October 3rd, 2011
05:49 PM ET

Underdog Obama

President Obama said he is the “underdog” in the 2012 campaign, given the tough economic conditions facing the country.  Despite his position as the incumbent, the president said in an interview with ABC News that he is “used to being the underdog,” referring to the beginning of his 2008 run for president. “But at the end of the day people are going to ask who's got a vision for the future,” he said.

The high unemployment rate and struggling economy also led President Obama to say that the American people are “not better off” than they were four years ago.  The comment was in response to a question that referenced the famous question Ronald Reagan used in his campaign against Jimmy Carter in 1980.  "They're not better off than they were before Lehman's collapse, before the financial crisis, before this extraordinary recession that we're going through. I think that what we've seen is that we've been able to make steady progress to stabilize the economy but the unemployment rate is still way too high," he said. 

Topics: 2010 Elections
Obama: No regrets over Solyndra
October 3rd, 2011
03:53 PM ET

Obama: No regrets over Solyndra

President Obama Monday said he does not regret a half-billion dollar government loan to the now-bankrupt solar energy company Solyndra and vigorously defended his administration’s policy of providing assistance to similar entities.

“No I don’t,” the president said when asked directly if he regretted the $535 million federal loan guarantee in 2009. “Because if you look at the overall portfolio of loan guarantees that had been provided, overall it’s doing well. And what we always understood is that not every single business is going to succeed in clean energy.”

The comments came in an interview with ABC and Yahoo News.

Obama specifically touted Solyndra in a visit to its California headquarters in 2010 but the company closed shop just over a year later, putting more than 1,000 people out of work and leaving the government unlikely to get back all the money it loaned.

Topics: President Obama
Obama pushes jobs at Cabinet meeting
US President Barack Obama (Center R) speaks during a Cabinet meeting in the Cabinet Room of the White House in Washington, DC, October 3, 2011. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
October 3rd, 2011
12:07 PM ET

Obama pushes jobs at Cabinet meeting

President Obama just addressed a small group of reporters at the start of his Cabinet meeting this morning and once again called on Congress to pass his jobs plan as soon as possible. Here's a transcript of his remarks:

I am pulling my Cabinet together to talk about the one topic that's on everybody's mind, and that is how do we put America back to work? Each of the secretaries and heads of agencies have been assigned to look at what we can do administratively to accelerate job growth over the next several months.  And working with the jobs council that we've set up, working with the private sector, we have been looking for a wide range of ideas of administrative actions we can take.  A good example would be, for example, accelerating the payments to small businesses so that they've got better cash flow; trying to figure out ways that we can be working in the housing market without congressional action to provide some relief for homeowners. But ultimately, we still have to have congressional action.

It's been several weeks now since I sent up the American Jobs Act and, as I've been saying on the road, I want it back.  I'm ready to sign it. And so my expectation is, is that, now that we're in the month of October, that we will schedule a vote before the end of this month. I'll be talking to Senator Reid, McConnell, as well as Speaker Boehner and Nancy Pelosi, and insisting that we have a vote on this bill. We've been hearing from Republicans that there are some proposals that they're interested in.  That is not surprising, since the contents of the American Jobs Act includes proposals that in the past have been supported by Republicans and Democratic, Democrats alike. And if there are aspects of the bill that they don't like, they should tell us what it is that they're not willing to go for, they should tell us what it is that they're prepared to see move forward.

I have to tell you that I can't imagine any American that I've been talking to that's not interested in seeing construction workers back on the job of rebuilding roads and bridges, schools, airports, putting teachers back in the classroom to make sure that our kids are getting the very best education, making sure our best get help when they come home and that small businesses have further incentive to hire them. So I'm very much looking forward to seeing Congress debate this bill, pass it, get it to my desk, so we can start putting hundreds of thousands and millions of Americans back to work. And I will be continuing to put as much pressure as I can bring to bear on my administration and our agencies to do everything we can without Congress's help, but ultimately they've got to do the right thing for the American people.

Morning Briefing: Supreme Court back in session
2010 US Supreme Court Class Photo. Pictured - bottom row (left to right) - Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John G. Roberts, Jr. (Chief Justice), Anthony M. Kennedy, Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Top row - (left to right) Sonia Sotomayor, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel Alito, Jr., Elena Kagan
October 3rd, 2011
08:36 AM ET

Morning Briefing: Supreme Court back in session

On the first day of a new Supreme Court term, the White House is surely looking ahead to some big legal battles that will be decided by the court in the coming months. It’s possible that the Court could hear cases this term with major consequences to many hot-button issues of the day, including health care, immigration, gay marriage and affirmative action. CNN’s Supreme Court Producer Bill Mears has a good breakdown here.

Regardless of the political atmosphere stirred up by the Supreme Court’s decisions in the coming months, the economy is sure to be the biggest issue in next years elections. So the White House is most certainly keeping its eye on the world markets, including the latest developments in Greece, which released a budget proposal over the weekend that fell short of the deficit targets the struggling country needed to meet in order to qualify for new bailout money from its European Union neighbors. CNN Money has two good stories on the effects of the latest developments in Greece – check out this and this.

Here are some other stories the White House is likely reading this morning:

Senators court 2012 voters with China currency [Reuters]

Oil Down On Strong Dollar [Wall Street Journal]

Iraq police siege in al-Baghdadi ends with nine dead [BBC]

Ala. immigration law marked by Hispanic school absences [USA Today]

POTUS day ahead: Cabinet meeting
October 3rd, 2011
07:53 AM ET

POTUS day ahead: Cabinet meeting

President Obama spends most of today behind closed doors except for what promises to be a brief on-camera appearance at the beginning of his late-morning cabinet meeting. First thing in the morning, the president will receive the Presidential Daily Briefing in the Oval Office, followed by a meeting with senior advisors. Both of these meetings are closed to the press. At 11 AM, the President will meet with his cabinet in the Cabinet Room, where the media will be allowed in to get some pictures at the very top of the meeting. In the afternoon, the President will hold two meetings – the first with the three student winners of the Google Science Fair, and the second with the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

There will be a briefing by Press Secretary Jay Carney at 12:30 PM. Here’s the full schedule:

9:45AM           THE PRESIDENT receives the Presidential Daily Briefing – Oval Office (Closed Press)

10:30AM         THE PRESIDENT meets with senior advisors – Oval Office (Closed Press)

11:00AM        THE PRESIDENT holds a Cabinet Meeting – Cabinet Room (Pool Spray at the Top)

4:00PM           THE PRESIDENT meets with the three student winners of the Google Science Fair – Oval Office (Closed Press)

4:10PM         THE PRESIDENT meets with the U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom of the Netherlands Fay Hartog Levin – Oval Office (Closed Press)

Topics: Daily Schedule