Entries in Honolulu (4)


President Obama to CEOs: ‘We’ve Been a Bit Lazy’

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images(HONOLULU) -- For the second time in many months, President Obama has taken the nation that elected him president to task for its own lackadaisical economic performance on the global stage.

Obama told a group of CEOs Saturday that the United States has gotten “lazy” and that America has lost its hunger in promoting itself in a global marketplace.

“We’ve been a little bit lazy over the last couple of decades.  We’ve kind of taken for granted—‘Well, people would want to come here —and we aren’t out there hungry, selling America and trying to attract new businesses into America,” he told the CEOs gathered on the sidelines of the annual Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) meetings, which the U.S. is hosting this year in Hawaii.

“I think it’s important to remember that the United States is still the largest recipient of foreign investment in the world and there are a lot of things that make foreign investors see the U.S. as a great opportunity—our stability, our openness, our innovative free market culture,” he said.

Last September, in an interview with an Orlando, Fla., TV station, Obama made similar remarks, saying, “This a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades. … We need to get back on track.”

To get back on track, Obama is using the APEC meetings and meetings with members of the new Trans-Pacific Partnership to try to stimulate the U.S. economy and create jobs. Members of the TPP will include nations from Australia and New Zealand to Chile and Peru. And, for the first time, Japan has also agreed to participate in the planning of the new partnership.

“There are still plenty of details to work out, but we are confident that we can do so,” Obama said. “It is an ambitious goal, but we are optimistic that we can get it done.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama Heralds Agreement of Pacific Trade Treaty

Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images(HONOLULU) -- “This is my birthplace,” President Obama said Saturday to a room full of CEOs in Honolulu for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

“I know that was contested for a while,” he said to laughter, “but I can actually show you the hospital if…you want to go down there.”

Making another nod to being in the state he once called home—and where he continues to vacation—the president noted that, “In all my years of living in Hawaii and visiting Hawaii, this is the first time that I’ve ever worn a suit, so it feels a little odd.”

Much of the president’s day in Hawaii was devoted to hammering out a new trade deal, the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a broad framework which was agreed to Saturday by all nine parties: Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Chile, Malaysia, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and the United States.

The leaders of Japan have expressed an interest in joining as well.

China’s Assistant Commerce Minister Yu Jianhua, asked if the second-largest economy in the world would want to join the TPP and noted that Beijing had not received an invitation.

“If one day we receive such an invitation, we will seriously study” it, Yu said, according to Reuters.

But Michael Froman, the deputy assistant to President Obama and deputy national security adviser for international economic affairs, said that’s not how the TPP works since partner nations have to meet certain standards.

“TPP is not something that one gets invited to,” Froman clarified. “It’s something that one aspires to.”

Administration officials say the TPP is part of a larger strategy to contain China’s continued expansion and growth, not only through economic alliances in the Pacific, but through diplomatic and national security measures. Obama will announce next week that U.S. troops will have a presence in Australia.

There is also a domestic consideration, of course. Obama announced Saturday that the TPP would help achieve his goal of doubling U.S. exports.

“With nearly 500 million consumers between us, there is so much more we can do together,” he said, arguing that the deal would help create jobs.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Book: Barack Obama, Sr. Discussed Putting Son Up for Adoption

Pete Souza/The White House(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- A new book by Boston Globe reporter Sally Jacobs -- The Other Barack: The Bold and Reckless Life of President Obama’s Father, due out next week -- suggests that Barack Obama Sr. discussed putting his son up for adoption.

A memo from Lyle H. Dahling, an administrator in the Honolulu office of the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service, noted that according to Obama Sr., his wife, "Miss Dunham is making arrangements with the Salvation Army to give the baby away."

Then-White House spokesman Robert Gibbs told the author that the president was not previously aware of the INS memo and the president “is absolutely convinced that she did not" have that conversation with the Salvation Army.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Aloha! Obama Starts Hawaiian Holiday

Photo Courtesy - Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images(HONOLULU) -- President Obama has landed in Honolulu, Hawaii to kick off his 11-day Christmas vacation.

The trip had originally been delayed by nearly four days, as the president promised to stay behind in Washington, D.C. until Congress adorned for the end of the year.

The Obama family left Washington, D.C. on Saturday, before the president could leave.

As he arrived late Wednesday night, Hawaii time, at Hickam Air Force Base in Honolulu, the president was given a green lei to kick off his vacation.  As soon as he got in his limousine, Obama promptly removed the lei and yawned widely, perhaps indicating how much he really needs a vacation after the marathon lame duck session of Congress.

But White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said this is still a working vacation.

"I anticipate that they'll take a number of things with them and that he'll read a good amount of stuff.  He'll have, obviously, his daily intelligence briefing," Gibbs said Wednesday.

The president is also expected to read a novel or two, in addition to the regular holiday activities in Hawaii, like golfing, hitting the beach, and going out for a shave ice and traditional plate lunch.

The White House has announced the president will extend his vacation by just one day, departing now on Jan. 2.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio