Martha's Vineyard is a no go this summer for First Family vacation
July 3rd, 2012
12:48 PM ET

Martha's Vineyard is a no go this summer for First Family vacation

WASHINGTON (CNN) –A senior administration official tells CNN the first family will not be vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard this summer as they have done for the past three years.

There had been plenty of speculation about the president’s plans given the potential image clash during an election year, of a vacation at an expensive estate on a posh New England island.

Instead of an extended vacation the president is likely to take some long weekends this summer, but where and when is still unclear the official said.

Topics: The Buzz • The Family • Vacation
June 26th, 2012
08:05 AM ET

Obama-Romney 2012 race- it's the economy but take a look at this town

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As the presidential election heats up Americans still see the economy as the number one issue. But try to imagine a town with just 1 percent unemployment where they can't build houses fast enough for a surging population, and schools are struggling to hire dozens of new teachers. While much of the U.S. is struggling, Williston, North Dakota, is enjoying a boom most cities can only dream of. It's all thanks to one thing: oil. CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian reports.

Topics: 2012 Election • Economy • jobs • Mitt Romney • President Obama
June 19th, 2012
06:48 PM ET

Obama and Putin work through Syria tensions

CNN's Dan Lothian reports from Mexico on the G-20 summit and President Obama's meeting with President Putin about Syria.

Topics: G-20 • President Obama • Syria • Vladimir Putin
June 18th, 2012
08:38 PM ET

Hot and cold day for Obama and Putin


LOS CABOS, MEXICO – Call it a case of appearances over substance. During brief remarks after President Obama’s bilateral meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday morning, the two leaders’ body language seemed to indicate the meeting had not gone well. They rarely looked at each other, never smiled and ended their meeting with a perfunctory handshake.

Reporters pounced on such a dramatic visual representation of what has recently been a somewhat troubled relationship. Russia has refused to go along with the United States and other nations in calling for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to step aside, and has blocked two U.N. Security Council Resolutions sanctioning the Syrian government.

At a briefing after the morning meeting, top White House aides warned reporters against reading into what one called the leaders’ “businesslike” meeting.

“Go back and look at the tape when he met with Obama the last time,” U.S. Ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul told reporters. “You'll see exactly the same body language. I have. That's just his style and I really would encourage you not to over-read how somebody is sitting as an indication of where the relationship is.”

Topics: G-20 • President Obama • Vladimir Putin
June 18th, 2012
03:51 PM ET

G-20 nations must 'do what's necessary' to boost world economy, Obama says


Los Cabos, Mexico (CNN) - U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday welcomed the results of the Greek election as he prepared to join other world leaders at a summit aimed at boosting a sluggish global economic recovery.

Officially, the G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, will largely focus on one of the primary causes of the recovery's lethargy - the threat of a European currency collapse that would roil the already fragile economies of most of the 17 countries that use the euro.

"The world is concerned about the slowing of growth that has taken place," Obama said Monday before the start of the summit, following one-on-one-talks with host President Felipe Calderon of Mexico. " A lot of attention has been centered on Europe. Now is the time, as we've discussed, to make sure that all of us join to do what's necessary to stabilize the world financial system, to avoid protectionism, to ensure that we are working hand-in-hand to both grow the economy and create jobs while taking a responsible approach long term and medium term towards our fiscal structures."

However, the summit was not expected to produce concrete commitments, and European Union President Jose Manuel Barroso made clear Monday that European nations were not there to be lectured on how to proceed.

"This crisis was not originated in Europe. .... This crisis was originated in North America," Barroso said. "And many of our financial sector were contaminated by - how can I put it - unorthodox practice from some sectors of the financial market. But we are not putting the blame on our partners. What we are saying is let's work together when we have a global problem like the one we have today. "


Topics: G-20 • President Obama • Russia • Syria
White House calls attacks on leaks “grossly irresponsible”
June 6th, 2012
11:08 AM ET

White House calls attacks on leaks “grossly irresponsible”

WASHINGTON (CNN) –The White House denied authorizing national security leaks and pushed back on criticism that the release of sensitive information was politically motivated. Speaking to reporters aboard Air Force One as the president traveled to campaign events on the West Coast, spokesman Jay Carney called the latter charge, “grossly irresponsible.”

It was in direct response to criticism from Senator John McCain who called for an investigation into leaks of a U.S. cyber program aimed at Iran’s nuclear program and other recent reports of sensitive national security information.

“This administration takes all appropriate and necessary steps to prevent leaks of classified information or sensitive information that could risk ongoing counterterrorism or intelligence operations, Carney said. “Any suggestion that this administration has authorized intentional leaks of classified information for political gain is grossly irresponsible.”

Topics: Leaks
Obama campaign reacts to Clinton on CNN
June 1st, 2012
12:14 PM ET

Obama campaign reacts to Clinton on CNN

The Obama re-election campaign is glossing over the off message positive comments former President Clinton made about presumptive Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, during an interview on CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight Thursday.

They are instead focusing on one line where Clinton described the tactics some private equity investors use.

"Invest in a company, run up the debt & force people to lose their retirement and fire them," a senior campaign official pointed out in paraphrase.

However, Clinton was making a comparison of two kinds of investors. Those who buy, strip and destroy companies for profit, and others also driven by profit, but with the goal of making the companies better, even though they too can fail with equal consequences.

In the interview the former president said Romney's time at Bain Capital formed a "good business career," and he referred to that career as "sterling."

Asked by CNN to comment on a message that runs counter to the campaigns attack on Romney's record, the official insisted the key point was Romney was "good at making money for himself and his partners."

Courting the veteran vote
May 25th, 2012
12:53 PM ET

Courting the veteran vote

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Obama rarely misses an opportunity to talk about the help his administration is offering to military veterans and their families. “We will care and serve our veterans the way they've served us,” Mr. Obama said at a recent campaign event out west.

His message may be grounded in policy but in this election season it’s also about the politics.

His re-election campaign is actively courting veterans who have traditionally supported Republicans.

"It's door-to-door, person-to-person, grocery store-to-grocery store. Letting people know the president's record on his policies to veterans," said Beau Biden, an Iraq veteran and the vice president’s son, who is part of the campaign’s grassroots effort “Veterans and Military Families for Obama.”

Obama mini Twitter town hall
May 24th, 2012
08:43 PM ET

Obama mini Twitter town hall

DES MOINES, IOWA (CNN) - It was a mini Twitter town hall.

After delivering remarks on his clean energy policy in Newton, Iowa, President Obama sat down at a laptop and answered a handful of questions on Twitter that had been submitted hours earlier by the tweeting public.

“This is barack-let’s get this started!” Mr. Obama typed.

In 40 characters or less questions ranged from help for homeowners stuck in  under water mortgages, energy independence,  to assistance for small businesses.

“ What plans do u have to keep us & our fellow smlbiz afloat?” one person wrote.

Topics: Energy • President Obama • Twitter