President Obama did a round-robin of interviews with four local TV correspondents at the White House this afternoon, talking the payroll tax cut extension, jobs, his budget, the housing crisis and politics. Here are six interesting highlights:
1. Claiming Credit for a 'Million-Job Swing'
"We've gotten a lot of stuff done," Obama told Atlanta FOX affiliate WAGA of his first term. "The unemployment rate is now 8.3 percent. And we created 250,000 jobs last month. When I came into office we were losing 750,000 jobs. That's a million-jobs swing. That's getting something done."
2. Will 2013 Budget Get Enacted? 'Probably Not'
"Now, do I think that we're going to get that done in the next few months, considering the partisan bickering in Washington right now? Probably not," Obama told Tampa Bay NBC affiliate WFLA. "But if we start seeing some movement from Republicans that say, 'let's combine cuts with asking the wealthy to do their fair share,' then there's no reason why we can't dig ourselves out of this fiscal hole we're in."
3. Insurance Mandate Constitutional, Hope Supreme Court Agrees
"You never want to make predictions, because obviously there are nine folks whose job it is to make decisions," Obama told Las Vegas CBS affiliate KLAS of the pending case over the health care law's individual insurance mandate. "But I would not have proposed the notion that people have to get insurance rather than rely on you and me and others to buy their insurance or pay for their medical care - I wouldn't have proposed it if it wasn't constitutional."
4. Won't Appear at Republican Convention … at Least Not in Person
"I suspect there will be a lot of signs with my face on it," Obama told WFLA, "and they may not always be flattering."
5. Mixed Results on 'Fundamental Change' in Washington
"The federal government as a whole is working more efficiently … where I have not been able to succeed so far - and I haven't given up - is in changing the tone in Congress," Obama told WFLA when asked whether he succeeded in keeping his promise from 2008.
6. 'Speculative Stuff' on Wall Street is Over
"When we got into some of the speculative stuff that was taking place on Wall Street, it was very dangerous. It was very profitable for some, but dangerous for the rest of us and we're still digging ourselves out of the hole that was made by that," Obama told Charlotte CBS affiliate WBTV. "Fortunately, we have put into place some tough rules to make sure that some of that reckless behavior can't be engaged in again."