August 12th, 2011
01:01 PM ET
There was no on-camera briefing at the White House today, but Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest held an off-camera gaggle and laid out some of the details of the president’s bus trip next week.
Earnest also downplayed President Obama’s promise yesterday that in the coming weeks he would be laying out new proposals “week by week, that will help businesses hire and put people back to work.”
Here are some of our notes from the Earnest’s gaggle:
– The president was speaking more “broadly” yesterday when he said he would be rolling out new jobs proposals week by week.
“I don’t think he was committing to a 9:30 a.m. Monday morning announcement for the next several weeks. But rather I do think that he was talking about …that there are a number of things that the American people expect of their President in these difficult economic times.”
– The president’s plan to roll out new proposals is not a sign that his current proposals are insufficient. In other words, he’s not looking for “different economic proposals,” he’s looking for “additional economic proposals, additional things that we can do to get our economy moving again.”
– The president did not watch last night’s GOP debate, but has probably read some of the news coverage.
– The moment that caught the White House’s attention was when all the candidates raised their hands to say they would reject a deficit reduction proposal that contained a 10-1 spending cuts to tax increases ratio. "That's clearly not where the American people are.”
– Earnest’s longer response: "Not even asking corporate jet owners to assume one tenth of the burden that we're asking college students to bear. That middle class families – that they would not even consider asking millionaires and billionaires to bare one tenth of the burden that middle class families would be asked to bear in a deficit reduction package." That doesn’t reflect where the majority of democrats and independents are.
– The stops on next week’s bus trip were confirmed today…
MONDAY: Cannon Falls, MN and Decorah, IA
TUESDAY: Rural economic forum in Peosta, IA (probably expect some town hall style events here)
WEDNESDAY: Atkinson, IL and Alpha, IL (the president will travel back to DC Weds night)
– Earnest previewed the bus trip this way: “…the President views it as one of the chief responsibilities in office to spend some time outside Washington, D.C., talking to people all across the country about the economy and about how they’re impacted by the policy decisions that he’s making here in Washington, D.C. That isn’t just an appropriate thing for a President to do, it’s something that a President should do. So he’s going to spend time in Minnesota, in Iowa, in Illinois doing exactly that.”
– Also the plan is for the president to travel to Martha’s Vineyard for a vacation with his family on Thurs
– Earnest was asked why the president keeps pushing for Congress to pass trade deals when the White House hasn’t sent them over to Congress yet. His initial response was, “have we not sent them over yet?” He then pointed reporters to ask the US Trade Representative or Congress about the “legislative mechanics,” emphasizing that “there’s agreement here about the benefits of these trade agreements getting through the Congress, both here at the White House and Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill.”
– He would not confirm when exactly today’s meeting between the president and various corporate executives was set up, but said it was not in response to the market’s volatility this week and that today’s meeting was “similar to meetings he’s had pretty regularly” throughout his presidency.
– Earnest also avoided confirming who the attendees will be at today’s meeting, but CNN has since learned that John Stumpf, President and CEO of Wells Fargo, and Ursula M. Burns, Chairman and CEO of Xerox, will be in attendance this afternoon.