Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 4/17/2009

By Lindsey Ellerson

Apr 16, 2009 5:28pm

Aboard Air Force One en route to Mexico City, White House press secretary came back to "gaggle" with us, though he said the gaggle could not be on camera.

Here are the two questions I asked during the gaggle.

TAPPER: First of all, just for the record, I’d like to voice my objection to this being off camera, on behalf of the TV people.  President Obama has said that it’s –

GIBBS: To be on camera, Jake, you’d have to comb your hair. (Laughter.)

TAPPER: No, I wouldn’t –

GIBBS: — for the record.

TAPPER: — the camera would be on you. The camera would be on you.

ANOTHER REPORTER: It’s the Air Force One look. (Laughter.)

TAPPER: The President wants to stem the flow of guns going south of the border. It doesn’t seem as though that this administration is willing to do much or spend much politically to pass any new guns laws. What can be done to stem the flow, as you’ve said is your goal?

GIBBS: Well, I think, first and foremost, it is to enforce particularly the laws that we have on the books, especially those related to the trafficking of arms. You’ll hear the President talk about this today, I’m sure. Attorney General Holder and Secretary Napolitano attended a conference on arms trafficking in this region, dealing with this region of the world over the past few weeks. The Department of Justice is relocating agents to the border to ensure that the trafficking of arms doesn’t happen. And you’ll see the President talk today about ensuring that there’s a strong and strict review of all of our laws and regulations relating to movement of arms south of the border. I think obviously part of what Secretary Napolitano outlined a few weeks ago demonstrates our commitment to far stronger inspections of items that are moving from north to south, as well as moving from south to north…

TAPPER: Robert, in terms of stemming the demand for drugs in the United States, what can be done more on that? What does the President want to do there?

GIBBS: Well, I think there’s — in stemming the rising tide of illegal drugs, there’s obviously two ways to do it. One is there is — is to try to deal with the problem not just as a — not simply as a law enforcement problem but also as a treatment problem. And the President has certainly talked about that before. But there’s also — and I think this relates also to border security — and that is a hefty investment in the recovery and reinvestment plan of additional police officers on the streets of America.

- jpt

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