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Entries in President Barack Obama (86)

Sunday
Dec182011

Mitt Romney Talks Iraq

Darren McCollester/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Mitt Romney said he is a “concerned” about what may happen in Iraq following the troop withdrawal and said that President Barack Obama will be “vulnerable” when defending his economic policies during the general election in a wide-ranging interview on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace.

In his first Sunday morning talk show appearance in nearly two years, Romney told Wallace that while he has a very “high threshold,” when it comes to sending U.S. troops into combat, he has reservations about Obama’s removal of troops from Iraq.

“I think we’re going to find that this president—by not putting in place a status in forces agreement with the Iraqi leadership—has pulled our troops out in a precipitous way and we should have left 10,000, 20,000, 30,000 personnel there to help transition to the Iraqis’ own military capabilities. I’m very concerned in this setting. I hope it works out. But I’m concerned.”

The Obama campaign responded to Romney’s remarks about Iraq, telling ABC News: “While he did not outline a mission for them in his foreign policy agenda, Governor Romney has made clear that he would leave our troops in Iraq indefinitely.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Sunday
Nov132011

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

Sunday
Nov132011

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

Wednesday
Oct122011

Obama ‘Will Not Take No for an Answer’ on Jobs Bill

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama vowed to continue the fight for the American Jobs Act on Wednesday, declaring that “we will not take ‘no for an answer” on the morning after the Senate shelved his $447 billion jobs bill.

“A lot of folks in Washington and the media will look at last night’s vote and say, ‘Well, that’s it; let’s move on to the next fight. But I’ve got news for them: Not this time, not with so many Americans out of work, not with so many folks in your communities hurting,” Obama said at the American Latino Heritage Forum hosted by the White House.

A unified Republican caucus and a few Democrats prevented the legislation from getting the 60 votes needed to allow Senate consideration of the bill Tuesday night.

“Even though a majority of senators voted in favor of the American Jobs Act, a Republican minority got together as a group and blocked this jobs bill from passing the Senate,” Obama said in his first public comments since the bill’s defeat. “They said ‘no’ to more jobs for teachers, ‘no’ to more jobs for cops and firefighters, ‘no’ to more jobs for construction workers and veterans, ‘no’ to tax cuts for small-business owners and middle-class Americans.”

The president and congressional leaders have said they will proceed with a piecemeal approach to passing individual proposals in the president’s legislation.

“We will keep organizing and we will keep pressuring and we will keep voting until this Congress finally meets its responsibilities and actually does something to put people back to work and improve the economy,” Obama said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Sep102011

Obama Family Makes Meal for the Needy

Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and his family took part in a service project at D.C. Central Kitchen Saturday afternoon to commemorate the anniversary of 9/11.

The president and his daughter, Malia, packed rice and gumbo while first lady Michelle Obama and daughter, Sasha, prepped corn for a meal that will be distributed to those in need. The first family made chicken sausage gumbo meals that will go to organizations such as D.C. Public Schools, Covenant House Washington, and New Endeavors by Women.

D.C. Central Kitchen prepares and delivers over 5,000 meals every day.

Some of the staff at D.C. Central Kitchen are part of the Culinary Jobs Training Program, which provides formerly incarcerated, addicted and homeless men and women with hospitality jobs.

On this 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks on the homeland, President Obama has called for unity and for Americans to take part in a service activity.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr142011

Obama Calls To 'Start Moving Rapidly' on Deficit Reform 

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama sat down in the Oval Office with the co-chairs of the Fiscal Commission, one day after releasing his vision for deficit reform for the country. The president said the commission, headed by former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles, former White House chief of staff to Bill Clinton, helped  “shape” his thinking  in forming the plan to cut $4 billion from the deficit.

The president reaffirmed that he will use the tax code, “and find a way to work together to not only simplify and make the tax system fairer, but also that we use it as a tool” to help achieve the deficit goals.

The president said it is “not appropriate” to ask for sacrifices “from everybody except for the two percent of Americans who are doing best.”

Not directly mentioning the Republican criticism of his plan, the president said that “no matter how much we spend time debating the issues, at some point we’re going to have to come together as Americans.”

The president said they should “start moving rapidly to get some of these major issues resolved.”

Vice President Biden, who was also in the room, will head up the effort, the president said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr072011

Republicans Pass Temporary Budget Bill Despite Obama's Veto Threat

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- Defiant House Republicans Thursday passed a temporary budget measure that would ensure the troops are paid through September and keep the government running for another week, hours after President Obama threatened to veto it.

The bill, however, won't resolve the bitter standoff between Democrats and Republicans and, in fact, it could make even tougher negotiations on funding the government beyond midnight Friday into Saturday.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., met with Obama at the White House Thursday for the third time this week.

The leaders said the meeting was productive and expressed optimism that they could find middle ground, but no deal was struck, putting the government one step closer to a shutdown that now is looking unavoidable.

A government shutdown would have wide effects, officials say -- including delaying many tax refunds and delaying pay for military personnel.

Boehner urged the president to sign the temporary extension. Obama said earlier this week he would not vote for the measure, which includes $12 billion in spending cuts, unless there were hints of a progress in negotiations on a final bill.

"This bill is a distraction from the real work that would bring us closer to a reasonable compromise for funding the remainder of fiscal year 2011 and avert a disruptive federal government shutdown that would put the nation's economic recovery in jeopardy," the White House said in a statement.

Democrats charged that the bill is merely a political cover.

"This is a very cynical ploy to use our troops to try to impose the Republican agenda through the budget process," said Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md.

Boehner shot back at the president and Democrats.

"Neither the president nor Senate Democrats have identified a single policy provision they find objectionable in the bill," he said in a statement. "The president and Democratic leaders have all committed to working with Republicans to cut spending. A bill that falls short of that commitment cannot pass the House."

One of the key negotiators in budget talks predicted Thursday that the government is headed for a shutdown and expressed little optimism that a deal would be reached in time to avoid a paralyzing stalemate.

"The numbers are basically there," Reid said Thursday. "But I am not as nearly as optimistic -- and that's an understatement -- as I was 11 hours ago. The numbers are extremely close."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr072011

Deal Or No Deal? Shutdown Showdown Comes Down to The Wire  

ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- With a little more than a day to go to avert a government shutdown, both sides are still at loggerheads on a bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year.

Negotiators worked through the night and President Obama said a 90-minute Oval Office meeting with House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was “productive.”

“I thought the meetings were frank, they were constructive and what they did was narrow the issues and clarify the issues that are still outstanding,” Obama said, adding, “I remain confident that if we are serious about getting something done, we should be able to complete the deal and get it passed and avert a shutdown.”

Reid said he has “confidence that we can get this done,” but emphasized “we are not there yet.” Boehner, meanwhile, referred to “some honest differences” that continue to prolong the standoff.

“I want to reiterate that there is no agreement on a number and there is no agreement on the policy,” Boehner said Wednesday night. “But there’s an intent on both sides to continue to work together to try to resolve this.”

ABC’s George Stephanopoulos hears that negotiators are still a few billion dollars and several policy riders away from a deal. And in his exclusive interview with Speaker Boehner before Wednesday's White House meeting, the Ohio Republican said he and his GOP counterparts would keep “fighting for the largest cuts that we can.”

“The Democrats controlled the House last year, they controlled the Senate.…And we had a Democrat in the White House. They should have done this budget last year,” Boehner told Stephanopoulos. “Now, we’ve kept the government open while cutting about $10 billion worth of spending.…We’re cleaning up last year’s mess.” 

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Apr022011

Obama Set to Launch 2012 Campaign

TIM SLOAN/ AFP (WASHINGTON) -- President Obama is expected to make his re-election bid official next week.

His campaign reportedly plans to file the necessary papers with the Federal Election Commission as early as Monday, but has not publicly committed to a specific date should something else overshadow or delay the president's 2012 kickoff.

According to reports, the announcement will be made through the president's campaign website, social media, and by email and text messages. Obama is scheduled to begin fundraising efforts around the country in the next two weeks, reports said.

A Republican contender has yet to officially throw their hat in the ring for the presidency, although former governors Mitt Romney, of Massachusetts, and Tim Pawlenty, of Minnesota, have expressed interest.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Mar292011

Donald Trump Releases Official Birth Certificate

Mike Stobe/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Donald Trump learned the hard way this week that if you're going to call on the president to release his official birth certificate, you'd better do the same.

Trump, who has been putting pressure on President Obama lately to make public his long-form birth certificate from Hawaii, decided to set a good example and release his own on Monday. The only problem was, the document that Trump provided to the conservative Website Newsmax wasn't his actual birth certificate, but rather a  "hospital certificate of birth."

On Tuesday, Trump, who is contemplating a presidential run in 2012, sought to correct the oversight, providing a copy of his official birth certificate issued by the New York City Department of Health to ABC News.

It shows that "Donald John Trump" was born June 14, 1946 in Jamaica Hospital in Queens. It lists his father as Fred C. Trump and his mother as Mary Mac Leod. The date of the report is listed as June 14, 1946.

The image came with an accompanying memo from a member of Trump's staff.

"A 'birth certificate' and a 'certificate of live birth' are in no way the same thing, even though in some cases they use some of the same words," wrote Trump staffer Thuy Colayco in a message to ABC News. "One officially confirms and records a newborn child’s identity and details of his or her birth, while the other only confirms that someone reported the birth of a child. Also, a 'certificate of live birth' is very easy to get because the standards are much lower, while a 'birth certificate' is only gotten through a long and detailed process wherein identity must be proved beyond any doubt. If you had only a certificate of live birth, you would not be able to get a proper passport from the Post Office or a driver’s license from the Department of Motor Vehicles. Therefore, there is very significant difference between a 'certificate of live birth' and a 'birth certificate' and one should never be confused with the other."

Trump has been turning up the volume on his calls for Obama, who has been the target of allegations that he was not born in the United States by so-called "birthers," to release his official birth certificate.

"This guy either has a birth certificate or he doesn't," Trump said in an interview on Fox News on Monday. "I didn't think this was such a big deal, but I will tell you, it's turning out to be a very big deal because people now are calling me from all over saying please don't give up on this issue."

The Obama campaign released a "certification of live birth," which is a shorter document that carries the same legal weight as the long one, in 2008.

Trump has brought up the issue again and again. In a recent interview with ABC's The View, he said that Obama has "a terrible pale that's hanging over with him" because of his refusal to release the document.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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