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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 22, 2009 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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be taken against those that the president believes are fulfilling the universal principle? >> the increase of violence and the threat of more? it's not just an order of magnitude that led the white house to say -- the violence because obviously there have been those who have died in the streets before the president used the word unjust. >> which is why the president again, a week ago -- remember a week ago we were a day or so, maybe two days away from the election and the president was asked and responded to images on television that warned against increased violence. we saw that ratchet up over the course of several days. >> last week when i asked you, maybe tuesday or wednesday, if this administration was still open to negotiation with the ruling regime, you said yes. now a moment ago a very similar question was asked, it's hard to
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say what's going to happen. are you less certain about whether it is fruitful for this admin to consider negotiating with them now? >> i'm not less certain about whether it's fruitful because i understand the fruit that was not borne as a result of not engaging the islamic republic of iran, right? we've gone from zero spinning centrifuges to several thousand. i think that. >> that was true a week ago. what i'm saying is has what happened in the injustice this administration has taken note of changed its attitude about whether it would be worthwhile to pursue negotiations with a regime that is now in its opinion and the opinion of others in the world less just than it was a week ago? >> as i said earlier, our interests as it relates to our grave concerns about the help that's provided to terrorists,
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the grave concern we have about the pursuit of a nuclear weapon, has remain unchanged. i would point to you what senator lugar said yesterday in discussing the fact that -- the desirability of still continuing those discussion. >> how much would the government -- with this arrangement announced here at the white house? >> i don't have that figure. >> i'm curious why -- >> i don't think that's. >> no, that is the case. in the doughnut hole there's no cost. >> right. >> that's a benefit to the seniors. >> no, but again -- >> that's how it's been explained to me. >> i think as i said as i said earlier some portion of this will go to the pharmaceutical industry making good on the savings proposals the president has outlined to make healthcare more efficient which will impact
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the amount that the government pays. the president i think outlined almost 100 billion in savings through efficiency he would like to see as a result of the pharmaceutical industry, so i guess it's somewhere between zero and, say, $100 billion. >> direct government cost, though, does that mean efficiency within a private sector? >> no, it's -- the president can't lay on the table to save money the government doesn't pay. that's the whole definition of cvo store built. this isn't part of the 2 trillion. this is part of the $948 billion that the president laid on the table as part of the down payment on healthcare reform. so this is -- the fact this is zero money for the government simply is just not true. >> you don't know how much, though? >> i don't have an exact number
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with me. >> on iran specifically, is the president looking at any videos or going online himself to find out what is going on or how specifically is he following this outside of his meetings with advisors that we were briefed on over the weekend? how is he following the developments? >> well, i don't know what, if he's looking on different web sites or external information via the internet he's getting. obviously as you mentioned he met with advisors both saturday and sunday on the topic of iran. but i don't know what external information via the internet or what sites he's gone on on that. i don't know that. >> if i could ask one more thing on smoking. during the campaign the president, senator at the time, and mrs. obama went on "60
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minutes" and used his smoking as part of his sort of campaign narrative, if you will. he's used ice biography in many areas. why not use this as an opportunity, if he has or if he hasn't quit smoking, to discuss this with the american people or even offer a warning to young children about smoking? >> well, again, i think he was fairly forward today in discussing the fact that this is, as i've said throughout the last couple weeks, something that he continues to struggle with. >> he used about eight words in the speech as opposed to saying. >> i don't think what the appropriate worth count would have been in order to check the box, but i -- and again i think the president spoke about this in personal terms regardless of the word count. >> something that still aggravates him when he's asking about this? >> maybe i should give you that opportunity to ask him. [laughter]
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>> go figure. helen? >> the "new york times" -- why didn't the president totally -- >> the i have not seen that number. i think the president has discussed ensuring that there is a public option to increase choice and competition in healthcare as we seek to reduce costs for families and small businesses. >> the president said today that as part of the healthcare reform act that he'll ask congress to enact this year, and then he talked about the agreement that he was hailing today, in discussing the $80 billion agreement that he was praising today, he talked about it in the
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context of the broader medicare -- broader healthcare reform. is this in any way hooked to the passage of x, y and sechlt or will this agreement stand alone even as everything else flows? >> i think f a.r.m.a. is better to answer that but to get broad-based savings in healthcare, we'll need comprehensive healthcare reform. >> do you have any more guidance on wednesday for us in terms o of -- >> i'm sorry? >> the townhall, the healthcare. >> wednesday. >> the wednesday thing. >> guidance in terms of what? >> how it will work. will it just be pooled? >> i think without having worked this out totally, my sense is that we'll have a print pool or two embargoed until the program airs. i think the video will come via
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abc. >> to follow up on cigarettes, when you say he still struggles, does that mean he still snobingz sometimes? >> i'm not going to parse the president's words on this today. >> that's how he describes it? >> how did he say it today? >> he said in the past he had ben a teenager -- i just want to understand -- >> again, i think i said last week, i would have to go back and look at my exact statement, but i got from him that obviously this is a struggle that he continues to have. >> on the issue of the doma brief, one of your colleagues lisa brown said some of the language she didn't think should have been in there. can you clarify whether that brief was cleared here at the white house, whether it represents the white house's view? >> you didn't ask the staff secretary? >> it wasn't a press conference, it was a panel discussion.
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can you clarify whether it was -- >> i don't know the answer to that. >> do you know if there's any discussion under way about maybe modifying or changing it? >> nothing i'm aware of, no. george? >> what do you see as a realistic timetable for getting immigration reform through congress? >> as i talked about last week, the president will have a meeting at the white house on thursday, that will be with those that have supported and opposed in the past what the president believes is comprehensive immigration reform. i think this is as i described last week part of the ongoing and continued conversation, understanding that we have still got progress to make in order to get something like this through the house and the senate. i think the president hopes that later this year, we can have and begin formal debate on that but -- and i think he hopes that it will happen soon but doesn't
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have a crystal ball when that might happen. >> you can see it slipping in the next year? >> i can see the president's desire for it to happen but understanding at the currently where we sit the math makes that more difficult than the discussion. >> there are reports by espn getting widespread pickup a year off but i have to ask a question that the president's plan on going to south africa for the opening of world cup. is this travel he's been planning? >> well, as a -- so you wouldn't know it from my physique as a former college soccer player i asked the scheduling office about this as well -- [laughter] -- what's so funny! [laughter] >> goal-keeper, ing figure, right! [laughter]
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i asked specifically that as well in order to get my seat early and -- [laughter] -- i'm told from scheduling that the president has accepted a meeting with the head of fifa world cup but we have not yet altogether made plans, though i can assure you a small group of us have assembled in order to move the president in that direction: exactly. i've got four right up close. sorry. go ahead. >> yesterday, former secretary robert rush said he was worried the obama white house had overlearned the lessons of the clinton years. deferring too much to congress when it came to crafting legislation. what are your responses to that critique which i should add george stephanopoulos seemed to agree with? >> well, i don't want to weigh into network politics on this, i quite honestly don't want to -- don't think there's a whole lot
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of utility in me getting involved in a debate about tactically whether the pursuit of what we are doing versus how or when it was pursued 16 years ago is appropriate except to say, as i said earlier, the president envisioned as he said throughout the campaign a big table of negotiations in order to get long-term comprehensive healthcare reform that cuts cost. i don't see based on the notion that the pharmaceutical industry who, again, was on the other side of the political debate, not even at the table 16 years ago, i think where aarp was 16 years ago, i think regardless of what we have or have not learned, i think the process
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that the president is moving forward with negotiations with all those stakeholders involved is making progress towards long-term reform. i think that is what is important but as i said, there has been a point throughout each of the five months where the pundits, as chip talked about, like to talk about how everything is amiss, off the rails, and dead on arrival. >> people involved in the clinton effort, not just pundits, these are people involved in the clinton effort. >> but not necessarily working each and every day on what we're doing to move that reform forward, this is a step toward meaningful reform that is in
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itself different than what we had 16 years ago. >> yesterday, senator feinstein said that she or indicated she wasn't satisfied with the intelligence on iraq. -- is the president learning things? >> i don't want to comment on the intelligence process or the specific intelligence the president is getting. >> is he satisfied with what he's getting? >> let me follow up on the friday question i asked you if he was consulting with anybody outside the government. >> i will check on that again today. i meant to do that fried. i apologize. >> back to iran. what is the best -- back to what, sorry? >> iran. >> i didn't hear you. >> what is the best case scenario after watching the activities this week for levels
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of engagement you had hoped for prior to the election? what's the best case scenario? >> in terms of whether they happen, the outcome? >> keep the levels of engagement the way you had anticipated prior to -- >> look, there are events happening on the ground right now that are the focus of the administration's effort. but again our long-term -- long-term interests and our long-term goals haven't changed. whether or not the iranians will accept all responsibilities is something that can only be measured when that starts to happen. >> we understand it's about levels of engagement after what happens this week and my question is, again: i understand
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the administration wanted to have open lines with top officials but what is the best case scenario to keep that happening? >> let me just say this: the p 5 plus 1 has a request in to speak directly with the iranians and that is not a request that is changed or been withdrawn. >> what about the situation on afghanistan later this month? >> that i don't -- is this the regional afghanistan meeting? let me check on that. i thought that had taken place but i will look. >> they didn't name who they wanted to come as of yet. >> we can check on that. >> robert, beyond the explanation about not wanting to appear to be meddling, it's been suggested that the united states actually has the power very quietly without giving that appearance to transmit via satellite a broadband access into iran and help people
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continue to communicate. any talks about anything like that going on that you are aware of? >> not that i'm aware of but i want to make sure i'm understanding. there was there. >> there was a column in the post, i think david ignatius talked about how the united states has the technical ability to transmit via satellite broadband capability into iran to help iranians on the ground to communicate with each other. >> let me go back and check on a technical measure whether that's what that means. this is a little out of my technical area. i'll go see if there's others that have -- that are in more of the day-to-day meetings that might have a greater sense of technical capabilities of that. >> may seem like a long way off at this moment but in two weeks the president will go to russia, italy and ghana.
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>> wednesday, i think. >> yes. what message does the president hope to deliver to the people of africa, the african nations? >> well, look, i think we obviously have reminders even as we speak of the importance of free and fair elections, the importance of determining your leaders and i think obviously ghana is a shining example on the continent for that and obviously there are a number of investments our government has made in the couldn't ti nent, i think the president has rightly given a lot of credit for the pepfar initiative to president
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bush, whether it's the communicable diseases of malaria or diseases like hiv/aids that the -- each administration has given great commitment to and just the overall development message i think will be important for this administration to continue to pursue and i think you'll see that. >> as you know -- outstripping the jobs being created by the stimulus and we expect to see unemployment at 10% or higher in 2010. >> to be clear, i think the president said this, and i would certainly say this. i think you're likely to see unemployment at 10% within the next couple of months. >> but when you talk about growing the economy, the answer seems to be healthcare reform. >> i think -- finish your
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question. >> it's going to take a long time to complete. absent healthcare reform, do you have a plan b or a second stimulus? >> well, let me sort of separate the two questions because i think what i have talked begin terms of laying long term foundation, it includes healthcare reform, decisions small businesses are making each day, the ability to pay for or not pay for the employee's healthcare is a very short-term problem as well as something the president wants to seek a long-term answer to but the president, whether it's renewed commitment to education, whether it's clean energy jobs that put
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people to work, help our dependence on foreign oil, make our country safer, make our environment cleaner, a renewed focus on things like that in manufacturing, there are i think any number of things the administration is working on. i think there were stories about this today, you are going to see the jobless rate increase for a while. the president has said that, i've said it on a number of occasions, i think the figure that was in the paper today is you have to create about 125, 150,000 jobs a month simply to see the number, whatever level it's at, remain the same.
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we've seen positive changes in some of the infleck shons in the amount of jobless necessary each month but again that is a long way to go, to create jobs on the positive sides and then creating jobs on the positive side enough to either keep the rate stead or bring that rate down. obviously this is going to take quite some time and it's a big focus on this administration and for the president. >> in california, unemployment now has reached 11.5%. the highest jobless rate since world war ii. this is the natural average -- higher than the national average
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of 9.4%, more than the state's of michigan, 4% and rhode island at 12.1%. now, i have -- i heard what you said and the question he just asked related to this but what else can the president do for the people now that the stimulus package and all the things that you are doing, what else can be done for the people who have lost jobs right now? >> well, let's not -- i appreciate you've accepted my answer on the recovery act but let's not paper over what is involved in the recovery act that addresses the needs of states and localities. again, california, as i said earlier, has gotten over $3 billion in increased medicaid funds, nearly $4 billion in additional education funds and
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many of the states that you mentioned have also gotten money. we have extended unemployment insurance and ix tended healthcare for those that are losing their jobs, there is no doubt, i think there is 14 or 15 of the states, some of which you mentioned that exceed the 9.4% national average after bls introduced their state by state sticks on friday, there is no doubt that many states are hurt ling, many have seen industries close up shop, and i think that's exactly what the president believed and why the president believed we needed a strong recovery and reinvestment plan to begin to change the curve in many of those states. obviously we've discussed
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michigan, which i think leads the country in unemployment, obviously their situation in some ways is a little bit more unique based on the dependence on auto manufacturing, auto parts supply, that the president has taken steps to address. but there is no doubt that the recovery plan is making important investments in both state budgets and in individual aspects of recovery, whether it's trying to use tax incentives to create clean energy jobs or create jobs through increased and quicker investment in transportation projects that have a twofold effect. one, you are putting people back to work immediately and, two, and i think governor schwarzenegger has talked about this fairly extensively and that is the infrastructure needs that his state has in the near term in order to lay that foundation for long-term economic growth.
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the recovery plan is in its investment in infrastructure funding doing both those things, obviously the president understands that we've got a long way to go to turning this economy around and that's what his focus is. >> thank you, robert. >> thank you, robert. >> thanks.
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>> several committees are meeting this week on capitol hill to review the healthcare plan of the president. each committee has oversight of a different section of the bill. tomorrow, house and senate health committees take a look on wednesday, the house commerce committee reviews the plan as well as the ways and means committee which deals with the tax provisions. you can follow committee and this week on washington journal, senator john mccain talks about iraq, iran, afghanistan and domestic issues. that's tomorrow morning at 8:00 eastern. he's followed at 9:00 by cbs news and thursday, the original head of the homeland security department, former pennsylvania governor tom ridge, that is live at 9:00 eastern here on c-span. >> richard branson who started virgin atlantic airways speaks
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about aviation. mr. branson a vehement opponent of the proposed merger of british airways and american airlines was at the national press club where he spoke for an hour. goip. >> good morning, welcome to the national press club for our speaker breakfast. i'm donna -- a reporter with "usa today" and president of the national press club. we're the world's leading professional organization for journalists and are committed to a future of journalism by providing informative programming and journalism education and fostering a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club, please visit our web site at on behalf of our 3,500 members worldwide i'd like to welcome our speaker and guest in the audience today. i would also like to welcome those of you who are watching us
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on c-span. we're looking forward to today's speech and afterwards i'll ask as many questions from the audience as time permits. please hold your applause during the speech so we have time for as many questions as possible. for our broadcast audience i'd like to explain that if you do hear applause, it may be from the guests and members of the general public who attend our events and not necessarily from the working press. i'd now like to introduce our head table guest and ask them to stand briefly when their names are called. mark ino, kipp linger and press of the washington airline society. melissa charbinou, vice-chair of the speakers committee. nigel milton, and a guess of our speaker. marilyn g e.w.a. x nprio


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