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tv   [untitled]    May 7, 2012 6:30pm-7:00pm EDT

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similar point -- >> i think the president is is right person to describe his own personal views. as you know, said his views on this were evolving and i don't have an update for you on that. yes. >> just one more on the french election. on the incoming president is promising a pro growth approach to austerity. is this approach the administration can support? >> each country has its own circumstances. europe has its own problems with the euro zone crisis and we're not going to dictate to any country or any collection of countries. what policies they should pursue. the president has said as he said at the g-20 that a balanced approach is what he believes is appropriate. that's the approach he's taken
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here. they have taken a number of significant steps and more needs to be done. we have said that. for quite some time and our view on that has not changed. >> discussions with european counterparts? >> i don't have any scheduling announcements to make on behalf of secretary geithner, but as you know, matt, the treasury secretary has made numerous visits to europe and i'm sure he has not made his last visit there. >> jay, the president's raised millions of dollars through lgbt donors, many say they believe in a second term. so doesn't he owe them or owe voters in general his direct response and just stop dancing around the issue telling voters will he or won't he support gay marriage in a second term?
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>> his personal views on this were evolving. the president does have significant support in the community and that's because of his unparalleled record in support of lgbt rights. that includes a fight to repeal successfully don't ask don't tell, signing hate crimes legislature. it includes ending the defense of marriage act and ensuring hospital visitation rights for patients and their loved ones and i could go on. his record on lgbt rights is simply unparalleled and he will continue to fight for those rights going forward. >> everybody deserves to be able to live and love as they see fit. i don't have to tell the people in this room we've got a ways to go in this struggle. what is he referring to if not gay marriage? >> you have heard him say and those in the administration like myself who speak for him that he strongly opposes effort to
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restrict rights for same-sex couples. he has made his opposition to those efforts in various states known. and will continue to do so. i think it's a statement of obvious fact that full has not been achieved uniformly and that's why he has taken a stand in opposition to efforts in certain states to des criminate against lgbt citizens. >> vice president biden says there is a consensus building toward gay marriage in this nation and then said he is absolutely comfortable with men marrying men, women marrying women, having equal rights, is not an endorsement of gay marriage? >> the vice president expressed his personal views and also said he was evolving on the issue. >> when? >> jay -- >> he did.
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>> the spokesperson said that afterwards. >> let me just be clear though. the vice president made, what he said about the protection of rights of citizens is completely consistent with the president's position on this issue and his description of the way the country has moved on this issue is wholly accurate. an evolution of views across the country on these issues, so i don't think there's anything surprising about him saying that. >> have it both ways before an election. >> no, look -- this president has been extremely aggressive in supporting lgbt rights. he fought against those who opposed the repeal of don't ask don't tell and achieved that in this administration. there are those who want to bring don't ask don't tell back. he very robustly fights against efforts to restrict or deny rights to lgbt citizens and des
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criminate against them and he'll continue to do so. you didn't want to hear it, but there's a long, long list of the actions the administration's taken on behalf of the citizens in this country. that's a record the president is very proud of. >> before i do, i did want to see if the president had an opportunity to see the hostage video of warren whitestein and made a direct plea to the president and referenced a very personal plea, referenced his two daughters and the president's two daughters. if there was any response, if he has a response. >> well, the president is aware of it. i do not know that he's seen it. we remain greatly concerned for his safety and well being. our hearts go out to him and his family. we condemn his kidnapping in the strongest terms and call for his immediate release.
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the u.s. government will make every effort to see him released, but we cannot and will not negotiate with al qaeda. >> the fact this same-sex marriage issue, i think one of the issues is that when asked about the president's position, the president no longer says he is evolving on the issue. he says i don't have any news to make on that. that's what he stephanie cutter a few minutes ago on cable said i don't have any news for you. the suggestion is there is news there and you guys are just waiting for the proper time to drop it, likely after november. >> i think that's your characterization. the president said he was evolving and when people have asked him that and he has no update in his views to -- put forward, he's saying i have nothing new for you on that.
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and that's with regards to his personal views. what i think needs to be remembered here is what he has done in office in support of lgbt rights and that record is extensive and considerable and unparalleled and he'll continue to fight for those rights as long as he's in office. >> that the president has done more for lgbt individuals, so you don't need to say that again. just for this tile. when you get to norah, whatever you want. the question is it's, i think there are very few people who think that the president is whether he's re-elected or not, come out in favor of same-sex major. i think there are very few people on the president's campaign who doubt that, who oppose the president who have
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any doubt that is what's going to likely happen. if that is the likely future of the president and this position given that you don't have any news to drop on it, but probably his mind has been made up, why not just come out and say it and let voters decide. it seems cynical to hide this until after the re-election. >> jake, i think the president's position is well-known. he's spoken to this. it's gotten a great deal of coverage. i don't have an update. it is what it was. i'm sorry you don't want to hear about the president's support for lgbt rights because it's considerable. >> it's not that i don't want to hear it. i don't want to hear the same talking points 50 times in a row. >> talking point to you, serious, substantial rights to others. repealing don't ask don't tell was a serious matter.
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the efforts this administration has taken are serious matters. >> we're talking about same-sex marriage. gl i think that's the context of this discussion. i just don't have anything more to give to you on the issue of the president's views. not because -- >> i don't have news for him. it's because he's still evolving. >> it is as it was, yes. norah. >> why does the president oppose same-sex marriage? >> i would just point you to what the president has said in the past both during his campaign for president in 2008 and in answer to a question at the end of 2010. i really don't have an update for you, norah. >> is the president comfortable with the fact of men marrying men and women marrying women? >> the president is comfortable as the vice president said -- as other americans and that's why he has fought for those equal rights and why he's opposed
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efforts to des criminate and to take away rights that have been established by law. >> biden, the vice president, appears to have evolved on the issue, but the president is still evolving. is that a fair characterization? >> i will leave it to individuals to describe their own personal views. what i can explain to you -- is what the president's positions are on issues. the actions he's taken at a policy level on behalf of lgbt americans and his commitment to continue to take actions on their behalf. >> let me ask you this. you have a number of democratic governors throughout this country, o'malley, cuomo, molloy, who support same-sex marriage. why doesn't president obama support it? >> i just don't have an update for you, norah, on the president's position, on his personal views.
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i can tell you that he is a absolutely committed supporter to lgbt rights. his record bares that out. it is an unparalleled record. and he's proud of it and he'll run on it and i think that it's important to remember when we talk about those accomplishments that they are far more more than talking points. they are serious demonstrations of important progress, progress that others would take away and reverse. the president's committed to not letting this happen. >> when you now say the vice president is evolving, he did not say that as it was pointed out, but he used some keywords. also said that they are entitled to the same rights u all the civil rights, all the civil liberties. does that mean he supports same-sex marriage? >> the statement to the vice
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president's office put out yesterday describing his statements and november any elaboration on that. what he said is consistent in that paragraph with the president's views that lgbt sit sepulvedas should enjoy the same rights and should not be discriminated against. >> how come when the president opposes something like the american jobs act and he travels around the country and says you're entitled to press members of congress, tell them for or against. why can't you tell if the president supports or opposes same-sex marriage? >> the president has spoken about this and his views are not changed and i have no update to give you on them. >> okay. quick question on the economy. we saw the president officially roll on his campaign saturday. you saw that the republican
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national committee came out in a video quoting him in 2008 saying the big question in '08 is going to be are you better off four years from now. on saturday, he seemed to be saying the big question is another four years from now. a new ad today, the president himself seems to be saying four years ago he said the question is are you going to be better off in four years. is he buying more time now? >> i think the president has and will continue to defend his record and make a strong case for the actions he's taken to reverse the most cataclysmic decline in our economy we've experienced in our lifetimes. when you think about where we were four years ago, under the previous administration, we were hemorrhaging 800,000 jobs a month. we have now seen 25 straight months of private sector job
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creation. 11 straight quarters of positive economic growth, which stands in contrast to the last quarter his pred success sor was in office. now, i would argue most americans believe we're going in a far better direction now than we were in 2008. >> so that means we're better off than we were four years ago. >> i think we were better off gaining than losing jobs. we're better off growing the economy than we were seeing it shrink at a pace not seen since the great depression. i think indisputably, do we have further to go? no question. the president says that all the time when he discusses this issue. the climb out of it is steep, but we have made significant progress and we need to make sure we take the steps necessary to continue to grow the economy. the congress acts on proposals
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the president has put forward that they have yet to act on to for example put teaches back to work and first responders back to work. to put american construction workers back on the job. one of the striking things about the recovery that we've seen so far in terms of job creation is that compared to previous recessions under reagan for example, there's been a drop in government employment during this recovery. that was not the case under previous presidents. one at least in recent months causes of that has been the laying off of teachers around the country. the president put forward a proposal to ensure those teachers were brought back into the classroom. republicans an the congress opposed it. they had a choice to oppose teachers or tax praeks for the wealthiest americans. unfortunately, they didn't choose teachers. yes. >> why did the administration feel like they had to put on a
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statement clarifying what the vice president said? >> i don't know if the offices have put out a statement. i think there was a lot of interest generated and the office of the vice president put out a statement to make it clear what the vice president was saying, but again, i think that there is a little bit of an overreaex here. the vice president says and made clear he supports the president's policies when it comes to protecting the rights of lgbt citizens and he also has his own personal views about the issue as does the president, as do most people. so, president's is committed to working to move forward on that issue. >> is it fair to say the president and vice president disagree on gay marriage? >> no, i don't think that's what the vice president said yesterday and but again, i don't
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think that's the point. the president and the vice president and everyone in this administration supports the initiatives that this president's taken to protect and defend the rights of all americans including lgbt americans. >> when it came to the issue of marriage, before there was a time when the president was somebody who believed in deferring it to the states. >> the president believes that the states are deciding this issue and he has made clear -- >> a state issue not a federal issue? >> well, i think that we certainly oppose efforts to take away rights at a federal level, which some politicians suppose a constitutional amendment to deny rights to lgbt americans across the country. the president opposes that. states have taken action on this issue and the president believes when that process works, that it's a positive thing. >> so, what would that put him now, where would the president be then on the amendment in
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north carolina that would ban gay marriage? >> the president through the campaign, but the same person opposes efforts to deny the rights of citizens in any state where those rights have been established. >> he opposes bans on gay marriages, but doesn't yet support gay marriage? >> the record is clear that the president has long opposed devicive rights to benefits of same-sex couples. that is a position he has taken that proceeds his taking a position on north carolina. it's a position he's taken in other states where there has been an issue. yes, he is opposed to efforts that have denied rights to citizens. >> you understand why there's so much confusion? you're saying he opposes -- but not yet r for gay marriage. >> the states are -- marriage is a state issue and the states have the right to take action on
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it. what he opposes is efforts to repeal rights that have been granted to lgbt citizens. he thinks that's discriminatory and wrong. >> let me ask you about greece. is the administration in a position on whether greece decides to pull out of the euro zone, is there a concern they might and that it would set off a greater economic crisis? >> we are looking at the euro zone crisis as a whole. the, we understand that the political parties in greece are working to form a coalition and we hope to hear an announcement in the coming days. the greek people have made many sacrifices to address that country's economic crisis and the program remains vital to sustaining stability. you know, we're going to
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continue to work with greece with whom we have an important relationship and a long standing relationship and we will continue to support through the essential reforms and promote economic growth. we are, as i said earlier in response to other questions, very mindful of the impact that the situation in europe can have on the american economy. it's been described as a head wind. that's why we work so closely with our european counterparts and advise and consult with them on steps they are taking to deal with it and greece is obviously a part of that. and we'll continue to work with the greeks. >> no position on whether they decide -- is there a fear they are going to leave? >> i'm not going to speculate. i would simply say that stability in europe is important. it's certainly important for america's economic growth and we're continuing to work with our counterparts to assist them with that effort in any way we
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can. let me get laura. >> there's going to be an effort this summer to have support for gay marriage as part of the democratic platform. does the president believe it's important the platform reflects his views? on. >> on the issue on the platform, i would refer you to the dnc. >> my question was about the president, whether the platform doesn't matter or whether it's a statement of his views, whatever those may be. >> it's a statement of the party's views. i don't have a -- i haven't had a discussion. it's called a democratic or republican party platform. but for questions about the development of that platform, i would refer you to the dnc. again, i don't have a different answer. it's a platform that hasn't been developed. >> on friday the president said he would be putting forward
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ideas for congress to consider. is there anything deficient about what he's going to be doing this week along those lines? >> the president will tomorrow talk about some of the things that congress should and must do to help the economy grow and create jobs. i won't steal his thunder by giving you specifics but that's going to be a topic of discussion when the president has his event in new york tomorrow. >> do you have any reason to believe this effort will be more successful than past efforts? >> i think past efforts, to some degree, have been successful. we have an extension of the payroll tax cuts despite strong resistance from republicans. we have an extension through the unemployment insurance because of his fighting for it. and we also have some other measures that have passed, the stock act and jobs act. other demonstrations of the ability for congress to come together and work in a
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bipartisan way to pass legislation that the president can sign. despite of the fact we have experienced considerable amount of gridlock and that it's an election year. i don't think congress will act because the president says congress must act. i think the congress will act because the people that sent them here are insisting that they act. that's why in the end, republicans finally came to an agreement on extending the tax cut. that's why in the end they have come to an agreement among themselves on a variety of other issues. i think that, as you know, every member of the house is up for election this year. and a third of the senate. and each of those members who are run ining for reelection ha to explain to his or her constituents what they did while they were in washington. did they just say no and block every effort put forward to help the economy grow and create jobs? or did they try to work to get
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something done? and it is perhaps the need to answer that question in an affirmative way that might compel members of congress to take a more constructive approach. john christopher. >> following up on the greek election question, domestically, is the administration planning to go to conference with an economic package that would include a stimulus plan that could cushion the u.s. from the effects of a possible european recession if the euro deal should go down? >> the president has put forward with the american jobs act and the initiatives that he described in the state of the union that will help create an america built to last. a number of initiatives that will help this economy continue to grow, will help the economy to continue to create jobs, and he's going to talk about initiatives that the congress could and should pass. the kinds of things that should
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enjoy bipartisan support. if there really is interest in congress among republicans in particular to -- just one second. lester, are you okay? >> i'm fine. i just have one question. >> you're good. somebody give him a seat please, if you could. please. somebody give lester a seat. let me move around a little bit. >> the president has a number of initiative initiatives. they are built around recovering from the economy. i think as i mentioned earlier
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shs the context includes issues like the euro zone crisis, issues like global prices for oil that can create head winds for the economy. that's one of the reasons we need to take action here on matters that we can control entirely, which is our capacity for legislation. that helps the economy as opposed to bickering over things when the american people were demanding action. >> what is difference between not negotiating with al qaeda and releasing prisoners from afghan military prisoners and also what's the difference between al qaeda and the taliban? >> i think you're conflating a number of things, connie. and i don't think anybody would -- i think a lot of ink
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has been spilled between the difference between the taliban and rank and file members of the taliban and al qaeda. the fact of the matter is on the issue of prisoner releases, these kinds of decisions are made by battlefield commanders. i would refer you to the dod on that. they are not made in washington. secondly, because of this president's focus on a specific mission in afghanistan it has been this president's policy and this administration's policy that the number one priority of our mission in afghanistan is to disrupt and defeat al qaeda. the taliban exists in afghanistan and for ultimate peace in afghanistan, there needs to be reconciliation. that's why we have supported
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afghan-lead efforts towards the taliban on the conditions that members of the taliban who wish to reconcile lay down their arms, denounce al qaeda, and sever all ties with al qaeda and commit themselves to abiding by the afghan constitution. >> is one of the reasons the president wants to meet with the french president-elect before g 8 is to discuss the stand on troop withdrawals from afghanistan? >> i think the president and president-elect will have a number of issues to discuss. i think he wants to meet with him bauds he's just been elected as president as one of our oldest allies. >> does that jeopardize the president's efforts to shore up the alliance in chicago? >> i think we can wait until nato meets in chicago to discuss
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steps going forward. his commitment to moving forward with the strategy that he put forward that includes transferring security authority and security lead over to the national security forces and ultimately full security lead over the afghans by 2014 is something he described last week and will be a focus of discussion in chicago. >> yes, roger. >> thank you. there's a compromise on export/import bank legislation. hammered together by hoeyier and cantor. >> we think it's important that this reauthorization take place to help our exports which is an important component of our economic recovery. the president is committed to


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