By Jueseppi B.
Full – President Obama final news conference of his first term 1/14/2013
Published on Jan 14, 2013
United States President Barack Obama Final Last press conference of his first term – Answer all reporters questions – Full speech President Obama January 1/14/2013 – re-elected USA president Pres. Obama listing women he appointed in first term, says 50% of his White House staff were women. “We have to break the habit of negotiating through crisis over and over again.”
Staying on the subject of what’s expected to be another tough battle over raising the federal debt ceiling, the president says “what I will not do is have that negotiation with a gun to the American people” — referring to the possibility that the government might go into default or have to shutdown because his opponents won’t approve an increase in that borrowing limit.
You can’t go out to dinner, “eat all you want and then leave without paying the check,” the president says, as he again argues that all increasing the debt ceiling does is let the government pay bills that Congress has already racked up.
Obama: No ‘Ransom’ Over the Debt Ceiling
“All Of Washington” Would Be Blamed For A Shutdown:
If Republicans do insist that the federal debt ceiling won’t be increased unless Democrats agree to additional spending cuts, the president says, “I suspect the American people would blame all of Washington for not being able to get its act together.”
But if that happens, he makes the case that it will be Republicans’ fault. “Ultimately, Congress makes the decisions about whether we spend money and … keep this government open,” he says. And, “they have the votes in the House of Representatives” to potentially force a shutdown over the debt ceiling issue.
“My hope is that common sense prevails,” Obama adds, as he again makes the case that increasing the debt ceiling only allows the government to pay bills that it has already incurred — not to increase future spending.
Obama: ‘We Are Not A Deadbeat Nation’
Crisis Negotiating Has To End:
The nation has to “break the habit of negotiating through crisis, over and over again,” the president says, as he again makes the case that talks about deficit reduction should not be tied to a debate over raising the federal borrowing limit.
Obama: Gun Owner Fear “Good For Business”
Gun Control Opponents Are “Ginning Up Fear”:
Asked about the surge in gun sales since the Dec. 14 mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., the president says “we’ve seen for some time now that those who oppose any common sense gun control or gun safety measures have a pretty effective way of ginning up fear on the part of gun owners that somehow the federal government is going to take their guns away.”
Such fears, he says, are unfounded.
Obama Defends Diversity Of His Administration
Don’t “Rush To Judgment” On Diversity Of His Team:
His first-term White House staff and Cabinet were “as diverse or more diverse” as any in history, Obama says. Now that he’s nominated four white men to key positions in his second term, there’s been talk that he isn’t including women or minorities. “I would just suggest that everybody wait until they’ve seen all my appointments … before they rush to judgment,” Obama says.
Asked about criticism that he’s aloof or not friendly enough toward Washington lawmakers, the president says, “I’m a pretty friendly guy and I like a good party.” When members of both parties are invited to the White House, he says, “I enjoy their company.”
With his daughters getting older, the president jokes, he may be a bit more lonely in coming years. So, he might be “calling around looking for somebody to play cards with” — including Republicans. But he expresses doubt about whether that would help get any of the big issues settled.
From The Atlantic Wire:
President Obama says he will not negotiate with Republicans over raising the federal debt ceiling. The president held on the his final press conference of his first term Monday.
President Obama delivered the final press conference of his first term today, focusing almost entirely on the debt ceiling fight and gun control. While declining to offer any new details on either front during the hour-long Q&A (that did not feature very many Qs), nor giving any hint as to what he might do should Congress fail to raise the debt ceiling, the president reiterated his earlier comments that responsibility lies with Congress to pay for the spending that it has already authorized. “They will not collect a ransom in exchange for not crashing the American economy,” he said. President Obama repeated several times some version of the line that the United States is not “a deadbeat nation” and must pay its bills, making that the dominant message of the midday press conference, his first major one since just after Election Day.
On gun control, the president said he believes that an assault weapons ban, stronger background checks, and limits on magazine clips are proposals that he believes “make sense” in an ongoing effort to curb gun violence, but added that he’s not sure if any of the proposals will actually make it through Congress. He said he expected to brief the nation on Vice President Biden‘s proposals later in the week.
The press conference ended with an odd question about whether the president is social enough. His response was that he’s very friendly to Congresspeople (“I like a good party”), but that ultimately it doesn’t help get deals done, because those are who are friendliest to him often get attacked by their own party. Though he hopes that changes as his daughters are getting older and “I’m getting kind of lonely in this big house.”
Read the rest of this story at The Atlantic Wire.
Full transcript available from The Washington Post.
From The President:
“And I just want to repeat, because I think sometimes the American people understandably aren’t following all — all the debates here in Washington. Raising the debt ceiling does not authorize us to spend more. All it does is say, that America will pay its bills. And we are not a deadbeat nation.”
“And the consequences of us not paying our bills, as I outlined in my opening statement, would be disastrous. So, I understand the impulse to try to get around this in a simple way. But there’s one way to get around this. There’s one way to deal with it, and that is for Congress to authorize me to pay for those items of spending that they have already authorized. And the — you know the — the notion that Republicans in — in the House, or maybe some Republicans in the Senate would suggest that in order for us to get our way on our spending priorities, that we would risk the full faith and credit of the United States, that I think is not what the founders intended.”
“That’s now how I think most Americans think our democracy should work. You know they’ve got a point of view. Democrats in Congress have a point of view. They need to sit down, and — and work out a compromise.”
Complete transcript at The Washington Post.