Obama press conference: live blog

posted at 12:30 pm on June 23, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama appears to have given up on prime-time press conferences, instead opting today to hold a mid-day presser at 12:30 ET.  Originally, they had it scheduled for the Rose Garden, but instead had to move it inside because of rain.  We’ll see if Obama can make the sun shine today.

Conclusion: I’ve been highly critical about Obama’s lack of response on Iran; I think he did very well today.  He condemned Iran in unequivocal and harsh terms.  Charles Krauthammer says he finally “adopted McCain language,” and points out that Obama always claims consistency whenever he changes direction.  Obama should have rescinded our offer of “weenie diplomacy,” which belies the tough talk.  At least, though, Obama has caught up with most of the rest of the free world.

13:22 – Has Obama seen the Neda video?  Yes, and it’s “heartbreaking”.  Has to tell Helen Thomas to pipe down; there’s a keeper moment.

13:19 – African American unemployment to 20%, but targeted intervention may come next year, according to WaPo?  Why not now?  Better to focus on getting the entire economy moving.  Good answer, but one we’d expect from a Republican.

13:17 – Hey, it’s OK to feel crappy about life now!  Thanks, Mr. President.

13:13 – Do we need a second stimulus package?  “Not yet … we need to see how effective the first stimulus will be.”  Obama also says that no one predicted how bad the economy would tank, but in fact, many people did — and said that big-government programs wouldn’t help in any case.

13:07 – Will the new law prevent Obama smoking?  “It’s not about me,” it’s about everyone else but me.  “Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No.  … I’m 95% cured.”  Um, okay.  Compares it to alcoholism.  That may not work well.

13:02 – Tapper notes Obama’s “Spock-like” answer on the public plan, and challenges him on employer retreat on private plans.  Instead of answering, Obama first asks Tapper if he’s making fun of his ears with the Spock reference.  Obama says that a public plan that “feeds at the public trough” would do that, but that a public plan can deliver better administrative performance.  Er, then please explain Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA.

13:00 – “You have avoided twice” noting potential consequences for the Iranian mullahs, Chuck Todd says, but Obama says he’s not married to the “24-hour news cycle”.

12:57 – Response on Iran “timid and weak,” today sounds a lot stronger; is this a response to McCain and Graham accusation?  Obama laughs it off.  “Only I’m the President of the United States,” which is why my earlier response was weaker, even though I said it wasn’t earlier.  I don’t want to be a “foil” for the mullahs, even though they’re doing it anyway.  Incoherence.

12:55 – Why would it drive private insurers out of business?  Because government will undercut on price.  Obama’s being deliberately obtuse.

12:54 – A public plan will “discipline” private insurers.  “Discipline”?

12:53 – Medicare Advantage going out the door in favor of plain-vanilla Medicare.  Of course.  Because a public-private partnership can’t survive ObamaCare.

12:50 – Obama notes that “75%, 80% of Americans satisfied with the plans they have.”  So why change everything?  Because we can’t pay for Medicare and Medicaid.  Ergo, let’s overturn a system that at least three-quarters of the people like.  “If we start from the premise that the status quo is unacceptable, then we have to make serious changes.”  Yes, but 80% of us don’t think the status quo is unacceptable!

12:49 – Garrett asks whether Iranian diplomats are still welcome to State Dept 4th of July celebrations.  Obama says, “That’s a choice the Iranians have to make.”  Weenie diplomacy still on!

12:47 – Major Garrett: “What took you so long?” Obama objects to the characterization that he waffled.  “We’ve been entirely consistent.”  Ha!

12:43 – Ben Bernanke has done a “fine job”, and that all financial regulators failed in the crisis.  That’s why he’s promoting the biggest expansion of regulatory power in “75 years.”  The Fed did better than most, which is why Obama wants to put more power there than elsewhere.

12:40 – Takes a Q from Nico Pitney, who has a Q from Iran — under what conditions would you accept A’Jad’s election, and if you do, isn’t that a betrayal?  Says there are ‘significant questions’ about the election’s legitimacy, says it’s up to the Iranian people to choose their leaders.  But that evades the entire problem — the Iranian people say they didn’t choose their leader.

12:39 – “Should there be consequences”?  Another non-answer.

12:37 – AP wonders whether the violence has shut off the possibility of talks.  “We’re still waiting to see how this plays out.”  Meandering answer, says “it’s up to them,” which means that Obama still wants to talk with them.  Again calls Iranian uprising an “extraordinary debate,” which makes it sound like college forensics.

12:35 – Two minutes on energy, and then health-care reform.  Promises that it will not add to the deficit, despite the CBO analysis.  “We cannot have a system where we throw good money after bad practices.”  Like the VA and Medicare?

12:34 – Government subsidies will make clean energy profitable?  That’s an oxymoron.

12:33 – Three minutes on Iran, and then to cap-and-trade.  Pretty short, but he got Iran right for the first time.

12:32 – Mentions Neda Soltani, not by name, but a quick tribute.  Iranian govt must govern by consent, not coercion,

12:32 – “No iron fist” can stop the world from witnessing the oppression of the Iranian people.

12:30 – Obama starts off with Iran, says we are now “appalled and outraged,” and that he “condemns” the actions of the Iranian regime and joins in mourning the victims.  “Some in the Iranian government” are trying to avoid debate by blaming the US.  “This tired strategy” of scapegoating the US will no longer work.  Good stuff.

12:28 – Major Garrett reports that there will be no TOTUS in this presser.


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Comments

Yea, because NO ONE ever dies in the U.S.of A. due to health issues, right?!?

pcbedamned on June 23, 2009 at 4:02 PM

Nobody who views their health care as something of value, for which they are willing to pay, will fail to find a dirty for profit organization who can medevac their loved one to a place where her life can be saved.

califcon on June 23, 2009 at 4:17 PM

This can’t be passed around enough.. If you are fed up with our representation… Sign this petition…

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/8/an-open-letter-to-our-nations-leadership

reshas1 on June 23, 2009 at 4:35 PM

The one thing that came across was the press rooms attitude for him. Sure he got a couple of tough questions but they laughed and laughed and laughed. It’s obvious that they are merely putty in his hands.

roux on June 23, 2009 at 4:42 PM

pcbedamned on June 23, 2009 at 3:38 PM

Appreciate response. Several issues – first, America is dealing with tremendously large numbers of people, immigrants (both legal & illegal),facilities, costs, laws, etc., so we really aren’t talking about this country simply easing into a bureaucratically controlled system like Canada did just because our President wants it. Just look at the fiasco when the US tried to incorporate the metric system. (I think your daughter was going 70mph – glad all is well) You say that your docs make their own decisions, but I can assure you that there is a long list of rules/regulations placed upon them by the Canadian Government. Americans, by our history and natural inclination, do not take kindly to these long lists. Our current frustration and divisive political landscape demonstrate the anger and resentment that too many rules, regulations, and intrusion of government presents. Saying that we already pay through other government programs doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to add ANOTHER PROGRAM to the pile! When you say that certain treatments are “free”…you are wrong. Nothing is FREE. Many Americans are not interested in just passing this off as getting “royally screwed”…too many have gone before us to make and keep this Nation as the shining city upon hill. I don’t want to live in a One World Order kind of place! Not sure where your numbers of 160 people in 3 years comes from…but can you tell me of even 1 American who came to Canada to get better health care? Not likely. I also know many people in my community who have become permanent US citizens and finding better health care was on their list of reasons to leave the Great White North. Canada is a lovely place, but I simply do not wish to see America adopt your ways. We have a fabulous Constitution for which much blood has been shed, and I would really like to see my country stick to that.

redwhiteblue on June 23, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Universal Health Care IS the answer to an underfunded Social Security. The dead can’t collect.
Jeff from WI on June 23, 2009 at 3:54 PM

BINGO! It’s the only way the politicians can get out of the Medicaid, Medicare, SSI mess! They can’t eliminate those programs – it would be political suicide. When they started robbing these programs they never thought that people would start living so long.

They can already legally kill them off before they are born (and sometimes after) and what’s missing is legally killing them off when they are old or disabled. The only way to do that is to control the whole thing and start denying procedures/medicine/care (which I believe was spelled out in the Stimulus Plan). As you said, “the dead can’t collect.” (Except for the 10,000 dead that got their stimulus payments!)

Good example. My father-in-law received his second bypass surgery at 73, got pneumonia and spent 6 weeks in ICU in a medically induced comma. He eventually recovered and lived another 10 years. Under Obamacare, he would have been denied the surgery and not survived. THAT’s the cost the govt needs to eliminate and they can only do it after they control it all.

Mr_Magoo on June 23, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Did no one notice that Obama admitted that folk will lose their doctors under his plan, he just nuanced the loss by saying the government would not force the loss, but that evil business dropping the good plans for the governments free plan, would.

JIMV on June 23, 2009 at 5:18 PM

roux on June 23, 2009 at 4:42 PM

Sounded like Chuck Todd got him a little testy. And Chuck said the other day that the honeymoon is over.

No soup for you, Chuck! 7 years!

Mr_Magoo on June 23, 2009 at 5:20 PM

JIMV on June 23, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Yes, 43 million people noticed. The other millions? Not so much.

Mr_Magoo on June 23, 2009 at 5:21 PM

Except for the 10,000 dead that got their stimulus payments!

{crickets}

califcon on June 23, 2009 at 5:24 PM

Cheelay!!

Thunderstorm129 on June 23, 2009 at 1:14 PM
I thought he didn’t speak a foreign language. What’s with all the accented syllables?

BuckeyeSam on June 23, 2009 at 1:15 PM

CrockObama can speak Austrian. I think that is used in most of the 57 states.

dthorny on June 23, 2009 at 5:29 PM

Conclusion: I’ve been highly critical about Obama’s lack of response on Iran; I think he did very well today. He condemned Iran in unequivocal and harsh terms. Charles Krauthammer says he finally “adopted McCain language,” and points out that Obama always claims consistency whenever he changes direction.

Yes, Ed. It’s easy to sound good when you prepare for the questions. Why are you not addressing that fact?

Sultry Beauty on June 23, 2009 at 5:31 PM

redwhiteblue on June 23, 2009 at 5:02 PM

Peace. First off, no where did I mention that our health care is ‘free’. My ‘hubby’ (that one is for DarkCurrent:) and I own our own business, so I KNOW what we have to pay out in taxes. And contrary to popular belief, not everything is covered. We have to pay for dental, prescriptions, glasses, physio, etc. out of pocket. I have said before, many months ago, that it comes down to what you are familiar with. At 40, I have grown up with the Canadian Health Care System. It is what I know, what I am used to, and fortunately, what I and the members of my family have had good experiences with. I don’t expect America to take on the Canadian form of Health Care. I do not think it is feasible given the things that you point out – larger population, illegals, etc. What my beef is, is that I do get sick and tired of the ‘Canada bashing’ that seems to follow whenever these types of issues come up. Believe it or not, Americans are not the only country to be patriotic. I love my Country, just as you love yours, and do not take kindly to it being put down for talking points. (and just so you know, I don’t take kindly to hearing Canucks put down Yanks, either). I wouldn’t leave my Country BY CHOICE. Each to their own. As I also said in an earlier post, I have many issues with those that take advantage, so I can see everyone’s point when it comes to that. I just have a hard time understanding the American attitude that ‘if it doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t matter’. But again, this is a cultural thing, I think. It’s funny, in my Country, anyone who knows me thinks I am too Conservative, but in yours, I have no clue… I guess it is because many Canadian Conservatives are not ‘Social Conservatives’, and this is where my point of view differs.

pcbedamned on June 23, 2009 at 5:43 PM

In regards to the Iranian crackdown and our Governments 4th of July picnic invite to Iran, could we sum up the presidents position as follows:
:

“Hey, let us know when you’re done with that brutal and murderous crackdown so we can do lunch!”

WisRich on June 23, 2009 at 5:53 PM

And don’t forget, CrockObama will supply the ice cream

dthorny on June 23, 2009 at 6:09 PM

pcbedamned on June 23, 2009 at 5:43 PM

$0. = free. I think that you, having only known the Canadian Health CS and thinking that it is a “good experience”, are what so many of us are afraid of. We don’t want an entire generation of people who think that the government is the solution to their health, wealth, or welfare. I mean…at least 1/2 of us don’t want that! As a business owner, you must realize how important personal responsibility is. Sadly, America now has a President who sees himself as a solution to our problems and he is using our money to empower government and weaken individual liberties. Canadians are getting thrown into our national discussion because they are the closest example of what we don’t want. It’s nothing personal, eh. None of my Conservative friends have a cultural attitude of ‘if it doesn’t affect me, it doesn’t matter’…but it appears that liberal-minded people do feel that way. They want redistribution of wealth – they don’t care that that money was EARNED by individuals through hard work/effort/risk/time/saving. As our national discussion continues – even though Conservative views aren’t welcome in the current Administration – please try not to take it as an attack on your Canadian way of life. If you are happy, so be it. I can only say that I will not be happy to have our American way of life destroyed by Socialism. Be sure to watch out for those Libs…stay strong!

redwhiteblue on June 23, 2009 at 6:33 PM

Universal Health Care IS the answer to an underfunded Social Security. The dead can’t collect.
Jeff from WI on June 23, 2009 at 3:54 PM

BINGO! It’s the only way the politicians can get out of the Medicaid, Medicare, SSI mess! They can’t eliminate those programs – it would be political suicide. When they started robbing these programs they never thought that people would start living so long.

They can already legally kill them off before they are born (and sometimes after) and what’s missing is legally killing them off when they are old or disabled. The only way to do that is to control the whole thing and start denying procedures/medicine/care (which I believe was spelled out in the Stimulus Plan). As you said, “the dead can’t collect.” (Except for the 10,000 dead that got their stimulus payments!)

Good example. My father-in-law received his second bypass surgery at 73, got pneumonia and spent 6 weeks in ICU in a medically induced comma. He eventually recovered and lived another 10 years. Under Obamacare, he would have been denied the surgery and not survived. THAT’s the cost the govt needs to eliminate and they can only do it after they control it all.

Mr_Magoo on June 23, 2009 at 5:18 PM

Now you got it.It’s SO obvious I’m surprised more people haven’t figured it out.

Jeff from WI on June 23, 2009 at 7:06 PM

I haven’t looked through all the comments, so I don’t know if this was discussed, but from the clips I’ve heard from this presser, the amount of joking, and guffaws are imo appalling. This press conference started with a solemn review of the events in Iran, and we have many serious issues on our table right now. To me there has been a terrible decline in decorum at these press conferences. I blame both sides, the president and the lap dog state run media. Be professional people! for cryin out loud this is the office of the president of the united states, and you’re supposedly the top journalists in the country. This thing sounded like a lounge act. I know there were some tougher questions than in the other press conferences, thank god, but there shouldn’t be 9 or 10 laugh eruptions.

exceller on June 23, 2009 at 7:20 PM

So, now are the Obama people saying he’s STILL doing the right thing by being more forceful?

He started out not wanting to get involved, not he’s come out “strongly” in support of the protestors.
Lemme gues Obama supporters, he’s doing exactly the right thing still, right?

I’m seeing more and more twitter posts NOT wanting our direct support.
But Obama is so obsessed with his falling poll numbers, he’s doing exactly the opposite of what the Iranians want.

So what have Obama’s supporters said today? Heck of a job, Barry for the strong statement?
Or are they mad he’s not staying on the sidelines?

B Man on June 23, 2009 at 7:53 PM

This can’t be passed around enough.. If you are fed up with our representation… Sign this petition…

reshas1 on June 23, 2009 at 4:35 PM

Screw that worthless petition… If your unhappy register to vote and get off your damed lazy ass and VOTE……..

doriangrey on June 23, 2009 at 8:42 PM

I think he did very well today.

I can’t imagine that this is a permanent change for him, but at least he can’t take it back.

I can’t remember a time when all the warnings that were yelled from the rooftops about a politician came true in such vivid detail. This is like watching 50 million fortune tellers have their predictions come true.

csdeven on June 23, 2009 at 8:50 PM

Doofus still can’t bring himself to say the “F” word….Freedom, when it comes to Iran?

It’s like Fonzie trying to say “sorry”.

Fed45 on June 23, 2009 at 8:54 PM

Biden said that in six months, Obama would be tested. But I don’t think it is only a military type crisis that can be a test. I believe that it can be a moral one. And Obama has failed. He failed Neda and all the others killed. In a time when he needed to be leader of the free world, Obama was silent. All he needed to do was say that he condemns the current regime for its actions regarding the senseless killing of their citizens and the the United States of America believe in civil rights and liberties for all. Just like Reagan did in 1981 for the people of Poland. That is all the man had to do. Stand up and say this was wrong and should not continue.

Instead, the President voted present with his silence, more concerned about ice cream, swatting flies and the worship of his main stream media sycophants. Of course, next he will see that military test. Because time and again, he has proven that he does not have the moral nor internal fortitude to make the decisions. All he cares about is the consolidation of his own personal power and his messianic rock star status. So when Al-Qaeda finally gets its hands on a Pakistani nuke and comes over our porous southern border and turns Anytown USA into a pile of radioactive cinders, will his adoring throng then realize the mistake they have made in helping bring this man to power? One can only hope.

Wolftech on June 23, 2009 at 10:11 PM

Regarding the Hot Dog Diplomacy: I really wish someone had asked if they plan to serve kosher hot dogs or the ones made from pig’s lips and goat’s ears.

Barb Dwyer on June 23, 2009 at 10:51 PM

I hate having a president you practically have to beat into submission for days to get him to say the obvious correct thing, like about Iran.

Alana on June 24, 2009 at 12:52 AM

that private insurance can’t compete with a public plan.

Because we’ve all seen what a well-oiled machine Medicare is. The sad thing is, this Columbia educated genius actually believes that. Now Columbia is off the list for my kids. Dang! They are running out of Ivy-League schools to choose from.

Fed45 on June 24, 2009 at 12:54 AM

I hate having a president you practically have to beat into submission for days to get him to say the obvious correct thing, like about Iran.

Alana on June 24, 2009 at 12:52 AM

The beatings will need to continue, because he STILL hasn’t said the correct thing.

Fed45 on June 24, 2009 at 12:55 AM

I do get sick and tired of the ‘Canada bashing’ that seems to follow whenever these types of issues come up

It’s not Canada being “bashed”, it’s the fact that the Canadian govt has chosen to tax its citizens to pay for everyone’s basic healthcare, and the system if flawed. The same “bashing” happens to the UK,and any other country that people believe provides “free” healthcare. I’ll agree it is somewhat a bit unfair in that there are two different systems of Govt. The big issue a lot of “pro-govt. ‘funded’ heathcare” supports seem to forget is that the U.S. Constitution does not grant our Federal Govt the power to take money from me to pay for some else’s healthcare.

Hell, even our doofus-in-chief, who supposedly studied the Constitution and taught it seems to overlook that.

Fed45 on June 24, 2009 at 1:03 AM

. So when Al-Qaeda finally gets its hands on a Pakistani nuke and comes over our porous southern border and turns Anytown USA into a pile of radioactive cinders, will his adoring throng then realize the mistake they have made in helping bring this man to power? One can only hope.

Wolftech on June 23, 2009 at 10:11 PM

No. They won’t care unless it affects them directly. The mind-set is this: We have been bad; we must pay for it. We must pay a penance. Payment in lives is fine. It’s amazing, really, how many leftists live for this sort of thing.

Alana on June 24, 2009 at 1:04 AM

Screw that worthless petition… If your unhappy register to vote and get off your damed lazy ass and VOTE……..

doriangrey on June 23, 2009 at 8:42 PM

It’s not an either/or. I appreciate the link.

Alana on June 24, 2009 at 1:14 AM

Yea, because NO ONE ever dies in the U.S.of A. due to health issues, right?!?

Ummmmm….Save for dying in an accident, at the hands of someone else, or an act of God, doesn’t everyone ultimately die “due to health issues”, regardless of the amount of health care they receive? I’ve yet to hear of a case where a doctor has kept a person alive for..like…ever.

Or are you suggesting there are people that really, really really are sick and are being denied health care, thus dying? If so, what are those numbers? As opposed to those that voluntarily choose not to purchase even catastrophic health care coverage because it would eat into their booze and cigarette budget, or make them unable to purchase an iPhone, XBOX, or a 60″ plasma TV, etc? Just how many people are dying because they’ve been refused heath care, as opposed to choosing to not seek it?

Fed45 on June 24, 2009 at 1:19 AM

I’m the President of the United States

Has there evah been a POTUS who felt the need to remind the US public that “HE” is the Prez, ovah and ovah and ovah again?

Alden Pyle on June 24, 2009 at 7:25 AM

“Conclusion: I’ve been highly critical about Obama’s lack of response on Iran; I think he did very well today. He condemned Iran in unequivocal and harsh terms. Charles Krauthammer says he finally “adopted McCain language,” and points out that Obama always claims consistency whenever he changes direction.”

No, Ed.

1) Krauthammer also said, “criticize but confirm” the bigot Sotomayor.

2) “He did well today?!?” WTF! SOBama is nothing other than an opportunistic charlatan. He said this only to be convenient for the next 5 minutes and to be forgotten when convenient.

Just ask the next schizophrenic Leftist who was screaming over the last week that SOBama’s cowardice over the last days “was the right tactic”, what he thinks today.

heh.

Lockstein13 on June 24, 2009 at 7:43 AM

No soup for you, Chuck! 7 years 3-1/2 years!

Mr_Magoo on June 23, 2009 at 5:20 PM

AZCoyote on June 24, 2009 at 7:45 AM

I’m the President of the United States
Has there evah been a POTUS who felt the need to remind the US public that “HE” is the Prez, ovah and ovah and ovah again?

Alden Pyle on June 24, 2009 at 7:25 AM

Not that I can recall. I’d love to see a psychiatric workup on him because he’s clearly got ego and confidence problems. He’s like the 19 year old college students these days who can’t deal with anything other than glowing comments and an A with lots of stars on their term papers because that’s all they’ve ever got in their lives, whether they deserved it or not.

ProfessorMiao on June 24, 2009 at 7:50 AM

Resign.

Vashta.Nerada on June 24, 2009 at 9:22 AM

Doesn’t anyone care that Obama needed to include the international community’s outrage when discussing the U.S.’s outrage? This disturbs me.

allstonian on June 24, 2009 at 10:31 AM

Has there evah been a POTUS who felt the need to remind the US public that “HE” is the Prez, ovah and ovah and ovah again?

Alden Pyle on June 24, 2009 at 7:25 AM

In my first real job as a manager, my boss, a wizened old guy full of wisdom, told me something I’ll never forget: “If you have to keep reminding your people that you are the boss, you aren’t”.

Vashta.Nerada on June 24, 2009 at 10:50 AM

Yahoo Headline

North Korea accuses the U.S. of provoking another war and warns it will wipe America off the map.

Tony Soprano on June 24, 2009 at 11:23 AM

VDH is pissed

CarolynM on June 24, 2009 at 11:33 AM

“If we start from the premise that the status quo is unacceptable, then we have to make serious changes.” Yes, but 80% of us don’t think the status quo is unacceptable!

Ed, there’s a difference between 80% of people being happy with their own health care currently and 80% of people being happy with the status quo in general. In fact, it is not the case that 80% of people are against health care reform.

tneloms on June 24, 2009 at 12:41 PM

However, we are against the government RUN HEALTHCARE that is sure to come. Go back and read CrockObama’s words as he has clearly stated he wants a one payer system as does Rahm and others on his staff. He can talk all he wants and deny it, but the end result WILL BE to have one healthcare system ran by inept congressmen and women who can’t run anything correctly with GE managing your medical records via GE imagination.

dthorny on June 24, 2009 at 7:37 PM