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  • Liveblogging the President's Press Conference

    Tonight, we will be liveblogging President Barack Obama’s second primetime news conference. In his first news conference, President Obama fielded a small amount of questions ranging from the economy to Alex Rodriguez and gave ten minute answers to each one. We’re hoping for shorter answers tonight so reporters will have more opportunities to hold the President accountable for his massive tax and spend budget, his continued embrace of government bailouts and intervention in our lives and businesses and to ensure that the President, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid slow down and allow the American people to see the laws they are passing that pay the mortgages of the irresponsible and create huge national spending plans for health care, education and energy. The stimulus bill passed with barely a person having read it, leading to the AIG bonus mess, how many more bills will pass without oversight?

    Hit the Refresh button on this page to get the updates. We’ll timestamp our updates so you can follow along at home. Enjoy.

    8:00: The President is making his way to the podium. No teleprompter in view but sources at the White House confirm (and twitpics support) that there is a head-on teleprompter in the back of the room.

    8:02: “strategy… to help responsible homeowners” Responsible homeowners do deserve relief, he’s right. Unfortunately, the Housing bill that he, Pelosi and Reid want to pass crams down irresponsible mortgages. It destabilizes the entire housing industry by allowing bankruptcy judges to unilaterally renegotiate the principle on defaulting mortgages. I don’t think high interest rates, closing costs and an unstable housing market is the relief Americans are looking for.

    8:02: 95% of Americans will in fact have their taxes raised due to the extraordinary “carbon tax” that will raise household costs between $600 and $1200 a year.

    8:04: “The budget I submitted to Congress will build our economic recovery on a stronger foundation…” Actually, the President’s budget will leave permanent deficits averaging $600 billion even after the economy recovers and doubles the publicly held national debt to over $15 trillion ($12.5 trillion after inflation).

    8:04: Every time President Obama says “Invest” you should hear “Spend.” Unless he explains how his plans are going to give you a return on your taxes, “investments” is code for “taxes.”

    8:05: He says “at the end of the day, the best way to bring our deficit down in the long run is not with a budget that continues the very same policies that led to a narrow prosperity and massive debt.”

    8:05: What? That is precisely what he is proposing. His budget adds $10 trillion to the national debt. It took Americans 220 years to build an $8 trillion debt. Obama would more than double it in just a decade. Obama is doubling down on the borrow-spend-bailout policies that got us here. How does he define change?

    8:05: Interesting how anyone can complain about the debt Bush left us with and then counter with policies that have already quadrupled the deficit.

    8:06: Obama says “it will take patience.” The same patience that has caused trillions of dollars in spending in less than 8 weeks? They certainly weren’t patient with the Stimulus bill, which nobody read including the Finance Committee Chairman, allowing Senator Dodd and Secretary Geithner to insert provisions protecting AIG bonuses without anyone the wiser.

    8:07: “renewed determination…renewed confidence that a better day will come.” Great! Hopefully by renew he means Washington will stop controlling taxpayer dollars and businesses and they’ll give the power back to the people through spending caps and tax cuts. That would be renewal. THAT would inspire confidence.

    8:08: Questions! Starting with AP from the list. Paraphrasing (all night) Why should people sign on to more sweeping authority for government. Good question. Obama says people should understandably want to restructure contracts. He says we need to obtain the authority to undermine contracts. Unfortunately, that hasn’t worked so far, and won’t in the future.

    8:10: Question from Chuck Todd (NBC) – why haven’t you asked the American people to sacrifice? The real answer to this question is, he plans to. The American people will pay for it through high taxes to pay for the high spending. The President note the everyday sacrifices of Americans, which is true during this recession. But a national health care plan is not the answer to their everyday worries.

    8:13: Todd follows up (I think the press corps is going to demand follow ups tonight). Is there a Call to Action? Obama says the steps they are taking will stabilize economy and American people should work hard, look after their families and still contribute to their economy and volunteer. Worthy items to ask. But with less money in their pocket, hard to ask.

    8:15: “Serious energy policy that frees ourselves of dependence on foreign oil”

    8:15: President Obama’s idea of serious energy policy is to double the size of the Department of Energy, who don’t have the manpower to even handle that money, and then pick and choose niche energy producers that fit an “environmentalist” mold, without any concern for taxpayer costs.

    8:16: He said himself that “electricity rates will necessarily skyrocket” in the short term. Perfect timing for that.

    8:16: “a new energy era” means energy taxes and an extreme environmentalist agenda, regardless of cost.

    8:18: Chip Reid (CBS) asks President that debt will increase by $7 to 9.5 trillion. Isn’t that exactly what you were talking about with next generation.

    8:18: And he does the same answer as always. Blames Republican Congress for inherited debt (even though Democrats controlled both chambers last couple years) and then avoids the simple logical reason why multiplying debt helps solve the problem of the current debt.

    8:20: Obama says: Nobody knows what will happen 6, or 8, or 10 years from now. Um, CBO does. And so does the Heritage Foundation.

    8:21: Obama says: Where is the Republicans alternative budget? The answer is, it’s coming. And hopefully he considers it. He then talks about cutting defense, and eliminating programs.

    8:23: Chip Reid follows up, ‘you’re debt goes up, up, up’. Yup.

    8:24: Obama says as a percentage of GDP, they are reducing non-discretionary spending to lowest levels since 1960′s. President Bush became the first President to spend 3% of GDP funding on federal antipoverty programs. Obama has increased this spending by 20%. There is more where that came from.

    8:26: Border issues. Heritage Senior Fellow James Carafano was down at the border seeing the problem first hand last week and his posts on the Foundry are illuminating.

    8:27: Stars and Stripes asks about massive defense cuts for important programs. Obama answers by saying there are veterans affairs spending increases. The American Legion would disagree. Last week they fought with the President over his plan to take veterans off VA healthcare rolls and onto their own private insurance. I think Veterans would also have a problem with him cutting missile defense and other critical weapons and defense programs. Troops now are veterans later.

    8:30: Defense spending as a percentage of GDP is at an all-time low, and we’re fighting a two front war. A 4% of GDP baseline would be a simple solution.

    8:32: Question: Back to AIG. Why did it take you a few days to be outraged. And you keep saying you inherited a fiscal mess, but aren’t your daughters getting an even bigger mess? (paraphrasing)

    8:33: Obama says this is hard work (reminding us of old SNL skits where “Bush” would say, ‘this is hard work’)

    8:33: Obama answers by rattling off his normal list of health care, energy, etc. etc. Answering neither question. ‘Doing things that cost alot on the front end, and hopefully cost less on the back end.’ That is hope only he believes in.

    8:35: Back to AIG. “It took us a couple days because I like to know what I’m talking about before I speak.” Steve Kroft might ask at this point if he is “punch drunk”.

    8:36: Laughing about AIG bonuses is always a bad idea.

    8:37: Goals of the G20 summit, ‘create jobs, avoid protectionism’. Unfortunately the Stimulus Bill, Omnibus and Budget already created jobs in other countries through overextended environmental regulations and created a protectionist atmosphere with Mexico, by ignoring NAFTA. Mexico certainly feels Obama is protectionist.

    8:39: Mike Allen of Politico asks a great question (as always). Do you regret cutting deductions for charities? Obama says ‘no’. He says wealthy people have had a great time of it lately and deserve to have their rates cut to 1980′s levels. He doesn’t really answer how that affects charities. At least there will be a government health care plan to do the work private charities do now.

    8:40: He once again says that people should give the same amount regardless, completely missing the logical economic point that the deduction allows them more of their own money to give. It isn’t about cynical rich people, it’s about letting citizens use their own money towards charities.

    8:43: After Mike Allen follow up, Obama says charities are wrong that this will affect them. I guess the Special Olympics have nothing to worry about. He says best thing for charities is a good economy. Best thing right now is no new taxes actually.

    8:44: Homelessness question leads Obama back to Veterans. I wish the American Legion felt as strongly about his veterans policies as he does.

    8:45: Question on race from Ann Compton elicits vague answer from Obama, probably rightly so. However, he may also have been asked about Attorney General Holder calling America a “nation of cowards” on race. That would have been a noteworthy question.

    8:47: Stem cell funding question is a “legitimate question” to Obama. He reverts to the “hard work” answer and then says there should be strong moral guidelines for stem cell issues, abortion, etc. And that his guidelines meet that moral test. Unfortunately his budget irresponsibly deals with this issue.

    8:49: Last question (already?): A foreign policy question on Israel from a British reporter (?). He deems that the status quo is unacceptable. He then compares Israel and Palestine to Ireland and Northern Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day which may be considered by some as naive.

    8:54: He pivots to Geithner having a bank plan, and his video with Iran. Networks show Axelrod and Rahm Emanuel looking on nervously.

    8:56: He is confident they are working in the right direction.

    8:56: Press Conference Over. Analysts immediately focus on teleprompter.

    8:57: Overall, the reporters did a fine job tonight delivering some tough questions. Kudos especially to Chip Reid, Mike Allen, Ed Henry and others who held the President accountable on an irresponsible budget that doesn’t look into the future (by the President’s own admission tonight) and doesn’t account for its affect on American taxpayers.

    9:00: In the end, Americans across the country who are rallying together by the thousands in “Tea Parties” are right to be concerned with the dangerous path of taxing and spending we are on. The President’s budget returns us to the economic policies of the Jimmy Carter era which resulted in high recession rates, high inflation, high interest rates and a stagnant stock market. We didn’t get enough explanation tonight on why after an $800 billion stimulus bill, the President’s budget increases spending by $1 trillion over ten years, includes an additional $250 billion placeholder for another bailout even while current bailouts spiral out of control, and calls for pay-as-you-go (PAYGO) laws while astonishingly violating that rule by $3.4 trillion. But hopefully there will be more press conferences, more questions, and more accountability. Goodnight, and thanks for following.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    39 Responses to Liveblogging the President's Press Conference

    1. Marjie, Michigan says:

      This ought to be interesting … not! All I know is I'm not seeing any change for the good thus far.

    2. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Is there a teleprompter? What's at the back of the room he keeps looking at?

    3. George, Kalamazoo says:

      He is clearly reading this script, but it's designed to give the feeling that he is not reading, but obviously he is.

    4. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Bubble and bust? Illusion of prosperity is not a concern with your socialist policies, Mr. President.

      Invest . . . invest . . . spend, spend, spend.

    5. George, Kalamazoo says:

      He's having trouble reading. If he thanks the President of Ireland in the middle of this, we'll know he's in real trouble.

    6. Matt, New Hampshire says:

      Yeah, we all have a part to play. We need to face up to our responsibilities. Pretty words. President BO's taking advantage of that percentage of the population that IS lazy and wants the govt. to take of them, and he'll wind up taking care of "us" if we, the non-lazy ones, aren't careful.

    7. George, Kalamazoo says:

      List – AP – Treasury Secretary to regulate big complex financial institutions – banks reluctant and public equally relunctant. Lack of authority gave rise to AIG – are you kidding me? He is clueless. MARCH towards socialism.

    8. susan, eastern ky says:

      I am sorry but when President Obama speaks it is like he speaks words that sound good, but there is no real substance. He just acts like he knows what he is saying! Like we should just agree with his "together" and "yes we can" junk that comes out of his mouth but neglect his obvious socialist actions. Only a few of us are to be patriotic and not whine and comlain but just turn over the "farm" for the good of the nation!! What a load of crock that people are buying into!! Please someone tell me this nightmare will end!!!!!!

    9. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Chuck Todd – Economic crisis compared to war – cushioned blow for those that were irresponsible. Why given this new era of responsibility – what should the public sacrifice? Huh, Chuck – the public is handing over trillions of dollars – is that not sacrifice Chuck?

    10. George, Kalamazoo says:

      This was an utterly ridiculous question – adjustments being made large and small – about the only thing O will say tonight that I will agree with.

    11. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Long term economic growth is not based on governmental spending – Keynesian policy has never produced sustained economic growth – Keynes didn't care about the long run – he was looking for shorter term stimulus – in the long run, we're all dead.

    12. Li, New York says:

      Why is the President so outraged over the AIG bonuses when THEY WERE IN THE STIMULUS PACKAGE THAT HE DIDN'T READ (& DIDN'T GIVE ANYONE ELSE A CHANCE TO READ EITHER), YET FORCED DOWN EVERYONE'S THROAT WHEN HE SIGNED IT?!?!

      You should've read it "line by line" Mr. President, like you said you would…but you didn't! Please stop already with the feigned "outrage" when the AIG bonuses were in the bill YOU signed (and again, signed without READING!). I learned back in High School that you never sign anything without reading it first! What in the world?

    13. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Chuck Todd – isn't satisfied with O's answer to his ridiculous question.

    14. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Jake Tapper – Dem Senators writing stuff out of bill – Cap and Trade, middle income tax cut. O's about to face a revolt – from Blue Dog Dems and Repubs.

      O says that we have to drive our deficit numbers down. What? He has a projected 2010 fiscal budget deficit of 1.75 trillion. He is nothing but double speak.

    15. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Cleaner energy sources are not the key to economic growth – this is a non-starter with the public and with Congress. O's going to be hitting his head against the wall on this – cap and trade isn't going to happen anytime soon.

      Healthcare, energy, education and serious efforts to reduce the budget? Are you kidding me?

    16. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Chip Reid – 9.3 trillion dollar deficit – most irresponsible budget deficit in American history.

      Here we go – blame the Bush deficit – inheriting the deficit from the Reps. That's a flat out lie – Dems controlled Congress.

    17. Matt, New Hampshire says:

      Someone should ask him if he sees a way to drive down the national debt to $0.00. The United States is a big business and needs a businessman to run it.

    18. George, Kalamazoo says:

      That is a distinction without a difference. The growth rate – 2.2 to 2.6% – creates a difference of a couple trillion dollars, but at those levels those are a couple of buckets of sand in the Sahara.

      Investments to ensure growth targets – give me a break. He doesn't have a clue.

      No alternative budget – bull. BULL, bull, bull.

      House GOP has proposed freezing budget – to control deficit.

    19. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Typical Dem doublespeak – don't deficit spend as much constitutes savings. Are you kidding?

    20. Connie Weekley, York says:

      He was asked why his budget will continue to go up, and he hestitated and never did address the issues on why his budget continued to go up, he said you will not see the costs of the budget decrease until the budget is address what did he just say? He said we would cut, but we would not see the budget decrease.

    21. Matt, New Hampshire says:

      So essentially he's saying that it's our patriotic duty to live under socialism until we get out of this economic crisis? Once we open the door to a socialist utopia can it ever be closed?

    22. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Why is your budget going up after this investment plan designed to make government more cost-effective? Great question.

      Savings aren't going to be reflected until much later – HE IS CLUELESS. He doesn't understand basic budgeting. This is baloney.

    23. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Non-discretionary spending is the lowest in this budget – when compared, etc. – Hah!! Bald faced lie.

    24. Connie Weekley, York says:

      He said the critics critized but would not offer an alternative, that is not true a lot of people wanted to cut the fat from the budget but he said no, that he wanted offsets in his budget due to the fact that there were speical programs that would be addressed in this manner, or pork projects, in other words he wants his supporters to get the fat, so that they will continue to support him.

    25. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Mexican journalist – Do you consider the situation in Mexico a national security threat? Send National Guard? Perry's call for more troops?

      More equipment and 100s of additional personnel – coordinating with Mexican government – and Calderon. Border communities in US are protected and helping Mexican government – continue to monitor situation – do more.

      A very good non-answer, answer.

    26. George, Kalamazoo says:

      Defense spending – This is an unbelievably bad answer.

    27. Matt, New Hampshire says:

      My question to President Obama: "Mr. President, isn't it true that 2 problems could be solved at once by throwing money in the right direction at least? By that I mean vastly enlarge funding for our border patrol so that our country's security can be increased while at the same time putting good, law-abiding, LEGAL american citizens to work. Isn't our national security worth more than the few dollars you've given our men and women at the front? Thank you."

    28. Matt, New Hampshire says:

      If the United States of America were a business, which it is, and this business were trillions of dollars in debt, which it is, we'd dare use the term "bankrupt", which we don't. Why is that?

    29. Matt, New Hampshire says:

      The dollar is extraordinarily strong right now?! Mr. President, we're only crazy, not stupid, thank you very much.

    30. Matt, New Hampshire says:

      Mr. President, your annual salary is $400,000.00. While I appreciate that you paid for the now famous gym set out of your own pocket, please be aware that the citizens of our nation will be watching your spending, like a hawk.

    31. Freddie Morris - Haw says:

      I am so pleased to see that some of the media are finally asking good questions. Sorry Chuck with NBC, I don't mean you. Chip Reed you did your job tonight. Way to go. I liked your follow up as well. I swear, if you folks keep this up I may have to take another look at you. It has been some time since I have watched an evening news report because I get so angry at how the media has given POTUS a pass for so long. While there are those who have said that the media is DEAD in this country, I have to say tonight I did see a little life. We can pray that theycome back to life and remember what their jof is suppose to be about.

    32. Matt, New Hampshire says:

      Well. There goes an hour of my life I'll never get back.

    33. Ben of Queens,NY says:

      We need to start a peaceful revolution against this administration and their Socialist, and Marxtist programs that are being shoved down our throats. If this continues our freedom and liberties will end in favor of the government controling everything in our lives. "Mr Obama tear down your teleprompter"

    34. Allan J. Fritz Fairf says:

      President Obama is an excellent orator. However, he is useless in answering questions without a teleprompter. I cannot believe he ignored the question on how his daughters would suffer from eternally increases in our deficit.

      I believe he is arrogant and an empty suit. He has surrounded his Presidency with liberals who want to socialize this country.

      His mention of Indy Mac being taken by the FDIC was an example of his naivety. Guess who bought Indy Mac from the FDIC? It was George Soros and David Dell. No wonder Soros supported Moveon.org and contributed to the Obama campaign through various front organizations

      Several questions, even soft balls, were not answered.

      It was not a good performance from the perspective of an observer of the political scene.

      Allan

    35. Barb -mn says:

      8:02: 95% of Americans will in fact have their taxes raised due to the extraordinary “carbon tax” that will raise household costs between $600 and $1200 a year.

      But there are two kinds of Americans Mr. President. Responsible and irresponsible. Which 95% Americans is this going to effect?… YOUR AN EMPTY SUIT!

      DUE TO DELIBERATE GOVERNMENT SCAM! This and everything related to MAN-MADE GLOBAL WARMING GOVERNMENT SCAM is unnecessary and must be removed in order for businesses and us to survive. If not, America will be destroyed.

    36. Tom K., from Communi says:

      I did not vote for Obama, nor the cronies that surround him. It's not about his color, it's about his character.

      Why did the parties not put up a man or woman of real color, real character, real citizenship, and real flag, family, God and country devotion. Is it because there are none? NO, but rather there are none who could be so corrupt at the same time, as to fit the socialist agenda.

      It had to be an actor, a front man, one who could talk the talk, but not walk the walk. These people who are at the reins of this great nation are traitorous turncoats with nothing more than their own agendas in mind.

      The power they wield has corrupted them, and so they are spoiled rotten, unfit for service. They have become the served, the kings and queens, the oppressors of the 80% middle class, which are those of us whom are above the 10% criminal class, and below the 10% elitist ruling class.

      Alas my friends, we are the mules that produce thae effort which is necessary to keep this merry-go-round spinning. Retiring and dieing are the way we get off. We pass this legacy on to our off-spring.

      So, now that the smoke and mirrors no longer masks the intentions of the ruling elite, is it not time for We the People, black, brown, red, yellow and white, to truly unite as brothers and sisters in arms, uniting in one purpose, for our country, families, God and our futures, by throwing off the yolk of manipulative lies of racism, feminism, self-servance and mistrust keep us from uniting as one people??

      We need to wake up from the stupor of the love of things, money, and accomplishments, to pull together and rescue our nation from the terrorists who seized it from us.

      We fight the aggressors of our constitution from without, while it is being hijacked from within.

      Get your heads out of your tv's and newspapers, and stop supporting their causes through the patronizing of the media in all its forms, because money talks to those whom have it as their ultimate goal.

      I love my country and what it use to stand for. I'll fight to get it back, if that's what it takes.

      One Still Patriotic

    37. Charles-Odessa, Texa says:

      The President is working out of his range. He signs Bills witout reading them. He talks out of both sides of his mouth. He pushes for things and then says they were not what he intended to mean. He is shoveling money and government agencies around like dominos. His only contact with the world is thru his yes-men and Pelosi too.

      Why does he have so much trouble with telling the truth and doing what he says?

    38. CitizenofId says:

      Is anyone else as nervous and upset as I am at the President's incredible ability to glibly lie? Man, I hope for a groundswell of righteous anger toward this president and members of Congress who support his policies! I don't think that we are total wimps yet…

    39. Sam Kendall, Wiscons says:

      I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE!!! And I'm not talking about his policies, I'm talking about the buzz-words. The worst part is he tends to take existing words and use so much they become just another buzz-word. After the bingo sheets get updated, could someone send me some.

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