Transcript for White House’s Josh Earnest on Indiana Law, Iran Nuclear Deal
White house press secretary josh earnest is here with us this morning. And josh, just heard the governor say this is the same law that Barack Obama signed, voted for as a state senator when he was in Illinois. I appreciate you having me on the show. If you have to go back two decades to try to justify what you're doing today, it may raise questions about the wisdom of what you're doing. It should be easy for leaders to stand up and say, it's wrong to discriminate against people just because of who they love. The fact is, this is not a political argument, George, as you pointed out in the interview with the governor, business leaders all across the country say they're reluctant to do business in the state of Indiana. Not because they don't like the people of Indiana. Because of this law. The law could make it more likely that the businesses and the customers of the businesses are more likely to be discriminated against. The governor is in damage control mode this morning. What does president Obama say to businesses thinking now of leaving Indiana? Is he in support of the boycott of the final four? Ultimately, the businesses have to make decisions based on what they think is in the best interests of their business. Ultimately, George, look, a couple of weeks ago, the president gave a speech standing at the foot of the bridge in Selma, Alabama. And the president talked about a couple of things. First, how average Americans do have the power to change their government. Make their government more fair. But the fact that government leaders have the responsibility to support our citizen. Who are fighting for greater equality and justice and fairness. When you have a law like this in Indiana that seems to legitimize discrimination, it's important for everybody to stand up and speak out. Let me ask you about the nuclear talks. I want to switch gears. Will there will be deal by Tuesday? If not, is the president willing to extend the deadline? The president has been very clear that the best way for us to prevent Iran from nuclear weapon is by pursuing diplomacy. To get Iran to take steps voluntarily to shut down the path to nuclear weapons. We want them to comply with stringent inspections. That is the best way for us to resolve our concerns about Iran's nuclear program. And to definitively prevent them from obtaining a nuclear weapon. At the same time, this requires Iran to make commitments. We have been negotiating about this for more than a year. The president believes we should be able, to over the course of the last year, reach an agreement by the end of March if one is doable. So there are still significant gaps that remain. If not, no extension? We have been negotiating for more than a year. Ultimately, it's time for the Iranian send a clear signal to the international community about with whether or not they're willing to make the serious commitments required and basically, live up to their rhetoric that they're not trying to acquire a nuclear weapon. They should be able to do that by the end of March. The speaker of the house took a tough shot at the president this week on the various foreign policy crises he's been facing. Here's what he had to say. The world is starving for American leadership. But America has an anti-war president. We have no strategy, overarching strategy to deal with the growing terrorist threat. Your response? Well, look, George. I would simply say that if John Boehner thinks U.S. Troops should be on the ground in Yemen fighting or that we should reoccupy Iraq, or that the United States should bomb Iran to keep them from having a nuclear weapon. Then he should have the courage of his convictions to actually say so. The fact is, the president at every turn has taken steps by building the international community's support for policies that are in the best interests of the United States. Whether that is to bring the international community to the negotiating table. To prevent Iran from the capabilities of nuclear to launch air strikes against isil, to try to eliminate the extremist threats that exist in the middle east, these are steps that the president's taken consistent with the national interest. He does not believe it is in the best interest of the united States to commit ground troops. To a large-scale ground combat operation in Iraq or Syria. If we work with our international partners, we can do a better job of protecting the interests of the united States. Josh earnest, thank you very much. Thank you, George.
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