Today’s Qs for O’s WH – 6/22/2009

By Lindsey Ellerson

Jun 22, 2009 4:26pm

TAPPER:  In the face of poll numbers indicating that the American people have increasing concerns about some of the policies of the administration, and Democratic senators such as Dianne Feinstein saying that she doesn’t think, right now, the votes are there, in the Democratic caucus, for a health care reform bill to pass, what does the president plan on doing to firm up more public support and more support among Democrats on Capitol Hill for his health care plan and for other plans?


GIBBS:  Well, I think the president will continue to speak every day about the issues that he believes are fundamental to us laying a foundation for continued economic growth. Obviously, throughout the week, the president is going to talk about the importance of cutting costs for families and small businesses as it relates to health care reform.  I think we’ve seen progress over the past many weeks on getting comprehensive energy legislation — take steps to get  that through Congress, to deal with lessening our dependence on foreign oil, ensuring that we’re taking steps to change the way education is delivered, and obviously to take steps to improve our economy through both the Recovery Act, through financial regulation.  I think all four of those things is what encompasses the president’s time and I think you’ll see events throughout the week here at the White House on many of those topics. 


TAPPER:  Does the — does the president feel — does the White House feel that there needs to be more of a public campaign made? That the American people need to…


GIBBS:  As opposed to people saying we’re overexposed?


(LAUGHTER)


TAPPER:  Just does there need to be more of a campaign outside of the White House?  He brought back some campaign rhetoric today, I think escaping the notice of nobody in this room.  For the first time, does he feel like he needs to go out there and storm the country a little bit? 


GIBBS:  Well, no, I don’t think we need to storm the country.  I think — I think the president will continue to use the opportunities that he has at the White House and on the road to talk about what he thinks will make America safer and stronger, ensuring that we get health care reform. And I think — I think if you — if you step back and look at some of the significance of today’s events, you’ve got the pharmaceutical industry and the largest group representing seniors in this country who 16 years ago weren’t at the table, but were on the other side of the political debate.  I think that represents progress and important steps towards real reform. I would say the same — we’ve made progress on comprehensive energy legislation, and I think slowly but surely, we’re working to turn this economy around.


TAPPER:  And one last thing:  Has the president had a personal reaction to the images of violence that have come out of Iran this weekend?


GIBBS: Well, I think he has — I think throughout the course of Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I think he has been moved by what we’ve seen on television.  I think particularly so by images of women in Iran who have stood up for their right to demonstrate, to speak out, and to be heard. 


TAPPER:  Has he seen the image of the young woman who’s called Neda who was killed by a…


GIBBS:  I don’t know if he’s seen that particular image.  I know he’s obviously watched some coverage of the event this weekend and had been struck by the passion.


-jpt

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