February 27th, 2012
05:26 PM ET

GOP governors find common ground with President

Washington (CNN) - After attending a noon-time speech by President Obama that focused primarily on education reform, many of the nation’s most conservative governors spoke to reporters outside the White House on Monday and said that they’d heard some things they liked in the president’s message.

“We absolutely have to have the best educational system in the entire world, so I do agree with the need for educational reform,” Louisiana’s Republican Governor Bobby Jindal told reporters.

Perhaps indicating why the president chose the topic, Jindal quickly went on to outline his disagreements with the Obama administration’s approach to almost every other issue other than education.

“I walked into the meetings this morning believing that we need to have a conservative in the White House. I left the meetings continuing to believe that,” Jindal said.

Jindal’s reaction was not unique. Visiting the White House as part of the National Governors Association Winter Meeting, several often-critical governors reacted positively to the president’s call for a redoubled focus on education.

“There was a lot of broad agreement on education today,” said Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, a widely-rumored top contender for the vice presidential spot on the GOP ticket in November.

McDonnell went on to call the president “very gutsy” in his approach to education reform, praising both Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for their actions to force policy changes in public schools.

“I mean he's been very outspoken on that and we certainly agree with him on that,” McDonnell said. “I think there's broad room for support on those issues.”

Topics: Education • President Obama • The Buzz
Obama responds to Santorum’s ‘snob’ jab?
February 27th, 2012
01:09 PM ET

Obama responds to Santorum’s ‘snob’ jab?

Washington (CNN) – The White House repeatedly maintains President Obama isn’t monitoring the day-to-day rhetoric Republicans fire at him on the campaign trail. But the president all but directly responded to Rick Santorum’s latest jab.

Over the weekend, during which the former Pennsylvania senator called Obama a “snob” for suggesting all young Americans should go to college, Santorum told supporters in Michigan, “Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his,”

Speaking before most of the nation's governors at the White House Monday, the president appeared to hit back at Santorum’s comments without mentioning the Republican presidential candidate by name.

“I have to make a point here,” the president said. “When I speak about higher education, we're not just talking about a four year degree.”

“We're talking about somebody going to a community college and getting trained for that manufacturing job that now is requiring somebody walking through the door handling a million dollar piece of equipment, and they can't go in there unless they've got some basic training beyond what they received in high school,” he continued.

During his State of the Union Address last month, Obama said of the issue, "Higher education can't be a luxury - it is an economic imperative that every family in America should be able to afford."

Standing by his comments in a subsequent interview Sunday, Santorum said, "Barack Obama is a person of the left. He is someone who believes in big government. He believes in the values that are, unfortunately, the dominant values, and political values, and overly politicized values, and politically correct values that are on most college and university campuses."

Topics: President Obama • The News
Obama up in new poll
February 27th, 2012
10:00 AM ET

Obama up in new poll

CNN's Political Ticker has the latest poll for Obama showing his approval rating has shot up above 50 percent.  In addition, he leads the entire GOP field by significant margins:

Washington (CNN) – President Barack Obama holds double digit leads over the top two GOP presidential candidates, according to a new national survey.

A Politico/George Washington University Battleground Poll released Monday indicates Obama topping former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney 53% to 43% in a hypothetical general election matchup, with the president leading former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania 53% to 42%.

Full story HERE

Topics: Uncategorized
Morning Briefing
February 27th, 2012
09:55 AM ET

Morning Briefing

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

Obama has big leads over Romney, Santorum [CNN]

Obama’s got a deficit dilemma [NYT]

Santorum defends calling Obama a snob [WashPost]

Gassy rhetoric over gas prices [WashPost]

Dem governors bullish on Obama’s re-election chances [Bloomberg]

Is GOP handing Michigan to Obama? [DailyBeast]

POTUS' Day Ahead: Invasion of the governors
February 27th, 2012
07:30 AM ET

POTUS' Day Ahead: Invasion of the governors

Good morning from the White House.  The president welcomes all the governors to the White House this morning where he and Vice President Biden will deliver remarks.  Look for CNN to carry those live.  The remarks come a day after the president hosted the governors for a dinner and entertainment at the White House, which featured an elaborate meal and entertainment.

Later, the president will attend a high-dollar fundraiser in Washington, DC.  We expect to get more details later on exactly how much the president will raise.

Full Schedule after the jump:


Topics: Daily Schedule • The News