Obama takes his SOTU message on the road
February 13th, 2013
02:57 PM ET

Obama takes his SOTU message on the road

ASHEVILLE, North Carolina (CNN)-  Seeking to build momentum and rally support for his jobs agenda, President Obama began the first of three campaign-style day trips around the country Wednesday a day after his fourth State of the Union address.

Traveling to Asheville, North Carolina Mr. Obama spoke at an auto parts plant to highlight his proposals he hopes will make America a "magnet" for jobs and manufacturing.

"I believe in manufacturing I think it makes our country stronger," Mr. Obama told the small crowd of workers gathered around the makeshift podium in the center of the factory.

Calling the middle class the "true engine of American economic growth" and "the North star that guides everything we do,"  the president warned there would be "no magic bullet".

He went on to try to rally support for his proposals now stalled in a partisan Congress.

“[W]e've got to stop with some of the politics that we see in Washington sometimes that's focused on who's up and who's down, and let's just focus on the same kind of common sense and cooperation that we're seeing at this plant," said Mr. Obama.  FULL POST

U.S. economy contracts for first time since recession
January 30th, 2013
11:00 AM ET

U.S. economy contracts for first time since recession

Uncle Sam cut spending and businesses drew down inventories in the fourth quarter of 2012, causing the U.S. economy to contract for the first time in more than three years.

But don't start throwing around the R-word just yet.

"No one I know would seriously call this an indicator of recession," said Bill Hampel, chief economist with the Credit Union National Association.

Gross domestic product, the broadest measure of the nation's economic growth, contracted at an annual rate of 0.1% from October to December, the Commerce Department said Wednesday. It was the first quarterly contraction since the second quarter of 2009, amid the Great Recession.

Full story

Topics: Economy
The power of the (auto) pen
In this handout photo from the White House President Obama swims in Hawaii on his holiday vacation last year. He directed the signing of the fiscal cliff bill via "auto pen" Wednesday while vacationing in Hawaii.
January 3rd, 2013
11:23 AM ET

The power of the (auto) pen

Honolulu, Hawaii (CNN) - If you are a president who desperately wants to salvage your Hawaiian vacation, why stick around Washington to sign a bill when an automatic pen can do it for you?

That’s what happened Wednesday when the long-haggled over bill to avert the fiscal cliff was delivered to the White House for the president’s signature. With Obama 5,000 miles away in Hawaii, aides decided to prepare the president with an electronic version of the document for his review rather than commission a special flight to currier over the document.

Upon review of the electronic copy, the president directed his signature be affixed to the bill – via that auto pen back in Washingon. It’s a move that, while convenient, raised questions over just how a president can make a bill become a law.

After all, Article I, Section 7, of the Constitution provides that a bill must be presented to the president and “[i]f he approve he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it” (emphasis added).

So can an auto-pen, where the president himself is not technically signing, conform to what the Constitution demands? FULL POST

Topics: Congress • Economy • Fiscal Cliff • President Obama
Monday: Road trip for fiscal cliff
December 10th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Monday: Road trip for fiscal cliff

President Obama hits the road again to talk about the impending fiscal cliff and to continue to pressure Republicans to make a deal by the end of the year. He heads to Michigan to visit the Diamler Detroit Diesel plant to meet with middle-class Americans to talk about how the economy is rebounding but Congress should not save tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. He'll tour the plant and then make remarks before returning back to Washington for the evening.

Guidance from the White House:

9:00AM In-Town Pool Call Time

9:45AM THE PRESIDENT and THE VICE PRESIDENT receive the Presidential Daily Briefing

Oval Office (Closed Press)

10:50AM THE PRESIDENT departs the White House en route Joint Base Andrews

South Lawn (Travel Pool Coverage)

11:05AM THE PRESIDENT departs Joint Base Andrews

Out-of-Town Travel Pool Coverage

12:30PM THE PRESIDENT arrives Michigan

Metro-Wayne County Airport (Open Press)

1:35PM THE PRESIDENT tours Daimler Detroit Diesel plant

Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant, Redford, Michigan (Out-of-Town Travel Pool Coverage)

2:00PM THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks

Daimler Detroit Diesel Plant, Redford, Michigan (Open Press)

2:55PM THE PRESIDENT departs Michigan

Metro-Wayne County Airport (Open Press)

4:15PM THE PRESIDENT arrives Joint Base Andrews

Out-of-Town Travel Pool Coverage

4:30PM THE PRESIDENT arrives the White House

South Lawn (Open Press)

Briefing Schedule

Press Secretary Jay Carney will gaggle aboard Air Force One


Topics: Daily Schedule • Economy • Fiscal Cliff
CNNMoney: September jobs report: Unemployment rate tumbles
October 5th, 2012
09:24 AM ET

CNNMoney: September jobs report: Unemployment rate tumbles

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) - The unemployment rate tumbled in September as more people returned to the labor force and steady hiring continued.

Employers added 114,000 jobs during the month, down from a revised 142,000 jobs in August, the Labor Department said Friday. But revisions to July and August mean the economy added 86,000 more jobs than originally reported in those months.

Meanwhile, the unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 7.8% in September, from 8.1% the prior month.


Topics: Economy • jobs
President Stumps for Middle Class at Iowa Rally
President Barack Obama speaks to a crowd at Kirkwood Community College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa about his plan for the economy.
July 10th, 2012
07:22 PM ET

President Stumps for Middle Class at Iowa Rally

(Cedar Rapids, Iowa) – Arriving at an auditorium overflowing with supporters here this afternoon, President Obama made his pitch to Iowans in hopes of winning their support in November.

“This was a state that gave me a chance when nobody else would,” said the president, whose path to the Democratic nomination began with a win at the Iowa caucuses in 2008.

Obama went on to win the state by 10 percent of Republican Nominee John McCain in the general election, and while Iowa has only six electoral votes, it promises to be a battleground state once again. This was the president’s fourth visit to the state this year, and second to Cedar Rapids.

During his remarks, Obama repeated his message of restoring America’s middle class just one day after issuing a plea to Congress to extend Bush-era tax cuts for families making less than $250,000 a year. FULL POST

Topics: 2012 Election • Economy • President Obama
June 26th, 2012
08:05 AM ET

Obama-Romney 2012 race- it's the economy but take a look at this town

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As the presidential election heats up Americans still see the economy as the number one issue. But try to imagine a town with just 1 percent unemployment where they can't build houses fast enough for a surging population, and schools are struggling to hire dozens of new teachers. While much of the U.S. is struggling, Williston, North Dakota, is enjoying a boom most cities can only dream of. It's all thanks to one thing: oil. CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian reports.

Topics: 2012 Election • Economy • jobs • Mitt Romney • President Obama
Obama outlines 'choice' in November
June 14th, 2012
05:04 PM ET

Obama outlines 'choice' in November

Cleveland, Ohio (CNN) – As President Barack Obama found himself literally on opposite sides of Mitt Romney Thursday – the rivals were campaigning on either ends of battleground Ohio – he sought to frame the election as a choice between two dramatically disparate views on how to fix the economy.

"What's holding us back is a stalemate in Washington of two fundamentally different views of which direction America should take. This election is your chance to break that stalemate," Obama said.

At only his second official campaign event this cycle, Obama told a vocal crowd gathered at Cuyahoga Community College that November "is not simply a choice between two candidates or two political parties, but between two paths for our country."

For the full story, click here.

Topics: 2012 Election • Economy • Ohio
Obama in Cleveland
Photo credit: Getty Images
June 13th, 2012
06:38 PM ET

Obama in Cleveland

President Obama will deliver a speech at Cuyahoga Community College in the battleground state of Ohio Thursday in his latest attempt to paint the election as a choice between what he describes as his forward moving vision for the economy that aids the middle class and the proposals from Mitt Romney that are based on the failed policies of the past and disproportionately hurt working Americans.

The chosen community college has won praise for retraining programs in biotechnology, wind power and manufacturing, areas the Obama administration has promoted and stressed as part of his plans to increase job opportunities in the U.S.

Obama and Romney are both scheduled to be in the state Thursday following poll numbers that show the race continues to be competitive. The state has consistently been a battle ground in presidential politics. Former President George W. Bush won the state in 2004 and 2000, but former President Bill Clinton won it in 1996 and 1992, and George H.W. Bush captured the state in 1988

Topics: 2012 Election • Economy