Obama: “No Matter What Some Agency May Say, We’ve Always Been And Always Will Be A ‘Triple-A’ Country”

obama press conference july 11

President Barack Obama addressed the S&P downgrade in a statement to the American people Monday, saying “no matter what some agency may say, we’ve always been and always will be a AAA country.”

He called the action by S&P “a warning” and called on the “Super Committee” on deficit reduction to reach a compromise on reforming taxes and Medicare.

Obama added that the downgrade was a reflection of the ratings agency’s doubt in “our political system’s ability to act” to rein in growing deficits.

He called on Congress to quickly pass an increase to the payroll tax cut set to expire next month, warning it could cost as many as 1 million jobs.

In his first public remarks on the subject, Obama also expressed his condolences to the families of the U.S. and Afghan troops killed on Saturday.

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2:04pm | That’s it for Obama.
He walks out without taking any questions. Highlights to follow.

2:02pm | Obama now mentioning the loss of 38 U.S. and Afghan troops on Saturday.
“We will press on, and we will succeed.”

2:01pm | Markets are falling sharply as Obama speaks.

2:01pm | Obama: The American people have been through so much over the last few years. All they ask is that we work just as hard in this town.

2:00pm | “No matter what some agency may say, we’ve always been and always will be a AAA country”

1:59pm | “I know we’ve been going through a tough time right now. We’ve been going through a tough time for the last two and a half years.”.

1:58pm | Obama: We should extend the payroll tax cut as soon as possible.

Obama says if payroll tax cuts not extended, it could mean 1 million fewer jobs

1:57pm | Obama: “The most immediate concern of most Americans is jobs & the slow pace of recovery coming out of the worst recession in our lifetimes”

1:57pm | Obama says Friday was a warning, adding “We will stay on it until we get the job done.”

1:56pm | It’s not a lack of plans that are the problem, it’s a lack of political will to compromise.

1:54pm | Obama says our problems are imminently solvable, and we know what we have to do to solve them.
He calls for tax and entitlement reforms, saying they need “common sense and compromise.” 

1:54pm | Obama: The markets continue to believe our credit status is AAA.

1:53pm | Obama: Downgrade is not about paying back debt, but because after political wrangling, “they doubted our political system’s ability to act”.

1:50pm | Two minute warning.

1:47pm | We’re still waiting for Obama.
No word on what the delay is. 

1:30pm | We’re expecting President Obama any minute.

1:01pm | The White House has just announced that President Obama’s statement has been pushed back to 1:30.
His remarks were originally scheduled for 1 p.m. No reason was given for the delay.