12:14: Final question is from a Fox News reporter regarding the Ground Zero Mosque. Lame.
12:02: Question about the justice system. 9/11 trials.
11:54: Afghanistan/corruption/middle east question. Not extending much.
Not much an answer here. Press conference kinda droning on at this point.
11:49: Question about the poverty agenda (LBJ and MLK).
Talks about importance of the issue, background in community organising. “Constantly thinking about how we create ladders for communities and individuals to climb into the middle class.”
Creating jobs is way more important than any program or transfer program.
What we want to be focused on is broad-based job growth, and broad-based economic expansion.
11:41: Jake Tapper asks a question about the Florida Pastor. “Were you concerned that you were elevating someone from the fringe?” Also, asks a healthcare reform plan.
He gives an answer about how “we” shouldn’t burn a text (which is absurd, since one wacko in Florida doesn’t represent everyone.) Then he talks about threat to the troops.
“I hardly think we’re the ones who elevated this story” (An attack on the media).
As for healthcare, he says it will take a while.
11:36: Middle East question fro ma Ha’aretz reporter.
Basically the process is ongoing.
11:32: 9/11 question… After all these years, why all the anger towards Muslims now?
Answer: At a time when the country is anxious generally, and going through a tough time, angers, suspicious and fears go up.
Urges American people to hang out to our values (religious tolerance, clarity about who, exactly, our enemies are [Al Qaeda]).
11:27: How do you change Washington?
Not much of an answer. He slams GOP.
11:24: Question about Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and whether Elizabeth Warren is the leading candidate.
He immediately deflects the question, and goes into an explanation of the CFPB, and how good it will be for Americans.
As for Elizabeth Warren… “I have been in conversations with her, she is a tremendous advocate for this idea… I’ll have an announcement soon.”
As for Senate nominations, he says “I’m concerned for all nominations these days.”
11:23: “So is this a second stimulus?”
Obama: There’s no doubt that everything we’ve been trying to do is designed to stimulate growth and jobs in the economy.”
11:19: Why did you wait so late into the campaign season to roll out new measures? And why do you avoid the word “stimulus” like the plague? Is it because the original stimulus was so unpopular?
So far no answer on the stimulus question, but the question has clearly jarred him. Defending original stimulus.
Still not really answering the question.
11:16: Is there room for middle ground on tax cuts for the wealthy being extended?
Obama quickly segues to the small business bill and goes back to hammering GOP.
“We could, this month, give every American certainty and tax relief up to $250k per year.”
11:13: Goes back to slamming GOP’s policies “We know where that lead.”
11:11: Going on about how bad the economy remains “They’re not feeling good right now… and I understand that.”
11:09: Question about November election. “If it’s just a referendum on whether we’ve made the progress we need to, then the answer is ‘we’re not they’re yet'”
11:09: Q&A time.
11:07: Officially announces Austan Goolsbee as top economic advisor, replacing Christina Romer.
11:06: Obama applauds OH Sen. Voinovich for breaking with GOP on small business bill.
He sounds upset.
11:05: Tearing into GOP for blocking small business bill.
11:03: Still in the preamble “Millions of Americans still looking for work.”
Talking up past announcement “plan to build railways, roadways, and runways.”
11:02: And he’s starting off IMMEDIATELY with a slam on the GOP, blaming them for the current crisis.
“We believe in cutting taxes for middle class families and small business owners.”
11:02: And here’s The President…
11:01: Still no President…
We’ll be covering Barack Obama’s news conference on the economy live.
The market is currently up about 0.5%. We’ll see if he says anything market- moving.
He’s scheduled to begin at 11:00 AM ET.
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