And at his first White House press conference in three months, Obama lectured corporate jet owners. We kid somewhat--this was one of many, many notable moments in a content-packed presser--but the tongue-lashing for rich folks wanting lower taxes will surely be one of the takeaway memes from Obama's remarks. Here's what the president said at one point:
"If we choose to keep those tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires, a tax break for corporate jet owners, if we choose to keep tax breaks for oil and gas companies making hundreds of billions of dollars, then that means we have got to cut some kids off from getting a college scholarship."
The president covered a lot of ground on other matters, too. Here are the top issues that pundits and live-bloggers are relaying and digesting after the press conference:
- Ron Fournier at National Journal puts the tone of the entire press conference in context: "If President Obama's news conference accomplished anything on Wednesday afternoon it underscored, in striking tones, his strategy for winning the debt ceiling fight with Republicans: Make it a clash of classes. Rich vs. Poor. Us. vs. Them. Those who supports children, food safety, medical research and, presumably, puppies and apple pie versus the rich fat cats who don't."
- Igor Volsky at Think Progress notices Obama's state's rights response to gay marriage: "Obama reiterated his record on LGBT issues and argued that marriage is best left to the states. What happened in New York 'was a good thing,' Obama said. 'I think that’s exactly how things should work. I think it’s important for us to work through these issues because each state is going to be different and each community is going to be different.'"
- Mark Memmott at NPR relays Obama's answer on deficit reduction: "Asked how he can reach an agreement on deficit reduction if Republicans hold firm on their opposition to any tax increases, the president says that "a lot of people say a lot of things to satisfy their base or get on cable news....Hopefully, leaders at a certain point rise to the occasion and do the right thing."
- CNN's Political Ticker live-blog relays Obama on success in Libya: "He said Libyan regime has been compromised...as long as Gadhafi is still presenting himself as the head of the Libyan government and as long as he controls a number of troops the Libyan people are going to be in danger. He said there is no doubt that Gadhafi stepping down from power is going to be the primary way to ensure that the Libyan people are protected."
- Brian Bolduc at National Review synthesizes Obama's remarks on Boeing vs. the Nation Labor Relations Board: "He gave a tepid defense of Boeing in its recent dustup with the National Labor Relations Board. After cautioning that the NLRB is 'an independent agency' and the case was 'up for a judge to decide,' he said, 'What I think defies common sense would be a notion that we would be shutting down a plant or laying off workers because labor and management can’t come to a sensible agreement.'"
- Rebecca Kaplan at National Journal relays Obama on Afghanistan's Kabul Hotel attacks: "They're dangerous places so they're not going to be perfectly safe even if we were there but we can improve the chances for the Afghan people to defend themselves," he said.