Gaggle Notes: West Coast edition
(Emily Schultze/CNN)
October 26th, 2011
04:59 PM ET

Gaggle Notes: West Coast edition

On the flight back to Washington D.C. today, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney gaggle with reporters aboard Air Force One and pushed back on a couple of stories in today’s papers.

One by McClatchy claimed that President Obama and Vice President Biden hadn’t talked to Iraqi leaders in the months leading up to a troop withdrawal decision. The article itself says that it’s drawn from an embassy report based on postings on the White House website, and Carney called the piece entirely incorrect, saying that the administration does not provide read-outs for every call that’s made from the White House, and thus not every correspondence would appear on the White House website. National Security Staff Spokesman Tommy Vietor is even quoted in the story saying that the article is “totally wrong.”

Another push back was on reports that U.S. embassies around the world spent more than $70,000 collectively on Obama’s autobiographies as gifts and for their libraries. Carney referred people to the State Department saying that this was an “embassy by embassy based decision.”

“Obviously the White House didn't have anything to do with this,” Carney said. “I think this is an embassy-by-embassy-based decision based on what they think is – in buying books – makes sense for them in terms of advancing American foreign policy interests. I've just seen in some paper that a lot of these embassies have books by Colin Powell, George W. Bush, other – Ronald Reagan, but again in terms of this particular – this story I would refer you to the State Department.”

He also pushed back on Rep. Paul Ryan’s speech this morning at the Heritage Foundation, and rolled out what sounded to me at least to be a new line of attack on the GOP argument against raising taxes on the wealthy. FULL POST

Topics: Gaggle Notes • Jay Carney
Obama offers life saver to college students drowning in debt
October 26th, 2011
04:52 PM ET

Obama offers life saver to college students drowning in debt


DENVER (CNN)— More and more college students are facing tuition sticker shock. A new report by the College Board Advocacy & Policy Center shows the average cost of tuition and fees at four year institutions jumped to 8.3 percent this year. That’s more than twice the rate of inflation.

For many young people that translates into bigger loans and more debt at a time when it's hard to find a job after graduation.

Against that backdrop President Obama flew to Denver, Colorado to push a plan that he says could help 1.6 million people save hundreds of dollars a month.

“We should be doing everything we can to put college education within reach for every American,” the president said during a campaign style event on the Denver campus of the University of Colorado.

Rita Whittington, a special education major who jokingly feels she has already earned a degree in student loans, says it's a burden.

“I've taken out extensive loans. First I educated my children, three of them I sent to college,” she told CNN. “ So I have parent loans and now I have student loans. So this is extremely costly for me."

Topics: President Obama • Student Loans • The News
Snow day for President Obama
First snowstorm of the season greets President Obama on the Denver campus of the University of Colorado. Four to eight inches of snow was expected. The president spoke to students about his plan to offer relief for college loans. (photo credit: Geoff Parker, CNN)
October 26th, 2011
04:27 PM ET
Morning Briefing
October 26th, 2011
08:29 AM ET

Morning Briefing

The 1600 Report's daily roundup of what the White House is reading this morning online and in the papers:


*Did Obama engage as U.S.-Iraqi troop talks faltered?  McClatchy

*Obama to offer help for students buried in debt   CNNMoney

*Europe struggles toward financial rescue plan  Washington Post

*Survivors in Turkey quake  New York Times

*Obama talks politics, life with Leno   CNN

POTUS schedule Wednesday October,
President Barack Obama disembarks from Air Force One at the Buckley Air Force Base in Denver, Colorado
October 26th, 2011
07:34 AM ET

POTUS schedule Wednesday October,

President Obama wakes up this morning in Denver, CO.   He is scheduled to speak about how to make  repaying student loans easier at the downtown campus of the University of Colorado.

12:45PM        THE PRESIDENT delivers remarks on college affordability   

                           University of Colorado–DenverDowntown Campus  / Open Press

1:45PM        THE PRESIDENT departs Denver,CO en route Joint Base Andrews

                        Buckley Air Force Base / Open Press

4:55PM          THE PRESIDENT arrives Joint Base Andrews  

                          Out-of-Town Travel Pool Coverage

5:10PM          THE PRESIDENT arrives the White House   

                         South Lawn /Open Press

Jay Carney will gaggle on AF1

Topics: Daily Schedule
President Obama takes to late-night TV
October 26th, 2011
12:35 AM ET

President Obama takes to late-night TV

On Tuesday night President Obama sat down with Jay Leno on  NBC’s The Tonight Show and there were several interesting exchanges. The interview spanned three segments of the hour-long show and ranged from foreign policy to economics to 2012, moving from serious to funny and back again.

Right off the top Leno asked the president about criticisms of his approach to foreign policy – despite many arguable successes in recent months – based on a phrase used by one of his advisers in an interview with the New Yorker’s Ryan Lizza. While discussing the president’s approach to the conflict in Libya, the adviser described the United States to Lizza as “leading from behind.”

The phrase immediately sparked a lot of conversation – especially in conservative circles – even causing Lizza to follow up with a blog post about the true meaning of the phrase, citing this Nelson Mandela quote as one source of the concepts popularity:

It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.

Tonight Obama responded to the criticism – and denied the use of the phrase:

THE PRESIDENT: Well, the truth was, we - this was a phrase that the media picked up on. But it's not one that I ever used. We lead from the front.  We introduced the resolution in the United Nations that allowed us to protect civilians in Libya when Gaddafi was threatening to slaughter them.  It was our extraordinary men and women in uniform, our pilots who took out their air defense systems, set up a no-fly zone.  It was our folks in NATO who were helping to coordinate the NATO operation there.  And the difference here is we were able to organize the international community.  We were able to get the U.N. mandate for the operation.  We were able to get Arab countries involved.  And so there was never this sense that somehow we were unilaterally making a decision to take out somebody.  Rather, it was the world community.  And that's part of the reason why this whole thing only cost us a billion dollars - as opposed to a trillion dollars.  Not a single U.S. troop was on the ground.  Not a single U.S. troop was killed or injured, and that, I think, is a recipe for success in the future.


Topics: President Obama