September 28th, 2011
05:17 PM ET

Obama’s uneasy relationship with black voters

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Washington (CNN) - President Obama always takes a broader view on issues of race and his policies. He likes to point out that whether he’s pushing for health care reform or more jobs, all Americans not just blacks stand to benefit.

This approach has not gone unnoticed.

Now, as the president courts black voters who were key to his success in 2008, some of them are less than enthusiastic.

"I think the expectations, however unrealistic, from the community are higher for him to quote un quote help us," said Darian “Big Tigger” Morgan, one of Washington DC’s top urban radio morning hosts. “That being said, I still think many people are very very supportive of President Obama,” he added.
FULL POST


Topics: President Obama • The News
White House confident Supreme Court will uphold health care law
September 28th, 2011
04:31 PM ET

White House confident Supreme Court will uphold health care law

The Obama administration is putting on a confident face when it comes to the debate being waged in federal courts over the health care law.

In a blog post explaining why the Justice Department is formally asking the Supreme Court to take up the matter this term, Deputy Senior White House Advisor Stephanie Cutter writes she is confident the high court will overturn a recent federal court’s decision that held the law’s mandate unconstitutional:

Opponents of reform wrongly claim that Congress exceeded its authority in regulating when and how people pay for health care. Those who claim that the “individual responsibility” provision exceeds Congress’ power to regulate interstate commerce because it penalizes “inactivity” are simply wrong. People who make a decision to forego health insurance do not opt out of the health care market. Their action is not felt by themselves alone. Instead, when they become ill or injured and cannot pay their bills, their costs are shifted to others. Those costs – $43 billion in 2008 alone – are borne by doctors, hospitals, insured individuals, taxpayers and small businesses throughout the nation.

Entire blog post HERE.


Topics: The News
Obama's fiery speech to CBC defended
September 28th, 2011
04:06 PM ET

Obama's fiery speech to CBC defended

Washington (CNN) - A White House official is defending controversial comments President Obama made in a weekend speech to the Congressional Black Caucus.

“It was meant as a rallying cry,” the official said.

As the president was nearing the end of his speech he tried to pump up the audience with a rift punctuated by loud applause.

“I am going to press on for jobs,” he said, then telling those in the room, “I expect all of you to march with me and press on. Take off your bedroom slippers, put on your marching shoes. Shake it off. Stop complaining, stop grumbling, stop crying.”

Representative Maxine Waters, D-California, told CNN she found the comment “curious,” and she speculated that the president had gone “off script.”

The White House official said that in fact it was an ad-lib moment, but insisted that the audience gave the president more than a warm embrace.


Topics: The News
Obama plays teacher-in-chief
September 28th, 2011
03:39 PM ET

Obama plays teacher-in-chief

President Obama marked the beginning of the school year Wednesday, urging students in a speech broadcast to many public schools to stay determined to succeed:

It starts, obviously, with being the best student that you can be. Now, that doesn’t always mean that you have to have a perfect score on every assignment. It doesn’t mean that you’ve got to get straight As all the time - although that’s not a bad goal to have. It means that you have to stay at it. You have to be determined and you have to persevere. It means you’ve got to work as hard as you know how to work. And it means that you’ve got to take some risks once in a while. You can’t avoid the class that you think might be hard because you’re worried about getting the best grade if that’s a subject that you think you need to prepare you for your future. You’ve got to wonder. You’ve got to question. You’ve got to explore. And every once in a while, you need to color outside of the lines.

Text of Obama's full speech after the jump:
FULL POST


Topics: President Obama
GOP stifling efforts for immigration reform, Obama says
September 28th, 2011
01:59 PM ET

GOP stifling efforts for immigration reform, Obama says

Seeking to shore up his support with members of the Hispanic community, President Obama held a Latino roundtable in the White House Wednesday, where he did his best to deflect criticisms over immigration issues.

From the CNN Wire:

Washington (CNN) - Republicans lack the leadership to put comprehensive immigration reform back to the table, President Barack Obama said Wednesday during an online roundtable about issues in the Hispanic community.

Obama reiterated that he he supports a pathway for legal status for the millions of undocumented immigrants currently living in the United States. His immigration vision includes having undocumented immigrants pay a fine or learn English, or other steps that will lead to citizenship. Tough border security enforcement and actions against employers who hire illegal immigrants are the other pillars of his plan.

But immigration reform has not been on the table, even though in the past, Republicans such as George W. Bush and John McCain supported the idea.

More HERE


Topics: The News
Morning Briefing: Economists warn of Congressional inaction
September 28th, 2011
08:25 AM ET

Morning Briefing: Economists warn of Congressional inaction

Good news for the White House today as Bloomberg News releases a new survey of 34 economists this morning that shows most think the president’s jobs plan would help stave off a double-dip recession. The economists’ median estimates predict the plan “would increase gross domestic product by 0.6 percent next year and add or keep 275,000 workers on payrolls. …The program would also lower the jobless rate by 0.2 percentage point in 2012, economists said.” [Bloomberg]

One symptom of the flailing economy that was largely left out of the president’s jobs plan is the housing market, but reports out today from the Mortgage Bankers Association show that stimulus efforts taken by the Federal Reserve have had at least some effect. Mortgage applications filed in the U.S. last week rose 9.3% from the previous week, and refinance activity climbed 11%. [Dow Jones Newswires]

Here are a few other stories the White House is reading this morning:

S&P 500 Index Futures, Stocks Advance as Commodities Pare Losses [Bloomberg]

Stocks: Europe enthusiasm growing [CNN Money]

China Set to Enter 'Space Age' by Launching Own Space Station Module [International Business Times]

Surveys: Health insurance costs shifted to workers, even as premiums surge [Washington Post]

Republican field: They may be rich but do not call them elite [Los Angeles Times]

Romney camp says fund-raising is down [Boston Globe]

Reelection won’t be easy, Obama strategist says [Boston Globe]

Iran planning to send ships near U.S. waters [CNN Wire]

CNN Poll: Trust in government at all time low [CNN Political Unit]

President Obama's day ahead: Virtual Latino roundtable
President Barack Obama delivering hist first - hotly debated - back-to-school speech to students across the country on Tuesday, September 8, 2009. He spoke at a high school in Arlington, Virginia. (Shawna Shepherd/CNN)
September 28th, 2011
07:53 AM ET

President Obama's day ahead: Virtual Latino roundtable

Good Wednesday morning from the White House. The president participates in an “Open for Questions” roundtable in the Map Room today at 11:25am, taking online questions from mostly Latino participants. The event will be streamed live on the White House website. Then later in the afternoon the president will visit Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington DC to deliver his 3rd annual back to school speech. He will then meet with Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta and Vice President Biden in the Oval Office.

There will be a briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney at 12 noon. Here’s the whole schedule:

11:25AM        THE PRESIDENT participates in an "Open for Questions" roundtable – Map Room (The event will be streamed live at whitehouse.gov/live in both English and dubbed into Spanish)

12:30PM         THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet for lunch – Private Dining Room (Closed Press)

1:30PM           THE PRESIDENT delivers his third annual Back-to-School Speech – Benjamin Banneker Academic High School, Washington, DC (Open Press)

4:30PM           THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT meet with Secretary of Defense Panetta – Oval Office (Closed Press)


Topics: Daily Schedule