Entries in Air Force One (6)


President Obama Speaks to 26,000 Voters on Air Force One Calls

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(LAS VEGAS) – President Obama addressed 16,000 supporters at a Denver rally Wednesday afternoon. But his campaign said two Obama conference calls from Air Force One later drew an even bigger – and arguably more important – crowd.

En route to Los Angeles from Denver for a taping of The Tonight Show, Obama gave a 15-minute pep talk to about 17,000 swing-state campaign volunteers, according to a spokeswoman.

“This election is much more important than last time around,” he told them, according to photographers who briefly were allowed to shoot the scene inside Obama’s personal cabin.

Later, he held a 20-minute conference call with roughly 9,000 “undecided” swing-state voters invited to join by the campaign’s field staff, aides said.

The president took questions that were suggested by voters on the call, but the questions were read to the president by staff members in Chicago, said Obama spokeswoman Jen Psaki.

President Obama is scheduled to place more calls Thursday. He uses a special campaign-designated phone on the plane that is not paid for by taxpayer dollars, aides told ABC News.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Obama’s Air Force One Call to Donors Reveals Money Worries

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama has spent more time raising money than any of his predecessors in recent history, crisscrossing the country on Air Force One to 175 re-election fundraisers so far in his first term.

His campaign, the Democratic National Committee and their joint accounts reported more than $173 million cash on hand at the end of May, $61 million more than rival Mitt Romney and Republicans.

And after smashing fundraising records in 2008, tapping $746 million from a historic donor roll of 3 million names, Team Obama has appeared on pace to do it again.

Still, Obama and Democrats are sounding the alarm for what would seem to be unthinkable: that they are poised to be outraised and outspent by Romney, the GOP and allied outside groups.

“We see where we stand, and right now on a month-to-month basis, we’ve fallen behind,” Obama told a group of high-dollar donors Friday on an 18-minute conference call from Air Force One, according to The Daily Beast, which obtained audio of the call from a participant.

“We just can’t be outspent 10 to 1,” Obama said. “That’s what happened in Wisconsin recently. The Koch brothers and their allies spent more than the other side’s entire campaign, our side’s entire campaign.

“We are going to see more money spent on negative ads through these super PACs and anonymous outside groups than ever before. And if things continue as they have so far, I’ll be the first sitting president in modern history to be outspent in his re-election campaign.”

An Obama campaign official confirmed the veracity of the recording to ABC News, describing the meeting as a “routine finance call.” (Obama uses a non-taxpayer-funded phone for political calls from the plane, the official said.)

Obama’s message – that he could be the first incumbent U.S. president outspent – seeks to instill a sense of urgency in supporters as the campaign heads into a crucial stretch before the fall conventions. It also comes as part of an aggressive public and private fundraising drive that has sharply escalated in the past few weeks.

In the 48 hours before Saturday’s June 30 monthly fundraising deadline, the Obama campaign sent out an unusual five email blasts pleading for cash; the appeals coming from Vice President Joe Biden, first lady Michelle Obama, DNC chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Florida and the president himself.

“We might not out-raise Mitt Romney,” Obama wrote Saturday morning in an email with the subject line “This is important.”  

“But I am determined to keep the margin close enough that we can win this election the right way.”

Obama has also significantly stepped up his fundraising activities on the trail, attending 33 money events in 30 days in June, triple the number he held in May and his biggest month of the year.

“We don’t have to match these guys dollar for dollar because we’ve got a better grassroots operation and we’ve got a better message,” Obama said on the Air Force One call. “The American people, the nice thing is they agree with our message when they hear it. We just can’t be drowned out.”

Obama’s campaign advisers have estimated that Romney and pro-Republican outside groups, including nonprofit advocacy organizations and super PACs, will spent more than $1.2 billion to try to defeat Obama.

Democratic outside groups, including pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA Action, have so far not shown the ability to keep pace with the other side.

The Romney campaign is expected to report raising more than $100 million in June. Obama campaign officials said they don’t expect the president to match that number, but declined to offer specifics on their monthly haul.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


9/11, Remembrance and Renewal: Recalling President Bush's Reaction

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- The nation is marking 10 years since the attacks of 9/11. ABC News White House Correspondent Ann Compton recalls being on the road with President Bush that tragic day.

"I was with President George Bush in a Florida classroom as an aide whispered the chilling news," Compton says.

"As soon as he was informed of the attack President Bush wanted to get back to Washington. But he could not.  Nor could those of us with him," she says.

The Pentagon had been struck too, making the nation's capital a target and challenging the White House to ensure that its Doomsday scenario can survive in a new era of powerful terrorism.  But the president would soon get his wish.

"This is Ann Compton.  We are on board [Air Force One].  Doors are shut and I am told we are flying back to Washington," Compton reported on Sept. 11, 2001, hours after the attacks.

"President Bush flew half way across the United States to find safety and communications," Compton recalls.  "Now, 10 years later, Air Force One has secure video conferencing equipment, satellite television capability, linking the President to American officials all over the globe. "

Today, Compton says, "the Doomsday scenario is still in place to protect not just the man, but the line of succession to the presidency."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama Surprises Press Aboard Air Force One

Pool Photo (file)(WASHINGTON) -- Though members of the press fly Air Force One on every trip the president takes, they sit in the rear of the plane, sequestered in a separate cabin and rarely see the commander in chief.

But about a half-hour into Monday’s four-hour flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Santiago, Chile, President Obama made a surprise drop by in the press cabin. And, in a ‘turn-the-tables’ moment, the surprised press corps found themselves answering Obama’s questions.

"What are you guys doing?” he asked as he appeared solo in the doorway -- no aides or handlers with him. Taken a little off guard, the press told him they were watching the Naomi Watts/Sean Penn movie Fair Game.

"Is it any good?" Obama asked. “Ask us in an hour,” was the reply from one of the press corps.

“You guys having fun?”  Obama quizzed, adding that he heard some press folks had stayed out “late late” last night and “ate too much beef” at the local Brazilian churrascaria.

But before the press could turn the tables back on Obama, he ducked right back out of the cabin, saying “See ya” as he moved out of sight. The entire encounter was less than one minute.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Pelosi Set to Travel to Tucson with President for Memorial Service

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi will travel to Tucson, Arizona Wednesday with President Obama aboard Air Force One to attend a memorial service at the University of Arizona to remember the victims of Saturday’s shooting.

Pelosi, D-Calif., will begin her day at the Capitol and is expected to sign books of condolences before meeting the president and Mrs. Obama at Andrews Air Force Base for the cross-country flight.

President Obama is scheduled to speak at the memorial service at 6:00 p.m. local to remember the victims of the mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz. that left six people dead and 14 wounded. Pelosi is not expected to speak at the memorial service.

The memorial service, called “Together We Thrive: Tucson and America” will take place at the McKale Center and is open to the public free of charge. The event will include a Native American blessing, a moment of silence, a poetry reading and the presentation of a chain featuring messages from members of the public.

Back in the Capitol Wednesday afternoon, members of Congress will participate in a bipartisan prayer service to remember and honor the victims of the shooting.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama to 'Redouble' Effort on Core Principles

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- En route to Washington after a 10-day trip overseas, President Obama was introspective about his first two years in office.  The president told reporters aboard Air Force One that he had an “obsessive focus” on policy and he will now “redouble” efforts to get back to his core principles. 

Obama said he “neglected” things that matter a lot to Americans in his rush to get major legislation passed. He explained those things as maintaining a bipartisan tone, dealing with earmarks, making sure that policy decisions are fully debated and shaping public opinion.  He can better focus on these principals now, the president explained, because the economy is more stable. 

The president plans to meet with Congressional leadership this week and said he expects that even though his party lost badly in the midterm election, Republicans will work with him to get things done.

Obama repeated his belief that the country can’t afford to extend the Bush tax cuts for people earning more than $250,000 a year.

“I believe it is a mistake for us to borrow $700 billion to make tax cuts permanent for millionaires and billionaires,” he said. 

Reflecting on his stop in Asia, the president said he leaves with the impression that America will need to step up its game because countries across the Asian continent are working to better educate their workforces, rebuild their economies and enter into new markets around the world.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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