JARRETT: Quite the contrary. In fact, over the last year, what we've seen, when the president came into office, there was a unified Iran. Now we're seeing a lot of divisions within the country, and we're seeing steady progress in terms of a world coalition that will put that pressure on Iran. So no, I think that we have a strong force in the making, and Iran will back down.
TAPPER: When are we going to see sanctions in the United Nations?
JARRETT: Well, we'll see. As I said, we have a START Treaty that's good progress. We have a number of countries, 44 countries coming to the United States at the request of the president to focus on nuclear proliferation, and as we begin to forge those relationships and they strengthen, that will enable us to put the pressure we believe is necessary on Iran.
TAPPER: OK. Turning to the president's big achievement of the last week, health care reform. Let me show you some numbers from today's Washington Post. Indicates that 50 percent of the American people oppose this new law; 46 percent support it. Those can't be numbers that you're happy about for the president's major domestic legislation.
JARRETT: Well, look, the fact of the matter is, this has been a long and challenging process. There has been a lot of negative rhetoric that we've heard around the country. But what we are sure of is that this is as the American people begin to understand what's in this package, when they begin to see the benefits, when small businesses are able to take tax deductions and hire new employees as opposed to having to struggle to make ends meet; as mothers who have children with preexisting conditions are now going to be covered and not be discriminated against by their insurance companies; as we begin to put in more practices so that the premium costs don't escalate and the out-of-pocket costs come down; not to mention the enormous way that we're going to bring down the national deficit as the result of health care reform, we are confident that the American people will support this. It's good for them. As you go around and you start talking about the individual components of this bill, we're seeing overwhelming support.
TAPPER: Let me show you some other numbers, because in recent days, some companies have announced they're going to have to take significant write-downs because of the new health care law, specifically the change in what companies can deduct because of the Medicare prescription drug benefit. AT&T says they're going to have to take down a write-down of $1 billion. Deere & Company, $150 million. Caterpillar, $100 million. 3M, up to $90 million. AK Steel, $31 million. Are you concerned at all about the impact this could have on job creation?
JARRETT: No, and let me tell you why. And I'm glad that you brought it up. First of all, what they're going to have to write off is nothing compared to the enormous financial benefits to those very same companies by health insurance reform that will bring down their costs substantially.
The Congressional Budget Office says so, as well as independent consultants that have been hired by the same companies that you just mentioned.