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Posts Tagged ‘Obama News Conference’

By JIM KUHNHENN 03/ 6/12 11:00 AM ETAssociated Press AP

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama is aiming mortgage relief at members of the military as well as homeowners with government-insured loans, the administration’s latest efforts to address a persistent housing crisis.

In his first full news conference of the year Tuesday, Obama was to announce plans to let borrowers with mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration refinance at lower rates, saving the average homeowner more than $1,000 a year. Obama also was detailing an agreement with major lenders to compensate service members and veterans who were wrongfully foreclosed upon or denied lower interest rates.

The efforts Obama is announcing do not require congressional approval and are limited in comparison with the vast expansion of government assistance to homeowners that he asked Congress to approve last month. That $5 billion to $10 billion plan would make it easier for more borrowers with burdensome mortgages to refinance their loans.

Obama is holding the news conference in the midst of a modestly improving economy. But international challenges as well as a stubbornly depressed housing market remain threats to the current recovery and to his presidency.

Obama has not held a full news conference since November. The White House scheduled this one on the same day as the 10-state Super Tuesday Republican presidential nominating contests. While aides insisted the timing was coincidental, it follows a pattern of Obama seeking the limelight when the attention is on the GOP.

The news conference comes amid a new sense of optimism at the White House. Obama’s public approval ratings have inched up close to 50 percent. The president recently won an extension of a payroll tax cut that was a main element of his jobs plan for 2012. Economic signals suggest a recovery that is taking hold.

Still, he will probably face questions about the pace of the recovery. The unemployment rate in January was 8.3 percent, the highest it has been in an election year since the Great Depression. With rising gasoline prices threatening to slow the economy, Obama has also faced attacks from Republicans over his energy policy.

Iran’s nuclear ambitions will also command attention in the aftermath of his meeting Monday with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Tension over Iran has already contributed to higher oil prices, and Israel’s threats of pre-emptive military strikes to prevent Tehran from building a nuclear bomb have dominated Washington discourse for weeks.

Other developments in the Middle East, where turmoil has soured some of the promise of last year’s Arab Spring, are also likely to be addressed. Syria’s bloody crackdown on protesters has increased pressure on Obama to intervene. Republican Sen. John McCain on Monday urged the United States to launch airstrikes against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime to force him out of power.

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March 24: Obama’s Second Primetime News Conference (VIDEO)

The Huffington Post/AP |   March 18, 2009 02:36 PM

SCROLL DOWN FOR VIDEOS

President Barack Obama said Tuesday night his attempts to lead the nation out of economic turmoil are beginning to yield results, and toned down his criticism of bonuses to executives at bailed-out AIG.

At the second prime-time news conference of his presidency, Obama also cast his budget — now under review in Congress — as essential if the economy is to recover. The tax and spending plan “is inseparable from this recovery because it is what lays the foundation for a secure and lasting prosperity,” he said.

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Obama On Lessons Learned: I Should Have Started With No Tax Cuts And Let GOP Take Credit For Them»

Think Progress- By Faiz Shakir on Feb 9th, 2009 at 9:42 pm

At tonight’s White House press conference, NPR’s Mara Liasson asked President Obama what lessons he has learned through the process of negotiating with Republicans over the economic recovery package. Obama explained there’s a lot of people who “sort of want to test the limits of what they can get.”

Reflecting further, Obama reminded the journalists present that the conservatives had originally expressed their approval of Obama’s plan to offer over $300 billion in tax cuts. But over time, they decided not to negotiate in good faith:

They were pleasantly surprised and complimentary about the tax cut that were presented in that framework. Those tax cuts are still in there. I mean, I suppose what I could have done is started off with no tax cuts, knowing that I was going to want some and then let them take credit for all of them. And maybe that’s the lesson I learned.

He added, “People have to break out of some of the ideological rigidity and gridlock that we’ve been carrying around for too long.”

Obama went on rip Republicans who now lecture about the need for fiscal responsibility. “It’s a little hard for me to take criticism from folks about this recovery package after they presided over a doubling of the national debt,” he said. “I’m not sure they have a lot of credibility when it comes to fiscal responsibility.” Watch it:

In early January, when Obama unveiled his recovery plan, ThinkProgress’ Matt Yglesias warned of the problem with starting off the stimulus negotiation with a healthy amount of tax cuts. “It’s one thing to unveil a compromise as a result of a bipartisan negotiation, and another thing to unveil an opening bid that you say you hope conservatives can get on board with,” he wrote.

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Obama News Conference (VIDEO)

Huffington Post |   February 9, 2009 09:48 AM

Scroll down for video… Read Obama’s opening remarks here

President Barack Obama, pressuring lawmakers to urgently approve a massive economic recovery bill, turned his first prime-time news conference Monday night into a determined defense of his emergency plan and an offensive against Republicans who try to “play the usual political games.”

He said the recession has left the nation so weak that only the federal government can “jolt our economy back to life.” And he declared that failure to act swiftly and boldly “could turn a crisis into a catastrophe.”

He said the country could be in better shape by next year, as measured by increased hiring, lending, home values and other factors. “If we get things right, then, starting next year, we can start seeing significant improvement,” Obama said.

With more than 11 million Americans now out of work, Obama defended his program against Republican criticism that it is loaded with pork-barrel spending and will not create jobs.

“The plan is not perfect,” the president said. “No plan is. I can’t tell you for sure that everything in this plan will work exactly as we hope, but I can tell you with complete confidence that a failure to act will only deepen this crisis as well as the pain felt by millions of Americans.”

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