY ONE" on January 20, 2009? Or, you don't think he took a legal oath either?

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 9:11 PM | Report abuse

Wait a second... We're moving from "Borrow and Spend" to "Save and Invest" - but Washington is borrowing and spending worse than any drunken sailor. Republicans are no longer part the equation here. Democrats are in charge and they will have to accept the consequences. It's been 3 months - they've blown more money at Wall Street than Bush did, and nothing's changed.

Posted by: mwcob | March 24, 2009 9:07 PM | Report abuse

zzzzzzzzzzzzz is it over yet?

Posted by: FraudObama | March 24, 2009 9:05 PM | Report abuse

Well if anyone should lose their job, it's that boneheaded reporter, Chuck Todd. What should Americans do to sacrifice. Hey bonehead - we already are - and if you aren't - why not?

Posted by: teadrinker | March 24, 2009 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I have no idea where that question about stem cells came from, but if I was the Washington Post I would be ashamed having that correspondent working for them. Adult stem cells are more promising than embryonic? Did he misread the question? Embryonic are much more promising than adult, and I'm not some random guy spewing off something I heard from some guy at Sunday school, my research is on Alzheimer's and Parkinson's. On the subject of treating people who are paralyzed, the only experiment to work that I know of, and at the time of October 2006, were with embryonic stem cells. So I have would like to know if he read the question wrong or what.

Posted by: tjc1 | March 24, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

Unfortunately, even in 2009, SOME Americans are judging Obama based solely on his race.

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 9:02 PM | Report abuse

I found out who it is and I am soooo shocked. NBC reporter, Chuck Todd. Everybody sharpen your pencils. Also, I vowed that Pres. Obama was going to hear from me every week. At least once but usually more than that. Good and bad. I am bi-partisan. Secret Service is probably parked across the street from my house right now. April 15th are national Tea Parties. Go to them. In some cities it is on Friday, April 17th. Check it out. Don't take this sitting down. And write your fave reporter, Chuck Todd at NBC.

Posted by: teadrinker | March 24, 2009 9:01 PM | Report abuse

"I think that the last 64 days has been dominated by me trying to figure out how we're going to fix the economy, and that affects black, brown and white."

How about red and yellow? Sort leaves out 10% of the population...

j/k -- overall a weird press conference. Broad questions, broad answers.

Posted by: recharged95 | March 24, 2009 9:00 PM | Report abuse

charko825:

You "can" make an ass of yourself all you want, and I "can" state my opinion that comments about anyone's race is irrelevant, and therefore not needed, to a substantive political discussion.

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:57 PM | Report abuse

Teadrinker
I have the same question as you. I know his name is Chuck but don't know who he reports for. I also thought that was a bonehead question about sacrifices. I would like to e-mail him directly and advise just what type of sacrifices I've made along with half of the country.

Posted by: shaggyrory | March 24, 2009 8:55 PM | Report abuse

America wake up,this is only the beginning!
WE will be a socialistic disaster if we don't stand up for the ideals that have always made this country great. We are paying the price for the greed of a few...so why are we are all punished? Why not put them in jail. Taxation without representation is alive and well!

Posted by: ampm1946 | March 24, 2009 8:54 PM | Report abuse

He might have gotten off a good zinger about his waiting to make a statement, but it's not satisfying to hear the president give a "zinger" answer to a question that addresses the public anger.

Posted by: brainfart007 | March 24, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

goziner and charko825:

Comments about someone's race isn't needed.

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:35 PM
_________________________________________________

Race is an integral part of the human experience--- Who are you to impose your judgmental racist thinking on anyone and tell them what they can or can't do?! Shove your political correct BS you know where...

Posted by: charko825 | March 24, 2009 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Alec:

You and Glenn are the silly ones, because the final budget legislation is also called a "Resolution":

http://budget.house.gov/fy08_budget_res.shtml

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:49 PM | Report abuse

Frank:

Another follow-up question would be why didn't Obama think about the AIG bonus issue before he signed the "Stimulus" Package?

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Honestly, can he answer a question in less than a half hour? I am falling asleep here. I am beginning to long for the old Bush conferencing. One sentence answers and NEXT.....

Posted by: teadrinker | March 24, 2009 8:47 PM | Report abuse

sherrlymc:

You're welcome.

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:43 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, JakeD

Posted by: sherrylmc | March 24, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Newest Obama drinking game- "you don't have to take my word for it....."

Posted by: brainfart007 | March 24, 2009 8:40 PM | Report abuse

The teleprompter leads this country, not this nut.

Posted by: trippermeow | March 24, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

Can someone tell me who the reporter is, that is seated in the front row, has a beard and asked the question about when Americans are going to sacrifice and what Obama is going to ask of them? And please correct me, this is not a direct quote and I would like to see it. Thanks. I just want to email that shnook and say, listen hear buddy, I don't know about you but my family has already made a lot of sacrifices. And to Obama's credit he did say pretty much the same thing.

Posted by: teadrinker | March 24, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

I hope the liberals that swallowed all the crap that Obama spewed out of his mouth are happy now. We are just going deeper in to debt every day. Where's "the change"
He is an idiot.

Posted by: ladystreak53 | March 24, 2009 8:37 PM | Report abuse

goziner and charko825:

Comments about someone's race isn't needed.

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:35 PM | Report abuse

yes these are softball questions

Posted by: 2003letsgo | March 24, 2009 8:34 PM | Report abuse

these questions are softballs where are the tough questions, did he receieve all of these questions in advance, what a nappy headed clown

Posted by: goziner | March 24, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Besides, Obama is not legally PRESIDENT if he is not a "natural born" citizen and therefore cannot legally sign anything. Just wait until THOSE lawsuits start getting filed.

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

The more this "Jack in the Box" pops his head up the lower his approval numbers go...Doesn't Obama look like Jack in the Box? Add a little lipstick and makeup and you have a "Jack in the Box". A chocolate one at that!

Posted by: charko825 | March 24, 2009 8:30 PM | Report abuse

Glenn:

You are the silly one, because the final legislation is also called "Resolution":

http://budget.house.gov/fy08_budget_res.shtml

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:29 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry, but his answer on debt and deficits is bullshi*.

Someday, we're going to have a President who is truly going to lead the nation into a really tough, difficult discussion about what the government does and how to pay for it.

Gutless. Gutless. Gutless.

Posted by: SwellLevel5 | March 24, 2009 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Please Obama, keep having disjointed PRIME TIME press conferences like this, every other day if possible!

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:25 PM | Report abuse

This idiot stumbles just like bush when he does not have access to a teleprompter, obamatrons are no different than the bushies

Posted by: goziner | March 24, 2009 8:24 PM | Report abuse

This guy is the biggest moron I have ever seen.

Posted by: charko825 | March 24, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

Did I hear the president correctly? Did he say he had a list of press members to call on? Why does he need a list?

Posted by: brainfart007 | March 24, 2009 8:22 PM | Report abuse

We're missing "American Idol" for THIS?!

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:20 PM | Report abuse

Ben:

Thanks for correcting that typo.

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

Wow, COLB loons already.

Q. What will you do to insure accountability for the bailout money spent (not just TARP but loans), and what will you do to ensure transparency and accountability for bailout money going forward, not just for states and local governments, but for banks?

Posted by: lambert_strether | March 24, 2009 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Here we go!

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 7:55 PM | Report abuse

"The combination of the "big three" entitlements – Medicare and Social Security and Medicaid – will double from the current 8 percent of GDP to 15 percent when today’s newborn graduates from college, to nearly 20 percent of GDP when today's college graduate reaches retirement in 2050.
The unfunded federal future obligations of the federal government are now the equivalent of a mortgage of over $50 trillion ($38.8 trillion of which is due to Medicare and Social Security). This translates into a financial burden of $170,000 for each American.

Without reform of entitlements, balancing the budget would mean driving up taxes to European level within a generation at the risk of European economic stagnation."

http://www.heritage.org/research/Budget/FWUT.cfm

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 7:44 PM | Report abuse

(For comparison sake):

2009 United States federal budget - $3.10 trillion (submitted 2008 by President Bush)
2008 United States federal budget - $2.90 trillion (submitted 2007 by President Bush)
2007 United States federal budget - $2.77 trillion (submitted 2006 by President Bush)
2006 United States federal budget - $2.7 trillion (submitted 2005 by President Bush)
2005 United States federal budget - $2.4 trillion (submitted 2004 by President Bush)
2004 United States federal budget - $2.3 trillion (submitted 2003 by President Bush)
2003 United States federal budget - $2.2 trillion (submitted 2002 by President Bush)
2002 United States federal budget - $2.0 trillion (submitted 2001 by President Bush)
2001 United States federal budget - $1.9 trillion (submitted 2000 by President Clinton)
2000 United States federal budget - $1.8 trillion (submitted 1999 by President Clinton)
1999 United States federal budget - $1.7 trillion (submitted 1998 by President Clinton)
1998 United States federal budget - $1.7 trillion (submitted 1997 by President Clinton)
1997 United States federal budget - $1.6 trillion (submitted 1996 by President Clinton)
1996 United States federal budget - $1.6 trillion (submitted 1995 by President Clinton)

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 7:39 PM | Report abuse

P.S. it is $3.6 TRILLION, not billion.

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Maybe some reporter would dare ask if $2 BILLION per year is too much to run the White House during this financial "crisis"? Or, any of the following questions:

Q: Did you promise to do anything in return for over $100,000 in AIG contributions last year?

Q: Will you return those contributions to the U.S. taxpayers?

Q: If the economy does not improve by 2012, will you seek the Democratic nomination for President?

Q: Will you return $2.5 million in book royalties to the U.S. taxpayers?

Q: What did you and Biden say to Gorbachev last Friday?

Q: Will you consent to the release of your original birth certificate?

Posted by: JakeD | March 24, 2009 7:23 PM | Report abuse

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