June 21st, 2012
04:46 PM ET
WASHINGTON (CNN) - With time running out for Congress to prevent a doubling of interest rates on federal student loans, the White House and Republican leaders exchanged accusations Thursday on who was to blame for the lack of an agreement.
President Barack Obama chided Republicans for holding up a deal with unreasonable demands, and he urged college students to continue raising their voices on the issue.
However, spokesmen for Republican leaders in the House and Senate denied an assertion by press secretary Jay Carney that the White House has been working with them to try to reach a deal.
Asked about GOP complaints that the White House has not reached out to Republicans on the issue in recent days, Carney said that "we are actively working with members of Congress to get this done," adding, "in both parties."
Spokesmen for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, disputed Carney's account.
On the Senate floor, McConnell accused Obama and Democrats of playing political games on the issue.
"It is the Democrat-led Senate that has failed to act and the president who has failed to contribute to a solution, and the reason is obvious," McConnell said. "It was reported yesterday that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is launching a website with a student loan countdown clock aimed at raising money off this issue. The implication is that Republicans are the ones dragging their feet. "
May 29th, 2012
06:36 PM ET
WHITE HOUSE (CNN) - President Obama honored a dozen heroes from all different aspects of life to the White House and presented them with the highest civilian honor, the Medal of Freedom. The group of honorees included signer and songwriter Bob Dylan, former astronaut and senator John Glenn, former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and legendary women’s basketball coach Pat Summitt. Three recipients were honored posthumously, including the founder of the Girl Scouts Juliette Gordon Low.
Obama commented that all 13 individuals were personal heroes in his life. He mentioned reading novelist Toni Morrison’s Song of Solomon as a teenager and listening to Dylan’s music when he was in college. He praised John Doar for his work as a Justice Department official who enforced civil rights in the 1960s. “I think it's fair to say that I might not be here had it not been for his work,” the president said.
He also mentioned how the winners had impacted his family, particularly his daughters’ lives.
“Everybody on this stage has marked my life in profound ways. And I was telling - somebody like Pat Summitt - when I think about my two daughters, who are tall and gifted, and knowing that because of folks like Coach Summitt they’re standing up straight and diving after loose balls and feeling confident and strong, then I understand that the impact that these people have had extends beyond me,” Obama said. “It will continue for generations to come.”
For more of the story, check out what our friends at CNN wires wrote here.
February 22nd, 2012
06:58 AM ET
After a night of blues music in the East Room, President Obama joined some rock and blues legends in a rendition of "Sweet Home Chicago." CNN Wires has the story:
Click here for the full story.
January 23rd, 2012
04:47 PM ET
President Obama continued the tradition of hosting championship sports teams to the White House and today it was the NHL's Boston Bruins' turn.
The Bruins beat the Vancouver Canucks in a seven game series to win their Stanley Cup since 1972. President Obama congratulated the team for their long-fought victory.
"These Bruins understand that winning the Stanley Cup is more than just men on ice. It’s about the people that stand behind them," the president said. "And that’s why, since the last buzzer sounded in June, the Bruins have been taking their Cup all over the world to share it with their fans."
The president told the crowd assembled in the East Room that the Cup had been to a sauna in Finland, used in a christening, made its way to Pebble Beach and even was used by head coach Claude Julien's daughter as a cereal bowl.
The Boston Bruins were also congratulated for their work off the ice. The Boston Bruins Foundation donated more that $7 million to charities in New England last year. They also hosted a hockey clinic with local DC children on Monday.
One key member of the Boston Bruins was absent from today's event, goaltender Tim Thomas. According to ESPNnews.com, Thomas made the choice not to come and wouldn't discuss his reasoning with the media. He was expected to make a statement on his Facebook page later in the day.
In the last two weeks, the president hosted the St. Louis Cardinals and the Dallas Mavericks to celebrate their championship seasons as well. The Boston Bruins were in town to play the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night.