Obama and the Cheeseheads
August 12th, 2011
05:30 PM ET

Obama and the Cheeseheads

(WASHINGTON) - President Obama welcomed the Green Bay Packers to the White House South Lawn this afternoon to celebrate their Super Bowl victory last February. He said it was a pretty difficult thing to do considering he's a Chicago Bears fan.

"This hurts a little bit.  This is a hard thing for a Bears fan to do.  It doesn’t hurt as much as the NFC Championship game hurt - but it still hurts - you guys coming to my house to rub it in," Obama said. "What are you going to do - go to Ditka’s house next?"

He also welcomed the fact that the NFL lockout had ended.

"Like every football fan, I was thrilled to have the lockout ended.  Nobody likes long, frustrating negotiations with a rigid opposition, taking it to the brink," he joked. 

The president received the standard gift of a team jersey- this time it was the number one with the name "Commander in Chief". Charles Woodson, defensive back for the Packers, also presented Obama with a part ownership of the Green Bay Packers, which is the only publicly owned professional sports team.

"All the fans own the team, and it hurts us a little bit to give you this, as well but we give you shares of the Green Bay Packers," Woodson said.

"We figured this is the only way we could get you away from the Bears," added head coach Mike McCarthy.

Topics: President Obama • Super Bowl • The Vault
August 12th, 2011
04:15 PM ET

'Glimmer of hope' in Michigan as Obama pushes jobs

Holland, Michigan (CNN)  - Hope McCoy needs something to go right for a change.

The 41-year-old single mother of two has been out of work off and on since she lost her job as an engineer at a firm in 2005, a position she had held for nearly ten years.

McCoy is one of the 13.9 million people in America who were unemployed last month, more than two years after the worst recession since the Great Depression was supposed to have ended. According to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the recession ended in June 2009, but economists and administration officials have acknowledged that the economy remains weak.

For McCoy, that means scratching and saving to get by.

Topics: Economy
August 12th, 2011
02:59 PM ET

Obama sits down with leading CEOs

As part of his effort to spur job creation and encourage economic growth, President Obama sat down Friday with some of the nation’s leading corporate CEOs Friday. The President met with Ursula Burns of Xerox; Ken Chenault of American Express; Richard Davis of U.S. Bank; Larry Fink of BlackRock; Glenn Hutchins of Silver Lake Partners; John Stumpf of Wells Fargo; John Surma of U.S. Steel and Bill Weldon of Johnson and Johnson.

This comes in a week where the President touted some of the administration’s economic programs but also said more needs to be done to help create jobs. On Thursday in Holland Michigan the President also chided Congress for its partisanship in the fight over the raising of the nation’s debt ceiling. He also promised to unveil more jobs initiatives in the coming weeks.

“The President appreciated the thoughtful exchange of ideas and the private sector’s shared commitment to improving our economy.   The President firmly believes that every American who wants a job should have one, and businesses large and small must all be at the table as part of the collective solution,” the White House said in a statement after the meeting, which lasted over an hour.

Most of the companies refused to discuss the meeting. Some, including BlackRock and Silver Like, refused to even confirm their CEO was participating before a White House official disclosed the list.

“At the president’s request, Bill Weldon is meeting today with a number of business leaders and the President to informally discuss economic issues. We respectfully decline to provide or discuss any additional information,” a spokeswoman for Johnson and Johnson told CNN.


Topics: Economy • jobs • President Obama
Gaggle Notes: President's jobs proposals and next week's Midwest bus tour
(AFP/Getty Images)
August 12th, 2011
01:01 PM ET

Gaggle Notes: President's jobs proposals and next week's Midwest bus tour

There was no on-camera briefing at the White House today, but Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest held an off-camera gaggle and laid out some of the details of the president’s bus trip next week.

Earnest also downplayed President Obama’s promise yesterday that in the coming weeks he would be laying out new proposals “week by week, that will help businesses hire and put people back to work.”

Here are some of our notes from the Earnest’s gaggle:

– The president was speaking more “broadly” yesterday when he said he would be rolling out new jobs proposals week by week.

“I don’t think he was committing to a 9:30 a.m. Monday morning announcement for the next several weeks.  But rather I do think that he was talking about …that there are a number of things that the American people expect of their President in these difficult economic times.”

– The president’s plan to roll out new proposals is not a sign that his current proposals are insufficient. In other words, he’s not looking for “different economic proposals,” he’s looking for “additional economic proposals, additional things that we can do to get our economy moving again.”

– The president did not watch last night’s GOP debate, but has probably read some of the news coverage.

– The moment that caught the White House’s attention was when all the candidates raised their hands to say they would reject a deficit reduction proposal that contained a 10-1 spending cuts to tax increases ratio. "That's clearly not where the American people are.” FULL POST

Topics: Gaggle Notes • The News
August 8, 2011
August 12th, 2011
12:20 PM ET

White House Week in Review

The previous week was among the most tumultuous of President Obama's term. Over the weekend, he learned of the most deadly attack on U.S. soldiers in the history of the war in Afghanistan and an unprecedented downgrade by S&P of the nation's debt. As the week kicked off, he faced a volatile stock market and increasing criticisms from liberal and conservative quarters over his leadership.

The president wrapped up the week with a trip to Michigan to tout clean-energy autos and the new jobs he says they will create. He then jetted to New York City for two high-dollar fundraisers.

President Obama: "I'm frustrated"
President Obama speaking at Johnson Controls Inc. in Holland, MI yesterday. (CNN/Lesa Jansen)
August 12th, 2011
08:51 AM ET

President Obama: "I'm frustrated"

During his speech at a battery facility in Holland, MI yesterday, President Obama blamed the political climate in Washington for the weak U.S. economy. He called on congress to pass bills to help create jobs, and just as he did during the debt ceiling debate two weeks ago, he called on Americans to push their elected officials to get to work.

Obama even got a little emotional, saying that the audience could probably here the frustration in his voice, and that's because Washington is now suffering from the "worst kind of partisanship" and the "worst kind of gridlock."

Here's how the folks over at CNN Wires described the event:

(CNN) - Declaring himself frustrated with political fighting in Congress, President Barack Obama on Thursday blamed some of the nation's continuing economic troubles on government inaction and urged Americans to tell their elected representatives in Washington to pass bills that will create jobs.

In an energetic speech to workers at a Holland, Michigan, hybrid car battery plant helped by government stimulus funds, Obama said the U.S. economy and American workers are capable of being the best in the world, but were being held back by political stalemate in Congress.

"There is nothing wrong with our country. There is something wrong with our politics," Obama declared to applause.

Last week's first-ever downgrade of the U.S. credit rating by Standard & Poor's "could have been entirely avoided if there had been a willingness to compromise in Congress," the president said, adding: "It didn't happen because we didn't have the capacity to pay our bills. It happened because Washington doesn't have the capacity to come together and get things done."

"You hear it my voice. I'm frustrated," Obama said, referring to what he called the "worst kind of partisanship" and the "worst kind of gridlock" in Congress.


Topics: Economy • President Obama
POTUS' Day Ahead: Business leaders, Super Bowl champs
August 12th, 2011
07:41 AM ET

POTUS' Day Ahead: Business leaders, Super Bowl champs

President Obama has a relatively light public schedule today, beginning with a closed-press meeting with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room to discuss the economy at 1:20pm. Later in the afternoon the president welcomes the Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers to the South Portico.

Here's the full schedule: