February 28th, 2012
04:27 PM ET

Analysis: Obama sees 'load of you know what' from GOP

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama chose the day of the Michigan Republican primary for what might be his highest octane attack on the Republican candidates to date.

He hit them where the Obama team believes the GOP has the upper hand: the auto bailout.

Speaking to a fired up audience at a United Auto Workers conference in Washington, the president took a swipe at Mitt Romney without naming him telling the crowd, "some even said we should 'let Detroit go bankrupt.'"

Later he went after Republican opposition to the bailout by nearly cussing:

"They're saying that the problem is that you, the workers, made out like bandits in all of this; that saving the American auto industry was just about paying back unions. Really? Even by the standards of this town, that's a load of you-know-what!"
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Obama looking to Michigan on GOP primary day
February 28th, 2012
10:45 AM ET

Obama looking to Michigan on GOP primary day

(CNN) – Michigan is a two hour plane ride from Washington, but President Obama on Tuesday will only have to travel a couple miles north of the White House to campaign there.

Close to 2,000 auto workers meeting in the nation’s capital this week constitute a key bloc of support for the president’s reelection campaign as it looks to put Michigan in the win column next November.

The White House maintains Obama’s appearance at the annual United Auto Workers Conference isn’t a political event. But the overtones of the president’s impending reelection fight are anything but subtle as he will implicitly contrast his record of supporting a bailout of the auto industry three years ago with that of leading presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

The political calculus is obvious: according to the Obama campaign, close to 22 percent of Michigan’s workforce is supported by the auto industry. That amounts to a significant swath of voters in a key swing state who the president is hoping are receptive to his argument that his actions saved hundreds of thousands of jobs.

Meanwhile, the Republican White House hopefuls have had to awkwardly navigate their positions that the $80 billion government bailout of the industry was a mistake - a stance that polls show even half of Michigan Republicans disagree with, including the state’s GOP governor.
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Topics: President Obama • The News
Morning Briefing, February 28
February 28th, 2012
08:39 AM ET

Morning Briefing, February 28

The 1600 Report's daily roundup of what the White House is reading this morning online and in the papers:

Michigan testing ground for doubt on Romney [NYT]

More backlash for Santorum’s snob comment [WashPost]

New book hits Obama’s economic team [NYT]

What’s happened to Obama’s faith council [POLITICO]

Obama’s embrace of the Executive Order [Bloomberg]

Corporate taxes the next White House battle [POLITICO]

POTUS' Day Ahead: Shoring up the UAW vote
February 28th, 2012
08:16 AM ET

POTUS' Day Ahead: Shoring up the UAW vote

It's primary day in Michigan for the Republican presidential race and President Obama is taking the opportunity to shore up his own support in the state with a speech before United Auto Workers Tuesday. The president is expected to tout his administration's record in helping rescue the auto industry from the brink of collapse three years ago and save thousands of union jobs in the process. Polls show the government's bailout of the industry is largely popular in Michigan, putting the president on the same side of a majority of voters in this crucial swing state. Meanwhile, the White House can't resist offering a contrast between the president and Mitt Romney, who has awkwardly tried to defend his stance that the government should have let Detroit go through a structured bankruptcy without any bailout funds.

Full Schedule after the jump:
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Topics: Daily Schedule
February 27th, 2012
05:26 PM ET

GOP governors find common ground with President

Washington (CNN) - After attending a noon-time speech by President Obama that focused primarily on education reform, many of the nation’s most conservative governors spoke to reporters outside the White House on Monday and said that they’d heard some things they liked in the president’s message.

“We absolutely have to have the best educational system in the entire world, so I do agree with the need for educational reform,” Louisiana’s Republican Governor Bobby Jindal told reporters.

Perhaps indicating why the president chose the topic, Jindal quickly went on to outline his disagreements with the Obama administration’s approach to almost every other issue other than education.

“I walked into the meetings this morning believing that we need to have a conservative in the White House. I left the meetings continuing to believe that,” Jindal said.

Jindal’s reaction was not unique. Visiting the White House as part of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, several often-critical governors reacted positively to the president’s call for a redoubled focus on education.

“There was a lot of broad agreement on education today,” said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a widely-rumored top contender for the vice presidential spot on the GOP ticket in November.

McDonnell went on to call the president “very gutsy” in his approach to education reform, praising both Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for their actions to force policy changes in public schools.

“I mean he's been very outspoken on that and we certainly agree with him on that,” McDonnell said. “I think there's broad room for support on those issues.”
FULL POST


Topics: Education • President Obama • The Buzz
Obama responds to Santorum’s ‘snob’ jab?
February 27th, 2012
01:09 PM ET

Obama responds to Santorum’s ‘snob’ jab?

Washington (CNN) – The White House repeatedly maintains President Obama isn’t monitoring the day-to-day rhetoric Republicans fire at him on the campaign trail. But the president all but directly responded to Rick Santorum’s latest jab.

Over the weekend, during which the former Pennsylvania senator called Obama a “snob” for suggesting all young Americans should go to college, Santorum told supporters in Michigan, “Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his,”

Speaking before most of the nation's governors at the White House Monday, the president appeared to hit back at Santorum’s comments without mentioning the Republican presidential candidate by name.

“I have to make a point here,” the president said. “When I speak about higher education, we're not just talking about a four year degree.”

“We're talking about somebody going to a community college and getting trained for that manufacturing job that now is requiring somebody walking through the door handling a million dollar piece of equipment, and they can't go in there unless they've got some basic training beyond what they received in high school,” he continued.

During his State of the Union Address last month, Obama said of the issue, "Higher education can't be a luxury - it is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford."

Standing by his comments in a subsequent interview Sunday, Santorum said, "Barack Obama is a person of the left. He is someone who believes in big government. He believes in the values that are, unfortunately, the dominant values, and political values, and overly politicized values, and politically correct values that are on most college and university campuses."


Topics: President Obama • The News
Obama up in new poll
February 27th, 2012
10:00 AM ET

Obama up in new poll

CNN's Political Ticker has the latest poll for Obama showing his approval rating has shot up above 50 percent.  In addition, he leads the entire GOP field by significant margins:

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama holds double digit leads over the top two GOP presidential candidates, according to a new national survey.

A Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll released Monday indicates Obama topping former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 53% to 43% in a hypothetical general election matchup, with the president leading former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania 53% to 42%.

Full story HERE


Topics: Uncategorized
Morning Briefing
February 27th, 2012
09:55 AM ET

Morning Briefing

The 1600 Report's daily roundup of what the White House is reading this morning online and in the papers:

Obama has big leads over Romney, Santorum [CNN]

Obama’s got a deficit dilemma [NYT]

Santorum defends calling Obama a snob [WashPost]

Gassy rhetoric over gas prices [WashPost]

Dem governors bullish on Obama’s re-election chances [Bloomberg]

Is GOP handing Michigan to Obama? [DailyBeast]

POTUS' Day Ahead: Invasion of the governors
February 27th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

POTUS' Day Ahead: Invasion of the governors

Good morning from the White House.  The president welcomes all the governors to the White House this morning where he and Vice President Biden will deliver remarks.  Look for CNN to carry those live.  The remarks come a day after the president hosted the governors for a dinner and entertainment at the White House, which featured an elaborate meal and entertainment.

Later, the president will attend a high-dollar fundraiser in Washington, DC.  We expect to get more details later on exactly how much the president will raise.

Full Schedule after the jump:

FULL POST


Topics: Daily Schedule • The News
Morning briefing
February 24th, 2012
09:03 AM ET

Morning briefing

The 1600 Report's daily roundup of what the White House is reading this morning online and in the papers:

Gas prices rise 12 cents in past week (CNN Money)

World powers convene to map out Syria aid plan amid reports of violence (CNN.com)

After a year, deep divisions hobble Syria's opposition (NYTimes)

Afghanistan Koran protests: Eight die on fourth day (BBC)

Newt Gingrich criticizes U.S. apology (HuffPost)

Obama's budget flunks the marshmallow test (WSJ)