Thursday, October 13, 2011

Obama Meets With Evangelical Leaders

Official White House Photo/Pete Souza

President Obama met with some members of the National Association of Evangelicals at the White House Wednesday. The President and the NAE Executive Committee discussed several topics, including the role of the faith community in advocating for jobs for Americans, according to the White House.

posted @ Thursday, October 13, 2011 4:54 PM | Feedback (0)

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

My Analysis - The Economy Debate

Last night was the second to last GOP debate. It was on the campus of Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire prides itself on being the "First in the Nation" Primary. The debate last night, sponsored by Bloomberg News and The Washington Post, was focused all about the economy.

It's the number one issue for New Hampshire voters. It's the number one issue for the nation.

Here's my instant analysis of the debate last night.

Mitt Romney = strong again
Rick Perry = didn't shine
Rick Santorum = engaging
Herman Cain = mad, 999
Michele Bachmann = who?
Jon Huntsman = funny
Newt Gingrich = hates Obama
Ron Paul = all about liberty

There weren't a lot of surprises. Rick Perry kind of needed a 'big night' to make up for some miss-steps in previous debates, but he didn't really have it.

I think Herman Cain owned the night, I'd love to check the transcript and see how many times 999 was mentioned.

Jon Huntsman actually got a lot of air time. Sometimes he was funny, but sometimes he was awkward, like when he brought up the Mormon thing. Awkward.

We have one more debate, next week, in Las Vegas. Then a presidential forum in Des Moines.

This field could and should be narrowing soon. Stay tuned.

posted @ Wednesday, October 12, 2011 10:42 AM | Feedback (0)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

LIVE BLOG: Presidential News Conference

President Obama is currently holding a press conference in the East Room of the White House.

11:07 a.m. - Obama: No doubt economy is weaker now than it was at the beginning of the year.

11:08 a.m. - POTUS says he has gone out of his way to work with Congress, sometimes at his own political peril.

11:08 a.m. - Obama says bottom line is "our doors are open." Says he's taking the case to the American people because "they understand what is at stake." (Pushing his jobs bill)

11:09 a.m. - President says, we know we have roads and bridges that need to be re-built. Says Republicans have traditionally been for building infrastructure, why are they against it now?

11:10 a.m. - POTUS asks, do they have a plan? If they do, he says he wants to hear it. Says problems for middle class pre-date the financial crisis. "They've been struggling for over a decade."

11:12 a.m. - Obama now making his 3rd "bottom line" - saying it's important to have a vote on the Jobs bill.

11:13 a.m. - Obama saying if Republicans don't go for the bill (he's not even mentioning the fact that some Democrats are also not for it) they will try to get it through piece-by-piece.

11:15 a.m. - POTUS says without doing something now about jobs, this situation could potentially get worse.

11:17 a.m. - Obama says the American people have been frustrated for a long time.  Frustrated by Washington. He's using the word, "folks," reminds me of campaign-style Obama...

11:20 a.m. - Obama: Even proposals Republicans used to support, now they're against.

11:22 a.m. - POTUS says: We have to have a strong financial sector to recover. Says he used up a lot of political collateral to make that happen, and it was the right thing to do.

11:27 a.m. - Obama goes after the 2012 GOP candidates for their stances on financial reform, namely wanting to roll back his reform, Dodd-Frank.

11:29 a.m. - POTUS one of the biggest disappointment of the financial crisis of 2008 was that a lot of the practices weren't illegal, just immoral. Says the loopholes and creative ways to make money are exacly why reform was needed.

11:31 a.m. - Obama says he fully supports Attorney General Eric Holder re: Fast & Furious gun scandal.

11:35 a.m. - When it comes to competing in green energy, Obama says he's not willing to surrender to China's growth. Says we have to focus on manufacturing and technology here.

11:38 a.m. - Obama says it is entirely appropriate for government to have oversight role when it comes to banking. Says consumers must understand what they're getting.

11:41 a.m. - POTUS says other countries are subsidizing green industries much more aggressively than US. Says he has confidence in American businesses and techonology being able to win that race.

11:45 a.m. - Obama: It's great that we're passing these free trade agreements, it's good for the economy, but it's not enough for the 9 percent unemployment.

11:49 a.m. - President Obama gives the press some homework: Go ask Republicans what their economic plan is if they are opposed to the American Jobs Act. Get economists' feedback.

11:52 a.m. - Obama says all he can do is mobilize the right people. Points at Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, as if to suggest they are making his job oh so difficult. "I would love nothing more than to not have to be out there campaigning."

11:58 a.m. - Obama says he believes US companies and workers can compete with anyone in the world. Need to play by the rules, though. (in response to question about China currency.)

12:00 p.m. - President talks about Afghanistan (10 year anniversary of the war this weekend) saying we couldn't have been as successful there without the cooperation of Pakistan.

12:12 p.m. - And, it's over.

posted @ Thursday, October 06, 2011 11:07 AM | Feedback (0)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

White House Condemns Pastor's Conviction

The White House just issued this statement by the Press Secretary on the conviction of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani:

"The United States condemns the conviction of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani.  Pastor Nadarkhani has done nothing more than maintain his devout faith, which is a universal right for all people.  That the Iranian authorities would try to force him to renounce that faith violates the religious values they claim to defend, crosses all bounds of decency, and breaches Iran’s own international obligations.   A decision to impose the death penalty would further demonstrate the Iranian authorities' utter disregard for religious freedom, and highlight Iran's continuing violation of the universal rights of its citizens.  We call upon the Iranian authorities to release Pastor Nadarkhani, and demonstrate a commitment to basic, universal human rights, including freedom of religion."

posted @ Thursday, September 29, 2011 3:18 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, September 23, 2011

GOP Candidates Debate on Immigration in Florida

I bring this report to you from the strangest/coolest media filing center I have ever been in. Take a look at it above.

I watched the debate from a bean bag. Google was one of the sponsors of this debate, and the media filing center was completely "Googled out."

It was interesting.

So was the debate, didn't you think?

We've seen these candidates go back and forth on issues like social security and jobs and the economy over and over and over again. I didn't hear anything new on either of those fronts.

Mitt Romney and Rick Perry fought over what each man did or did not put in this or that copy of their book. Herman Cain is still trying to get people to get on board with the 999 plan. Newt Gingrich blames President Obama.

I thought it was interesting some of the points that were made about the issue of immigration.

Perry, obviously governor of a border state, took some jabs from Mitt Romney, who said that children of illegal aliens can get in-state tuition breaks in Texas that could save them $100,000 over a four year period.

"If you're a United States citizen from any other state, you have to pay more, that doesn’t make any sense to me," Romney said.

Perry played the compassion card, saying the kids came to the U.S. not on their own will, but because of their parents.

"If you say that we should not educate children that come into our state for no other reason, that they've been brought there by no fault of their own, I don’t think you have a heart. We need to be educating those children because they will become a drag on our society," Perry said.

Rick Santorum and Rep. Michele Bachmann piled on.

"Why should they get preferential treatment as an illegal in this country?" Santorum asked.

"I would not allow taxpayer funded benefits for illegal aliens or for their children, that's a magnet," Bachmann said, to the tune of applause.

Immigration is obviously a big issue here in the state of Florida. And, Florida is going to be a big deal not only in the general election in 2012, but also in the GOP Primary race.

Cheers from the Google lounge. There is officially no candy, and no coffee left.

posted @ Friday, September 23, 2011 12:33 AM | Feedback (0)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Jobs, a Bridge, and a Debate

Good morning from sunny Orlando, Fla. The sun shining in my hotel room literally woke me up this morning.

And, I loved it.

Today there are a few big political stories going on.

1. President Obama will deliver remarks pushing his American Jobs Act, on a bridge that connects Ohio and Kentucky. Ohio happens to be the home of House Speaker John Boehner. Kentucky happens to be the home of Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Interesting.

2. There's a big debate tonight in Orlando, Fla. Florida is always a big deal, because it is considered a bellwether state. Florida is like a mini-U.S. Issues like social security, immigration, Israel, they're all huge down here. Florida has a lot of senior citizens, and a lot of implants from other states.

It's a melting pot. A melting pot with 29 electoral votes that are very important to winning a general Presidential election. But Florida matters in the GOP nomination, as well. Look for Mitt Romney and Gov. Rick Perry to try to make some Florida friends tonight.

I'll be there, working with Chief Political Correspondent, David Brody, on a report for "The 700 Club" tomorrow morning. Follow us during the debate, live on Twitter: @danabrownritter and @thebrodyfile

posted @ Thursday, September 22, 2011 9:27 AM | Feedback (0)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Official End of 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell

After years of debate and controversy, and months of preparation, today marks the official end of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy.

President Obama said the following in a statement put out by the White House today:

"As of today, patriotic Americans in uniform will no longer have to lie about who they are in order to serve the country they love. As of today, our armed forces will no longer lose the extraordinary skills and combat experience of so many gay and lesbian service members. And today, as Commander in Chief, I want those who were discharged under this law to know that your country deeply values your service."

"For more than two centuries, we have worked to extend America’s promise to all our citizens. Our armed forces have been both a mirror and a catalyst of that progress, and our troops, including gays and lesbians, have given their lives to defend the freedoms and liberties that we cherish as Americans. Today, every American can be proud that we have taken another great step toward keeping our military the finest in the world and toward fulfilling our nation’s founding ideals."

President Obama signed the Repeal Act back in December.

posted @ Tuesday, September 20, 2011 12:43 PM | Feedback (0)

Friday, September 16, 2011

Obama to Deliver Back-to-School Speech

Continuing his annual tradition, President Obama will deliver a Back-to-School speech on Wednesday, Sept. 28. This year's speech will be at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C.

The White House says the speech is an opportunity for the President to speak directly to students across the country. He generally encourages them to study hard, set goals, and don't give up.

The speech will also be live streamed online.

On a side note - one of President Obama's potential contenders for the White House, Rep. Michelle Bachmann, will also be speaking at a school that day. She will address convocation at Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

posted @ Friday, September 16, 2011 3:19 PM | Feedback (0)

White House Wrap is Back

Hello, folks.

I am back after a summer away from the blog.

I hope you are all well, and ready to dive back into the White House Wrap.

As I get back into the groove around here, you'll notice some news from the campaign trail.  I'll be covering the GOP candidates for the White House.

Remember, you can always check in on the blogs of my amazingly talented co-workers Jennifer Wishon at the White House and John Jessup on Capitol Hill on Beltway Buzz and Chief Political Correspondent David Brody on The Brody File.

And, if you're on Twitter - follow me over there: @danabrownritter

posted @ Friday, September 16, 2011 3:15 PM | Feedback (0)

Monday, July 25, 2011

'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Officially Ends in September

Official White House Photo

In case you missed it - Friday, President Obama signed off on officially ending the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in 60 days.

My colleague, Tyler James, filed this report:

posted @ Monday, July 25, 2011 1:26 PM | Feedback (0)