Entries in Meeting (11)


More Details Revealed on Santorum, Romney Meeting

PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Joe Raedle/Getty Images(PITTSBURGH) -- More details are coming out from the 90 minute one-on-one meeting held earlier Friday in Pittsburgh between presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.

Longtime Santorum advisor John Brabender tells ABC News that the meeting between men who, until last month, were fierce rivals was more ice breaker than policy debate.

“A wide range of topics were discussed, but the meeting came down to a few issues: economics, health care, personal issues and how a campaign affects a family, and the two “really just wanted to get to know each other, as well as “how to defeat Barack Obama.” They didn’t have that luxury in the past,” Brabender said, referring to Romney and Santorum getting to know each other on a personal level.

Brabender listed that as the second reason of the meeting as the “changing thoughts on the race issues and positions on things,” and thirdly the two discussed how “their families are impacted on running from a personal level.”

“I know that Rick shared some critical points of his economic plan, the manufacturing component and the need to restore manufacturing in America,” Brabender said. “[Santorum] encouraged Gov. Romney to include that as part of his economic plan.”

When asked if the two may campaign together Brabender acknowledged “exciting the base,” was another issue discussed.

“They both have different states they won, different targets,” Brabender said, referring to the different parts of the party the two got support from. “I think it was more how can we combine what we both learned to make sure we win in the fall. Clearly Rick Santorum is a champion in the social conservative realm, with blue collar Republicans, and he wants to keep that energy going in the fall.”

One issue that is completely off the table: retiring Santorum’s nearly $2 million campaign debt. Brabender said it was “never discussed” and they actually made it a “precursor to the conversation” that they had “no interest in discussing that.”

Santorum sent an email to supporters Friday saying he will be making an “exciting announcement about what I will be doing next … but before I can make this announcement, I need to spend some time erasing my remaining campaign debt.” The email asked supporters to donate in order to erase the debt.

The adviser said he isn’t sure if a formal endorsement would come, but if it did he expects it to be “sooner than later.”

Brabender said the 90 minute meeting went longer than he originally expected, but he described it as  a “very friendly, cordial, and candid conversation.” He added both Santorum and Romney “showed up early because they were looking forward to the meeting.” Brabender did tell ABC News earlier Friday “there was always an expectation it was would take a little bit of time,” referring to the length of the meeting.

There was a lot they both wanted to talk about and they both value each other’s opinion,” Brabender said. “It was a reasonable amount of time.”

The meeting was held at Brabender’s office in the scenic Mount Washington section of Pittsburgh. The office overlooks the baseball and football stadiums and Brabender said they were both “glad to host the governor” and give him a “remarkable view of Pittsburgh,” Santorum’s home town.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Mitt Romney Confirms Secret Meeting with Newt Gingrich Last Week

Charles Dharapa-Pool/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Reports that Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich met secretly in New Orleans the day before the Louisiana primary were confirmed Thursday.

On Thursday in a radio interview, Romney seemed to play down the importance of the meeting between himself and Gingrich, saying that the meeting brought about "nothing new" or "exciting."  

A source close to the Gingrich campaign, which earlier this week scaled back and laid off staffers, confirmed the meeting happened early Friday morning at around 6:30 a.m. at Romney’s hotel in the French Quarter district of New Orleans. Gingrich was staying at a hotel about 30 minutes away from Romney’s hotel and met with him before heading to the southern part of Louisiana to campaign in Port Fourchon.

Gingrich campaign spokesman R.C. Hammond told ABC News that he was not the source of other reports that the two candidates had met; however, “Newt does speak to Santorum and Romney on a regular basis.”

Romney is the clear front-runner in the Republican race and holds a commanding delegate lead. Gingrich has stayed in the race even though he could never maintain spurts of momentum heading into the Iowa caucus and after a big win in South Carolina. Any sort of agreement between the men would be a turn of events. Gingrich has blamed negative advertising both from the Romney campaign and a super PAC that supports Romney for hurting his candidacy. Still, Gingrich has pledged to take his candidacy to the Republican candidacy in Tampa, Florida, later this year. Gingrich has finished fourth in 13 of the last 27 Republican primary contests.

A financial backer of Gingrich, Nevada casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, recently said he still supports Gingrich, but thinks the former House speaker has reached the “end of his line.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Boehner, Cantor Urge Obama to Convene Meeting before Jobs Address

Joshua Roberts/Bloomberg via Getty Images (WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner and Majority Leader Eric Cantor urged President Obama to find common ground with Republicans, asking that he convene a meeting with the top Congressional leadership before his address to a joint session of Congress Thursday “so that we may have the opportunity to constructively discuss your proposals.”

“While we each sincerely believe that our own policy prescriptions for economic recovery are what is best for the country, neither of us is likely to convince the other in a manner that results in the full implementation of those policies,” the duo wrote in a letter to the president Tuesday.  “While it is important that we continue to debate and discuss our different approaches to job creation, it is also critical that our differences not preclude us from taking action in areas where there is common agreement.  We should not approach this as an all or nothing situation.”

In the letter, Boehner of Ohio and Cantor of Virginia highlighted a number of potential areas for bipartisan agreement, such as the elimination of a law that requires states to set-aside 10 percent of their surface transportation funds for transportation enhancements, which must be used for the establishment of transportation museums, education activities for pedestrians and bicyclists, acquisition of scenic easements, historic preservation and operation of historic transportation facilities, among other things.

“While many of the initiatives funded by this mandatory set-aside may be worthy projects, eliminating this required set-aside would allow states to devote more money to the types of infrastructure programs you are advocating without adding to the deficit,” Boehner and Cantor noted.  “We believe such a reform would be consistent with your statement last week that we should ‘reform the way transportation money is invested, to eliminate waste, to give states more control over the projects that are right for them.’”

Boehner and Cantor also said they are “hopeful” that they can work with the White House to pass three pending free-trade agreements, speed up the permitting process for construction projects and overhaul the unemployment system to aid workers at risk of being unemployed for an extended period of time.

The leaders also urged Obama to support a batch of legislation that has already passed the House and that GOP leaders predict would lead to job creation that has stalled in the Democratic-led Senate.

“Our new majority has passed more than a dozen pro-growth measures to address the jobs crisis.  Aside from repeal of the 1099 reporting requirement in the health care law, however, none of the jobs measures passed by the House to date have been taken up by the Democrat-controlled Senate,” Boehner and Cantor wrote.  “Our hope is that both parties can work together in the coming weeks to reduce excessive regulation that is hampering job growth in our country.”

The White House does not know yet whether Obama will brief Congressional leaders before his jobs speech.

The president has not yet finished working on his speech, and he is not rehearsing it, but he did get considerable work accomplished over Labor Day weekend, according to a White House official.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


After Hurricane Irene, Obama to Spend Day in White House Meetings

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- After spending the weekend bracing for Hurricane Irene, President Obama will return to a schedule of closed-door meetings at the White House Monday.

The president will, however, take a moment to make an on-camera appearance at 11 a.m., when he is expected to announce his intent to nominate Alan Krueger to lead the Council of Economic Advisers.

Obama spent the weekend meeting with his emergency response team and preparing for the storm, which was ultimately weaker than expected.  Having learned from disasters of the past, the president made the case Sunday that his administration was well-prepared for Irene.

"This has been an exemplary effort of how good government, at every level, should be responsive to people’s needs, work to keep them safe, and protect and promote the nation’s prosperity,” Obama said in a Rose Garden statement.

The president also offered his condolences to the families of victims whose lives were claimed by the storm.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with those who’ve lost loved ones and those whose lives have been affected by the storm.  You need to know that America will be with you in your hour of need," he said.

Now that the storm has passed, Obama will meet with his senior advisors Monday morning and will have a private lunch with Vice President Joe Biden.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama to Meet with CEOs to Discuss Economy

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- After taking his jobs push on the road Thursday, the president will spend Friday at the White House focusing on the struggling economy and football.

Friday afternoon, President Obama will meet with business leaders and CEOs at the White House to talk about the nation's economy.  It is not yet known who will be attending the meeting, which is closed to the press.

Later in the day, the president will welcome the Green Bay Packers to the White House to honor their Super Bowl victory.  Obama will also continue his tradition of recognizing the team’s work off the field and their contributions to the community.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


White House Debt Talks Make Little Progress, Will Continue Monday

MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama told congressional leaders Sunday night that he is prepared to make the tough decisions on entitlement spending to reach a deal on raising the debt ceiling and cutting the deficit, a Democrat familiar with the negotiating process told ABC News.

But if Republicans are not willing to do the same regarding taxes, the president asked them during a meeting at the White House, what is their alternative?

After meeting for 75 minutes, congressional leaders will be back at the White House Monday afternoon to continue negotiations.

On Monday morning, the president will hold a news conference on the matter, making his case to the American people about why tax rates for wealthier Americans and corporations need to be raised as part of a deficit reduction package of at least $4 trillion over the next decade.

Republicans say House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, sought a similarly sized package that would reduce and reform entitlement spending and cut and cap discretionary spending.  The bill -- which would also raise the debt ceiling through November 2012 -- would contain language committing to principles of tax reform, which key House and Senate committee chairmen would then turn into actual numbers.

Talks broke down, Republicans said, when the president would not commit to the principle that everyone's tax rates would come down.

Also in Sunday night's meeting, Obama again took the idea of a short-term debt ceiling fix off the table.  Whatever Congress passes in terms of deficit reduction, the debt ceiling needs to be raised until after November 2012, a Democratic briefing on the discussions told ABC News.

The president also told congressional leaders to come back Monday with a view on what could pass both the House and the Senate.

A Democratic aide familiar with the process said that Boehner "put on the table letting the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy expire and banking the revenue and then he bailed.  The speaker couldn't take the heat from the Republican caucus."

Although Boehner warned Saturday evening that the two sides should "focus on producing a smaller measure, based on the cuts identified in the [Vice President Joe] Biden-led negotiations," Democrats involved in the negotiations say they still prefer to go for the "grand bargain" that would cut closer to $4 trillion over 10 years.

"We came into this weekend with the prospect that we could achieve a grand bargain," House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in a statement following the meeting.  "We are still hopeful for a large bipartisan agreement, which means more stability for our economy, more growth and jobs, and more deficit reduction over a longer period of time."

"This package must do no harm to the middle class or to economic growth," the California Democrat said.  "It must also protect Medicare and Social Security beneficiaries, and we continue to have serious concerns about shifting billions in Medicaid costs to the states."

A senior aide to the speaker said Boehner told the leaders that he still "believes a package based on the work of the Biden group is the most viable option at this time for moving forward."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama's Meeting with Wall Street Execs Comes Under Fire

SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With campaign fundraising in full swing, President Obama is under fire for hosting a Democratic National Committee-sponsored meeting with key Wall Street supporters at the White House.

On Tuesday, two former Bush administration lawyers questioned the meeting, saying it highlights the fine line between official and political events.

On March 7, the president met with Wall Street executives, some of whom are campaign contributors, in the Blue Room of the White House, according to The New York Times, which suggested that the DNC organized the event to reach out to donors.

“If it’s an official capacity meeting...the DNC should not be organizing the meeting.  The White House should be organizing the meeting.  If the DNC is setting up the meeting, that is a political meeting,” Richard Painter, former associate White House counsel to President George W. Bush, testified Tuesday before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

Painter did, however, admit that he did not know all of the facts about the meeting and was hearing “conflicting views” about whether it was of a political or official nature.

“One can look at that as political activity if you look at the circumstances and note that the DNC committee coordinated that event and issued the invitation for it,” Scott Coffina, also a former Bush White House counsel, said at the hearing.

“You get into this very fine line that’s difficult to draw.  It looks like the content was official but, certainly the population of attendees and probably the purpose of it was partisan political,” he added.

The White House has adamantly defended the meeting, which was not on the president’s public schedule that day, insisting that it was not a fundraiser and that it’s “totally precedented” for the president to have a DNC-organized meeting at the White House.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


President Obama to Meet with Australian Prime Minister

The White House/Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama will sit down for a private meeting with Prime Minister Julia Gillard of Australia Monday after his regular rounds of morning briefings in the Oval Office.

"The President and Prime Minister Gillard will discuss the strong ties between the United States and Australia, our shared political and economic interests in the Asia-Pacific region, and our work together around the world, including in Afghanistan and as members of APEC and the G20," the White House said in a statement announcing the visit.

The president and Prime Minister Gillard will hold a bilateral meeting as well as an expanded bilateral meeting. Afterwards, the two leaders will speak to the press.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama Meets with Tech Titans; White House Tight on Details

Photo Courtesy - The White House/Pete Souza(WOODSIDE, Calif.) -- The super-secret two-and-a-half-hour dinner meeting between President Obama and a dozen of Silicon Valley’s biggest stars has come and gone.

But the White House seems reluctant to share much color about the event.

New press secretary Jay Carney instead released an email which described the evening as the president’s chance to discuss “his proposals to invest in research and development and expand incentives for companies to grow and hire, along with his goal of doubling exports over five years to support millions of American jobs.”

Carney later added “there was also a lot of discussion about ways to encourage people to study science, technology, engineering and math, and to go into STEM fields.”

Obama chose these 12 titans of technology -- which included Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Apple Chairman and CEO Steve Jobs and Twitter CEO Dick Costolo -- because “American companies like these have been leading by investing in the creativity and ingenuity of the American people, creating cutting-edge new technologies and promoting new ways to communicate.”

Members of the press traveling with the president were not allowed to cover the dinner, and one wondered aloud afterward if Zuckerberg had attended wearing a techno-geek uniform: “hoodie and flip-flop’s.”

The White House provided an answer when they released a still photo of a pre-dinner chat between Obama, Zuckerberg and others.  It appears Zuckerberg dressed for dinner, wearing a jacket and collared shirt -- though you still can’t tell if he wore a tie. 

The meeting took place at the Woodside, California home of venture capitalist John Doerr and his wife, Ann.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Obama, Republicans Say White House Bipartisan Summit 'Productive'

Photo Courtesy - ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and Republican leaders hailed Tuesday's White House bipartisan summit as productive and a positive step forward. But no firm agreement was reached on extending tax cuts for Americans or ratifying the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, the top two items on the agenda.

Obama announced that Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Director of the Office of Management and Budget Jacob Lew would work with representatives from each party to come up with a solution on extending the tax cuts.

Republicans support extending Bush-era tax cuts for all Americans, while the president and Democrats, citing the burden on the deficit of across-the-board tax cuts, say that extension should not apply to the wealthy.

The GOP leadership also hailed the meeting as a positive one, but questions remain as to whether it will translate into concrete steps moving forward.

"We had a very nice meeting today," said incoming House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. "The question is, can we find the common ground that the American people expect us to find?" Tax cuts and ratification of the START treaty topped the agenda at the bipartisan summit, the first such meeting since Democrats lost the House and several seats in the Senate in the midterm elections.

The president said he also called on lawmakers to extend unemployment benefits that expired Tuesday, and the attendees also discussed tax credits for college tuition, tax breaks for working families and a tax cut for businesses that hire unemployed workers. 

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

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