President Obama’s first primetime press conference ran about an hour long and he took 13 questions from reporters.
Who got questions? In order: AP’s Jennifer Loven, Reuters’ Caren Bohan, CBS’ Chip Reid, NBC’s Chuck Todd, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman, ABC’s Jake Tapper, CNN’s Ed Henry, NYTimes’ Helene Cooper, Fox News’ Major Garrett, WaPo’s Michael Fletcher, Hearst’s Helen Thomas, Huffington Post’s Sam Stein and NPR’s Mara Liasson.
“All right, Helen. This is my inaugural moment here. I’m really excited,” President Obama said, calling on Thomas, who, as always, was seated in the first row.
After the jump, check out what they asked and vote on the question of the night…
In your opening remarks, you talked about that if your plan works the way you want it to work, it’s going to increase consumer spending. But isn’t consumer spending or overspending how we got into this mess? And if people get money back into their pockets, do you not want them saving it or paying down debt first before they start spending money into the economy?
Beyond avoiding the national catastrophe that you’ve warned about, once all the legs of your stool are in place, how can the American people gauge whether or not your programs are working? Can they– should they be looking at the metric of the stock market, home foreclosures, unemployment? What metric should they use? When? And how will they know if it’s working, or whether or not we need to go to a plan B?
Mr. President, at a speech Friday that many of us covered, Vice President Biden said the following thing about a conversation the two of you had in the Oval Office, about a subject he didn’t disclose: “If we do everything right, if we do it with absolute certainty, if we stand up there and we really make the tough decisions, there’s still a 30 percent chance we’re going to get it wrong.” Since the Vice President brought it up, can you tell the American people, sir, what you were talking about? And if not, can you at least reassure them it wasn’t the stimulus bill or the bank rescue plan and if in general, you agree with that ratio of success, 30 percent failure, 70 percent success?
Mr. President, do you think that Pakistan are maintaining the safe havens in Afghanistan for these so-called terrorists? And also, do you know of any country in the Middle East that has nuclear weapons?
What is your reaction to Alex Rodriguez’s admission that he used steroids as a member of the Texas Rangers?
Today Senator Patrick Leahy announced that he wants to set up a truth and reconciliation committee to investigate the misdeeds of the Bush administration. He said that before you turn the page, you have to read the page first. Do you agree with such a proposal, and are you willing to rule out right here and now any prosecution of Bush administration officials?