Forget Obama, student wants to meet Bieber
October 18th, 2011
04:42 PM ET

Forget Obama, student wants to meet Bieber

Seeing President Obama may have been exciting enough for students at Bluestone High School in Virginia Tuesday, but at least one girl was hoping the commander-in-chief could put her in touch with someone else.

“Do you know Justin Bieber?" asked a student during the surprise visit.

"I do," Obama responded. "I do. He's a very nice young man... I think he's got a girlfriend. He's a nice guy."

Obama first met the teen pop star sensation at the White House Easter Egg hunt in 2010 and earlier this year the president arranged for Bieber to meet a fan whose father had died during the 9/11 attacks.


Topics: President Obama • The Buzz
Obama links Occupy and Tea Party movements
October 18th, 2011
03:58 PM ET

Obama links Occupy and Tea Party movements

White House officials have largely kept their distance from the month-old Occupy Wall Street movement, to date offering only vague generalities when asked about the largely liberal-leaning groups that have increasingly caused a stir in lower Manhattan and other cities across the country.

But in an interview with ABC News Tuesday, Obama offered his most explicit approval of the movement so far, saying, “I understand the frustrations being expressed in those protests.”

The President went on to compare the Occupy protesters with those of the Tea Party – a comparison Tea Party organizers have vehemently rejected.

“In some ways, they’re not that different from some of the protests that we saw coming from the Tea Party,” Obama told ABC News’ Jake Tapper. “Both on the left and the right, I think people feel separated from their government. They feel that their institutions aren’t looking out for them.”

The movement has posed a challenge to the White House and the Obama campaign - much like the Tea Party has to the GOP - having the potential to reinvigorate a tepid Democratic base but with the risk of alienating a broader swath of Americans.

Asked about the movement Sunday on ABC’s This Week, top Obama campaign aide David Axelrod suggested the protesters’ message is one held by a majority of Americans.

“I don’t think any American is impressed when they see Governor Romney and all the Republican candidates say the first thing they’d do is roll back Wall Street reforms and go back to where we were before the crisis and let Wall Street write its own rules. That will be an issue in this campaign,” he said.


Topics: President Obama
Don’t tell Michelle! Obama not eating so well on the road
October 18th, 2011
02:34 PM ET

Don’t tell Michelle! Obama not eating so well on the road

First Lady Michelle Obama might keep her husband on a healthy diet when he’s in the White House, but it looks like President Obama doesn’t stick to the same rules on the road.

Speaking in Jamestown, North Carolina Tuesday, the president remarked how much he enjoyed a good helping of North Carolina barbecue the day before as well as some “hush puppies” – a deep-fried favorite in the South. Of course, these are some of the same fatty foods Michelle Obama advocates against consuming on a regular basis.

“We stopped for a little North Carolina barbecue and sweet tea along the way. Some hushpuppies. Don’t tell Michelle exactly what was on the menu,” Obama told the laughing crowd.

Looks like the president didn’t eat much better today. According to the pool report, his lunch consisted of a cheeseburger, fries and more sweet tea during a stop at Reid's House Restaurant.

But in the president’s defense, he did spend more than an hour at the gym this morning working off some of those calories.


Topics: President Obama
Can you hear me now?
President Obama speaks on a cell phone handed to him from a woman who greeted him on a stop in Reidsville, NC Tuesday.
October 18th, 2011
02:31 PM ET

Can you hear me now?

Wireless phone companies may have a new spokesman, at least when he’s not busy with his day job.

President Obama, continuing his bus trip Tuesday through North Carolina knows outdated technology when he sees it.  The president greeted well wishers in at an unscheduled stop in Reidsville, NC.

Spotting a young woman in the crowd on her cell phone, the president admonished, “You need a new phone!” According to pool reports the woman handed her “clunky, cordless” phone to Mr. Obama asking him to speak to her grandmother.  The president affably asked, "How you been doing?"
But then also put in a plug for better technology saying, "Your granddaughter needs a new cell phone."

FULL POST


Topics: Bus Tour • President Obama • The Buzz
Obama goes after Rove group’s ad
October 18th, 2011
01:43 PM ET

Obama goes after Rove group’s ad

It’s not often President Obama calls out negative advertising from his political opponents, but it appears one in particular caught his eye Monday night.

Obama told a crowd in Jamestown, North Carolina that he was watching Monday Night Football when he saw an ad that he thought suggested he was for raising taxes on the middle class.

“I was watching the football game last night, and they had some ad that didn’t really make much sense,” Obama said.

The ad in question was most likely the recent effort of the Karl Rove-backed group American Crossroads, which said last week it was buying airtime in the North Carolina and Virginia markets to coincide with the president’s trip.

Released earlier this month, the ad splices together several news clips that suggest the president is seeking to raise taxes. A narrator says the president is “different” than he was in 2009 when he declared it is not a good idea to raise taxes during a recession.

Apparently, Obama was no fan of the ad.

“Let me just be crystal clear just in case your friends or neighbors ask about this,” he told the crowd Tuesday. “What we have said is, in order to pay for the jobs plan and to close our deficit we should ask the very wealthiest Americans, top 2 percent, to pay a little bit more.”

“Don’t be bamboozled,” he continued. “Don’t fall for this notion that somehow the jobs act is proposing to raise your taxes. It’s just not true.”


Topics: President Obama
Biden to make NH candidacy official on Thursday
(Lesa Jansen/CNN)
October 18th, 2011
12:59 PM ET

Biden to make NH candidacy official on Thursday

Today the White House released a statement confirming what CNN's Rachel Streitfeld reported on the Political Ticker yesterday: Vice President Joe Biden will head to New Hampshire on Thursday to officially file papers for President Obama to compete in the state's first-in-the-nation primary. While in New Hampshire, Biden will also deliver remarks at Plymouth State University, calling on Congress to pass the portion of the American Jobs Act that provides money to help states avoid laying-off teachers and first responders.

Check out CNN's original reporting here.

POTUS Day Ahead: Tuesday Oct. 18, 2011
President Obama kicks off his three-day, two-state bus tour to see the American Jobs Act by speaking to a crowd at the Asheville Regional Airport in Asheville, NC. (Becky Brittain/CNN)
October 18th, 2011
11:18 AM ET

POTUS Day Ahead: Tuesday Oct. 18, 2011

Today President Obama continues on day two what the White House is calling the “American Jobs Act Bus Tour” of North Carolina and Virginia. After failing in his efforts to convince Congress to pass his jobs bill in its entirety, the president has now shifted his focus to specific pieces of the bill, beginning with $35 billion to help states avoid laying-off teachers, firefighters and police officers.

According to the White House, that money comes in the form of $30 billion in “teach stabilization funds, which will support state and local efforts to retain, rehire, and hire educators as well as $5 billion for first responders.”

The president’s first event today will be in Jamestown, NC at Guilford Technical Community College Children’s Center. He’ll participate in a roundtable with teachers and students and highlight the potential benefits his jobs bill might have on that community.

According to the White House, here are the participants in the roundtable:

Mary Skrabec, Department Chair, GTCC Early Childhood Education Program
Craig Babcock, Elementary School Teacher, Millis Road Elementary School
Linda Phillips, Reading and Communications Teacher, Ragsdale High School
Shelby Kroh, Student at GTCC in the Early Childhood Education Program
Tyresse Wade, Student in the Learning Assistance Center at GTCC

After the roundtable, the president will deliver remarks at the Jamestown YMCA, where he will be introduced by Linda Phillips. According to the White House, Phillips is “a reading and communications teacher at Ragsdale High School who may be laid off next year if the school does not receive additional funding.”

In the afternoon, the president will visit two high schools in Virginia. First he will tour a computer lab and watch a robotics demonstration before traveling to Greensville High School in Emporia, VA to deliver remarks on his jobs act.

Here is the official schedule, which is sure to be supplemented as the day goes on with plenty of roadside stops: FULL POST


Topics: Bus Tour • President Obama
Presidential van stolen
An example of the typical set-up that travels with President Obama from an event in Pittsburgh, PA on Oct. 11. Reportedly, a teleprompter system, podium and presidential seal like the ones seen here were stolen along with a government van in Virginia this week. (CNN/Adam Aigner-Treworgy)
October 18th, 2011
10:46 AM ET

Presidential van stolen

Central Virginia’s WWBT-TV is reporting that a van belonging to President Obama’s advance staff was stolen outside the Virginia Center Commons Courtyard Marriott in Henrico, VA just days before the president’s scheduled visit to Chesterfield on Wednesday.

The van contained about $200,000 worth of audio equipment, podiums and presidential seals. On Monday, officials confirmed to WWBT that the van had been recovered outside a Holiday Inn Express near the Richmond Airport. Here’s the original story.

CNN has obtained this statement from the Defense Information Systems Agency on the reports of a stolen van and presidential equipment:

“A government vehicle was stolen and has been recovered. No classified or sensitive information was in the vehicle.  We take incidents such as this very seriously, and a formal investigation is continuing in coordination with relevant law enforcement agencies.”

The original story from WWBT can be found here.


Topics: Bus Tour • President Obama