(CNN) – President Barack Obama on Saturday mourned the week's attacks on a U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya which killed four Americans, including the U.S. ambassador to the country.
"These four Americans represented the very best of our country," he said in his weekly address, naming Glen Doherty, Tyrone Woods, Sean Smith, and Ambassador Chris Stevens.
Woods and Doherty were former Navy SEALs, while Smith had served in the Air Force and was a computer expert.
Violence erupted this week in Benghazi and elsewhere in the Arab world – from Morocco to Tehran – based in anger over an inflammatory anti-Islam film. The film was posted online this summer but discussed and aired only recently in portions of the Middle East.
Protesters clashed with police in some cities on Friday, gathering in public squares and outside of embassies.
On Friday, Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke at a Transfer of Remains ceremony near Washington, D.C. when bodies of the four were returned to the U.S. Clinton referred to the "awful internet video that we had nothing to do with" and called the violence "senseless and it is totally unacceptable."
In his weekly address, Obama reiterated his message from previous statements, that "those who attack our people will find no escape from justice.
"We will not waver in their pursuit. And we will never allow anyone to shake the resolve of the United States of America," he said. FULL POST
(CNN) – The role of President Barack Obama will be played by a different actor this season on the comedy program "Saturday Night Live," the show's head writer said Thursday.
In an interview on NBC's "Today Show," writer Seth Meyers acknowledged that Jay Pharoah, who is in his third year on the program, would be playing the president, while the actor who has played Obama since 2008, Fred Armisen, will continue on the show.
(CNN) – A Congressional Budget Office report released Wednesday on the potentially dismal impact of the impending "fiscal cliff" prompted finger pointing from both parties, not surprisingly, blaming each other.
The White House placed blame for a gloomy economic outlook on Congressional Republicans and Mitt Romney, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, named President Barack Obama as the instigator of high projected deficits.
(CNN) – President Barack Obama put politics aside on Saturday, using his weekly address to recognize the sportsmanship, success and sacrifice of the U.S. Olympic team.
Obama stayed stateside – holding official events and hitting the campaign trail – while his wife, Michelle, led the official U.S. delegation to the London games opening ceremony.
"I've got to admit I was a little jealous she got to go," he said. "But like many of you, I caught as many events as I could, jumping off the couch for a close race or a perfect vault."
The United States, with a total of 43 medals, led other countries in the medal count as of Friday evening.
In his address, Obama highlighted some of the most prominent American victories.
(CNN) – Democrats and Republicans addressed struggles facing middle-class families during their weekly addresses Saturday following a busy week dominated by Supreme Court judges’ arguments on health care.
President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner, a Republican from Ohio, spoke about proposals to help middle-class families, urging the opposing party to join theirs to find solutions.
Obama boosted the "Buffet Rule," a proposal to end Bush-era tax cuts for wealthy individuals, or, as Democrats describe it, would "ask some of the wealthiest Americans to pay their fair share."
"Now, if this were a perfect world, we'd have unlimited resources. No one would ever have to pay any taxes, and we could spend as much as we wanted," Obama said.
(CNN) – Jobs and energy prices dominated weekly addresses by Democrats and Republicans on Saturday, a day after government numbers showed the creation of 227,000 new jobs last month.
Despite the jobs, the unemployment rate remained unchanged, according to the numbers.
With unemployment hovering at 8.3%, Republicans put forth Gov. Jack Dalrymple of North Dakota, whose state boasts the lowest unemployment rate, according to the most recent state level data, from December.
"These are big reasons why North Dakotais doing so well compared to the rest of the nation," he said. "We have created a friendly business climate inNorth Dakota, where taxes and insurance rates are low, the regulatory environment is very reasonable, and we have the most responsive state government anywhere."
He said his state offers major incentives.
"Companies want to expand inNorth Dakota because of the ease of doing business and because of our well educated, well trained work force," Dalrymple said.
His state's economy, he said, is thriving because of both high-tech manufacturing near the state's capital and oil drilling in the northwestern region.
The U.S. could learn from North Dakota’s model and expand domestic oil production, he said, criticizing President Barack Obama for blocking the Keystone oil pipeline, which would run through his state.
"It is now within our reach to become energy independent in North America if we simply develop the resources we already have available in places like the Gulf of Mexico, nonsensitive public lands across America, and in our friendly bordering countries," he said.
The president also spoke on energy, making his case that theU.S."can't just drill our way to lower gas prices – not when we consume 20% of the world's oil."
"The recent spike in gas prices has been another painful reminder of why we have to invest in this technology. As usual, politicians have been rolling out their three-point plans for $2 gas: drill, drill and drill some more,” he said. "Under my Administration, oil production inAmericais at an eight-year high. We've quadrupled the number of operating oil rigs, and opened up millions of acres for drilling." FULL POST
(CNN) - In his weekly address Saturday, President Barack Obama encouraged congressional leaders to grant him executive branch reorganization powers.
The president, echoing comments he made Friday, said he would replace the Commerce Department, rearrange lower-tier agencies and elevate the Small Business Administration to a Cabinet-level post.
"These changes will make it easier for small business owners to get the loans and support they need to sell their products around the world," he said. "For example, instead of forcing small business owners to navigate the six departments and agencies in the federal government that focus on business and trade, we'll have one department."
With the November elections around the corner, Republicans are skeptical of the proposal.
"Given the president's record of growing government, we're interested to learn whether this proposal represents actual relief for American businesses or just the appearance of it," a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said on Friday.
The president pledged to limit reforms to those developing "more efficiency, better service and a leaner government," and simultaneously previewed tax code changes he debuted this week at the White House.
"I will put forward new tax proposals that reward companies that choose to do the right thing by bringing jobs home and investing in America - and eliminate tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas," he said.
Meanwhile, urging job creation on a different front, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven called on the White House to pave the way for construction of a controversial oil pipeline, arguing an economic and job creation case.
"This new $7 billion, 1,700-mile, high-tech transcontinental pipeline, the largest shovel-ready project in the country, would reduce our dependence on Middle East oil, help keep down the cost of energy for American consumers and businesses, and create thousands of jobs for American workers at a time when our nation so greatly needs them," he said in the GOP weekly address.
In December, Congress started a 60-day window for the Obama administration to either approve or deny theCanada-to-GulfCoastoil pipeline. The project is generally opposed by environmentalists and favored by Republicans. The State Department says it needs more time to consider the environmental impact.
The battle lines of this week's addresses may preview those which driveWashingtonthis month, as Congress returns from holiday recess and the president delivers his State of the Union address on Jan. 24.