tv MSNBC Live MSNBC June 9, 2016 11:00am-12:01pm PDT
ready to go, borrowing his famous '08 campaign phrase. this one is signed h for hillary, means it's a tweet from her personal account. i'm told we are ready once again to give this a try, the video released from the white house concurrent to the statement on twitter that the president would indeed endorse hillary clinton. >> for more than a year now across thousands of miles and all 50 states, tens
of millions of americans have made their voices heard. today, i just want to add mine. i want to congratulate hillary clinton on making his as the presumptive democratic nominee for president of the united states. look, i know how hard this job can be. that's why i know hillary will be so good at it. in fact, i don't think there's ever been someone so qualified to hold this office. she's got the courage, the compassion, and the heart to get
the job done. and i say that as somebody who had to debate her more than 20 times. even after our own hard-fought campaign, in a testament to her character, she agreed to serve our country as secretary of state. and from the decision we made in the situation room to get bin laden to our pursuit of diplomacy in capitals around the world, i have seen her judgment, her toughness, her commitment to our values up close. i've seen her determination to give every american a fair shot an opportunity, no matter how tough the fight was. that's what has always driven her, and it still does. so i want those who have been with me from the beginning to be the first to know that i am with her, i am fired up, and i cannot wait to get out there and campaign for hillary. i also want to thank everybody who turned out to vote and worked so hard for our candidates. this has been a hard-fought
race. i know some say these primaries have somehow left the democratic party more divided. well, you know, they said that eight years ago as well. just like eight years ago, there are millions of americans, not just democrats, who've cast their ballots for the very first time. a lot of that is thanks to senator bernie sanders who has run an incredible campaign. i had a great meeting with him this week and thanked him for shining a spotlight on issues like nick inequality and the influence of money in our politics and bringing young people into the process. embracing that message is going to help us win in november. but more importantly, it will make the democratic party stronger and it will make america stronger. secretary clinton and senator sanders may have been rivals during this primary, but they're both patriots that love this country and share a vision for an american that's hopeful, an
american that is strong and fair and gives every child the same chance that we had. those are the values that you unite us as democrats. those are the values that make america great. those are the values that are going to be tested in this election. and if we all come together in common effort, i'm convinced we won't just win in november, we'll build on the progress that we've made and we will win a brighter future for this country that we love. >> so much to talk about there. the video from president obama at the white
house going along the accompaniment to his endorsement of hillary. you are looking at tape from inside the leader reid's office. these are always highly -- oh, this is live i'm told. let's listen in to see what
harry reid's saying. >> what do you want to tell senator sanders? >> okay, you guys, we're not going to take any questions. that's kind of a deal i made. bernie said that was okay with him for now. a lot of time to answer questions, not now. >> everyone, thank you. >> all right guys -- >> interesting case here as i was starting to say, these kinds of things are always uncomfortable whether it's foes, enemie enemies, you know, obama and putin, or people on the same team. this is as close to the same team as possible, though as people point out often, bernie sanders has not been a democrat. he has been a socialist who caucuses with the democrats for the purpose of counting noses and voting on the hill and is in effect a democrat given his voting record. but he is an independent on the rundown of votes. and that is how he has run, as
chris matthews put it the other night, he's not a party guy, but there is no hiding what the president took on forthrightly in that video, how many people he has brought to the political process, many of them for the first time. millions of them have mobilized this extraordinary bernie sanders campaign. the clinton campaign did not see this challenge coming from bernie sanders. reporterers two years ago were using words like core ron nation to describe her path to the democratic nomination. kristen welker is out on the north lawn today where she was earlier today. kristen, one interesting bit of wording in the president's video, it's likely i'm reading too much into this, but the time stamp on his meeting with senator sanders, he says, this week, i met with senator
sanders. it was really more like two, three hours ago. i wonder if it's possible this video was planned to come out later, perhaps over the weekend, perhaps tomorrow. i wonder if something caused it to be rushed. we have seen the white house briefing put off to accommodate this and all the resulting coverage of it. what are your thoughts? >> reporter: brian, that's a good point. look, we think the video was taped at some point this week. and we'd gotten guidance that an endorsement could come as early as this week. you're right to point out that there is that date stamp of the washington, d.c., primary. senator sanders not expected to drop out of the race until after everyone here has their votes. what i have heard continuously is that they want to see this process happen sooner rather than later. what i think happened, brian, is that the meeting went well today
with senator sanders. he came out, chuck todd has been using the term orderly. he gave those remarks that were clearly prewritten. and i think that the white house wanted to get this process started. is it possible they weren't sure if this video would come out today, tomorrow, over the weekend, i think there was a question mark around how the meeting went. it is possible. again, we're going to get more details when press secretary josh earnest comes to the podium. it's possible president obama asked for senator sanders' blessing to release this video today. so why is there so much eagerness to get this process under way? well, because you look at the national polls. secretary clinton right now locked in a very tight race with donald trump. and we also know that a third of senator sanders' supporters right now saying they're not prepared to support secretary clinton. they want to get this process
under way. they want president obama to get into the game. he is eager to get into the game. this is somewhat personal for him for all the reasons you were discussing with chris matthews earlier. >> a sharp-eyed member of our nbc news staff, as if there's any other kind, has noticed the tie the president is wearing in the tape released today that goes along with the endorsement is the tie the president was wearing to work on tuesday at the white house. peter alexander is inside the briefing room in the west wing where we're going to see at minimum the press secretary here in a few minutes. peter, our reporting seldom delves into men's wear. >> reporter: i have no confirmed that president obama taped that recorded message that we've now played on tuesday of this week.
so it is correct, if you match up the ties. that was the same day he was meeting with the prime minister of india. at some point during that day, that's when the president also recorded this message in effect saying i'm with her, endorsing hillary clinton. the aide tells me they wanted to wait, as it was communicated to me, they believed it was an appropriate time to release it. after what must have been a positive meeting behind closed doors today, the white house deemed this was that appropriate time, brian. >> that will be the subject of much speculation. we'll listen very carefully to what josh earnest says about it. some people, i'm guessing, will wonder if it was a positive meeting, if it did all go as planned and if this was the plan all along. >> reporter: i think you're right. a lot of people right now obviously thought this would be the opportunity to give bernie sanders the breathing room he needed. he came out. i was at what we describe as the
gaggle, about 100 members of the media there. bernie sanders said he will participate in the primary taking place here in washington, d.c., on tuesday. saying he wants his issues to go all the way to the convention. that he looks forward to a meeting in the very near future with hillary clinton, which led all of us to believe that they would allow the process to play out until after tuesday rather than step on bernie sanders' toes. as much as it may step on bernie sanders' toes, what it does to the toes of the millions of americans, democrats and independents, who supported sanders himself. in effect, bernie sanders doesn't get the fwlglow of this private meeting with president obama today. the news cycle shifts to the story about president obama endorsing hillary clinton. how does that sit with so many sanders supporters, those who have had problems with hillary clinton?
they're reaction is the one we've yet to see. >> and of course the math was not on bernie sanders' side. and of course hillary clinton remembers as she is prone to point out, remember what that is like. president obama remembers what it was like to have a robust challenger all the way down to the wire. this kind of thing happens in politics except as you mentioned that the sanders campaign was a real movement. >> reporter: i mean, that's exactly right. in fact, i was speaking to republican pollster in the course of the last 24 hours. while conventional wisdom, because donald trump touts this so often, that all the energy is on the republican side in this race, that he was bringing out more primary voters, getting more votes than any other republican candidate in primary history. this republican pollster said to me, the fact of the matter is, while in december what they described as voter intensity, the energy was are the republicans. plus eight to use the language that they use. they were eight points in effect ahead of the democrats in terms
of energy. that when they most recently polled voter intensity or the enthusiasm was in this race, they say it had shifted dramatically to plus six, as they describe it, for the democrats. largely because of the liberal and moderate democrats that have been behind bernie sanders. so that's the energy. the question is, can that energy, with the help of president obama, be redirected to hillary clinton here, or will there be some frustration that this is the way that this moment was handled and perhaps that energy is diluted and it doesn't go to hillary clinton who badly needs it to try to defeat donald trump this fall. >> bill clinton we've now learned is on the board in terms of his own statement on twitter. it is short and sweet. thank you, barack obama. on behalf of his wife, vis-a-vis the endorsement. let's go to capitol hill.
nbc's chris jansing is there. is this meeting in the capitol building? >> reporter: it is. he went around all of us. a question was shouting to him about the endorsement. he didn't answer it. i just got off the phone with someone very close to these deliberations with bernie sanders, how he came to this decision. let me tell you first about the importance of what's going on inside that room with harry reid. what bernie sanders wants out of this is for the democratic party to adopt these progressive ideas, worth in terms of the platform, but also in terms of action. he wants guarantees that that is going to happen. obviously harry reid and chuck schumer will be a critical part of this, because legislation is how those kinds of things get done. whether it's changing the way health care is done or it's the $15 minimum wage. the president's meeting obviously very important. there were many on bernie sanders' campaign who felt his campaign wasn't getting the respect that it deserved.
they feel that the president was not only respectful, but he went above and beyond with the statements he made and withholding his endorsement until now. this in many ways happened very quickly. he just lost the california primary. he just lost four of the six states on tuesday that were contested. so while there was not, i am told by this person, an ah-ha moment, it was clear after the california results that he could not send that letter that he had drafted to super delegates making the argument that he was the best person to run against donald trump. and ultimately, that is going to be his goal here. and even though it's important that he's in that room with harry reid, chuck schumer is important, the president is important. this senior aide told me, ultimately, this is going to be worked out between hillary clinton and bernie sanders. probably a phone call, but then important to have a face-to-face meeting. what does he think is important?
how do they achieve that and how does he bring all of these millions of people who have voted for him, 10.5 million, 1.5 million who have shown up and screamed for him at these rallies. how does he bring the skept ticks into the fold. and he is committed to do that because he wants to remake the democratic party to a more progressive party. to your point, i just said to this senior aide, this is a guy who until last year wasn't even a democrat. and he said, he signed that pledge last april 30th to run as a democrat. he considers himself a democrat. and he believes these young people and these independents are the key to a democratic party that going forward really represents these progressive ideals that have been so important to him and so important to his supporters, brian. >> all right. outside the meeting going on with the democratic leader,
harry reid with senator sanders of vermont. senator sanders has been something of a loner in the u.s. senate. he is not a glad-handing type. he has pretty much kept to himself, though he has taken on his share of responsibilities and issues he's championed over the years. among them, one of the ones he's very proud of is veterans in this country. steve israel is with us, eight-term democratic member of congress from the state of new york. congressman, help me out with something. harry reid comes down the white house driveway and speaks to this gaggle of microphones and reporters and looks like a guy going onto the d.c. primary on tuesday, makes no broader statement than that. no sooner does he get down to capitol hill and secreted into the office of the senate leader on the democratic side, the tweet comes out from the president, the video's issued by the white house.
did anything go wrong here? do you think this was really the schedule? >> i absolutely believe this was the schedule. i think the meeting with the president and senator sanders, it was a positive meeting. senator sanders came out and made positive statements like -- statements. the fact of the matter is this. there are small steps you take to unify, there are big steps you take to unify. what we're seeing today is a huge step. the final step will be when senator sanders has this conversation with secretary clinton and they unify around many of the principles that senator sanders has mobilized democrats on. that will seal the deal. >> when you go home to your district this summer and you meet people who've been feeling the bern these many months, who feel that the bernie sanders movement hasn't been given enough weight by the party, what will you be able to tell them? >> well, two things. first of all, i chaired the
democratic congressional campaign committee for four years and we do have a very diverse party. what really unifies us is the prospect of president donald trump. there is no democrat on either end of the political spectrum who finds that to be tolerable. so we will unify around hillary clinton and to stop the prospect of donald trump building walls and excluding muslims and declaring war on countries alphabetically. secondly, there has to be respect in this process. we've got to give senator sanders the time and respect he needs so that he can make sure that the movement he started doesn't stop and that's it's integrated into the presidency and into the campaign on those key issues like college affordability and living wages and campaign finance reform. >> a friend of mine says only those who have had their name on the ballot can understand the game. as a guy who's had his name on
the ballot, what is bernie sanders feeling like right now? >> look, he's disappointed. i've been there. hillary clinton was there in 2008. been there, done that. in 2008, she took the time she needed to make her assessment and realized at the end of the day that this isn't about one person, it's about the country, it's about our future. when you invoke those prince p.m -- principles, it becomes easier. >> congressman steve israel, democrat state of new york, thank you sir very much for being a part of our coverage today. back across town we go to the briefing room to peter alexander. you've learned some new reporting. >> reporter: we expect to hear from josh earnest moments from now to get more specific details about all of these questions. i've spoken to a senior white house aide who tells me that the plan all along was to put out this video today following the meeting with bernie sanders in the words of this aide, assuming
the meeting went well. which would be an indication at least in the eyes of the white house, that meeting did go well. it was taped on tuesday, being shown to the world today on thursday. what's notable about that, the president may not have been so sure that this was the day it was coming out. in his own remarks, he didn't say i just met with bernie sanders. he said, i met with him this week, which may at least have given them some great erwin d-- greater window of time. bernie sanders will at about 4:00 today be meeting at the naval observatory with vice president joe biden. that meeting's going to take place privately between those two men as well. and then later today, vice president biden will deliver a speech that will not be a speech endorsing bernie sanders, like the president has, unless that changed. the president has put out his statement. it will be a speech that
eviscerates donald trump. elizabeth warren also participating in that event tonight. one, the president and vice president, another, a woman that a lot of americans on the democratic side have said would make a pretty good vice president for hillary clinton too because she lines up so closely in terms of progressive values with the bernie sanders wing of the party right now. >> peter, our viewers are getting a treat. we're seeing you in the context of the three colleagues immediately next to you making conversation difficult and concentration almost impossible. peter's also standing in front of the blue door that will open and reveal the press secretary. we're inside the two-minute warning period, that is the blue door the president comes through as well when he comes into the briefing room. and peter, we're noticing a lot of empty seats down front. have summer hours overtaken the press corps already.
>> you're always welcome to come join us down here at the white house. as you can hear, as our colleagues are begining to speak as well, the urgency is ramping up as we countdown the minutes to the white house briefing. these things rarely happen on time. to be five minutes late today, we would all consider that pretty darn decent. >> go ahead and have a seat. we'll look at the picture of the room. i see mark with cbs radio has taken his seat. as the unofficial west wing historian and tracker of all things presidency. so we're going to go to the usual afternoon white house briefing, which today -- really this is not usual afternoon. today takes on a different kind of importance because of what has happened. in short order and rapid fire pace, bernie sanders goes to the white house. he comes in, unseen by reporters on the south side of the
building. he is photographed walking with the president, the collonade that runs alongside the rose garden. both of them enjoying a jovial moment. they go into the oval office after walking up the other ramp. everything looked jovial. bernie sanders not given a whole lot of the time to joviality, came out, assembled outside the northwest portico and gave a brief statement. he mostly read from notes, but it sounded like the kind of boilerplate moving forward, goals, themes, and ideas that we last heard from him in california on tuesday night. he was -- he was about pushing forward to the d.c. primary next tuesday. he gave a pitch for d.c. sta
statehood. washington, d.c., by the way, in recent years has written taxation without representation on their license plates. d.c. statehood, the potential of it is a big local issue there. well, bernie sanders was going to try to shine a light on that as the d.c. primary approached. then when senator sanders reached capitol hill and the first of a few planned meetings, first of all, with the leader of the democrats, harry reid. they went to the very ornate office in the actual capitol building that mr. reid uses in addition to his senate office. this was the photo on. very staged-looking, before the two men get down to business. the media was allowed in to do what's called a spray, just kind of spray the scene with cameras, take some still pictures, some television pictures. we heard senator reid say we had a deal, there would be no
questions. and presumably we will get a readout of what went on there and the kind of tone and tenor of the meeting. but still, as the -- press secretary josh earnest comes out, still today's timing was a surprise. let's listen in. >> good afternoon, everybody. i appreciate your patience on the schedule today. obviously both senator sanders and secretary clinton had announcements they wanted to make today. i was doing my best to get out of their way. now i am here to answer any questions you may have about their announcements or any other topics that may be on your mind today. kevin, do you want to start? >> i guess let's start with the obvious. could you give us a little bit of the readout with the president and senator sanders talked about during that hour-long meeting? did they make any request of each other? >> obviously, the president was
pleased to have an opportunity to welcome senator sanders to the white house and congratulate him on the remarkable success that he enjoyed in the context of his democratic -- his campaign for the democratic nomination for president. senator sanders competed in every state across the country and earned more than 10 million votes for his campaign. that's a remarkable accomplishment. and the president complimented him and congratulated him on his success. i think you could describe the conversation as friendly conversation that was focused on the future. part of that future conversation was about the importance of the upcoming general election. you've heard the president say on a number of occasions how important it is to him personally that he be succeeded in office by a president who is committed to building on the remarkable progress that our country has made over the last
seven and a half years. so that certainly was an important part of the vagt conversation. there also was a conversation about the long-term future of the democratic party. and senator sanders' campaign enjoyed so much success because he was able to inspire a lot of young people, both democrats and independents, to support his campaign and to be engaged in the political process. that's a good thing. and president obama and senator sanders had an opportunity to talk about what work they could potentially do together in the future to ensure that the democratic party of the 21st century is diverse and vibrant and inclusive. that's been a long-stated goal of president obama and obviously president obama had his own success in building a coalition that involved a lot of young americans and not all democrats. senator sanders built on that
progress and they're hopeful they'll be able to work together in the future. not just at the national level, but also at the state and local levels as weld. >> did they make any request of each other? >> i'm going to try to do my best to protect their ability to have a private conversation. but i think what is clear is that there's a lot of agreement about the way forward. obviously there's a lot of agreement when it comes to the future of the democratic party that i just described. there's also a lot of agreement about the highest priorities that the next president will have to grapple with. these priorities range from issues like addressing economic inequ inequality. these are issues that senator sanders discussed quite extensively on the campaign trail. they're also issues that president obama has had an opportunity to address. as you heard from senator sanders a couple hours ago, there also office a discussion about other issues, making sure that we keep our commitment to
our veterans, making sure we give college graduates in this country the opportunity to succeed. these are all issues that president obama has spent the last seven years fighting for, and senator sanders has spent a significant amount of time talking about these issues, too. not just in the context of his presidential campaign, but in the context of his decades and public service. >> i'm sure the president gave the senator the courtesy of letting him know that he would be endorsing secretary clinton in the coming moments or hours. could you just provide a little bit of how the president broke that to him? i'm sure it was probably expected. and what was the response? and is the president disappointed that senator sanders did not go outside of the white house in talking to reporters, did not endorse clinton? >> let me start by saying that no. senator sanders i think has been quite clear that he intended to
compete for votes in the upcoming district of columbia primary that's scheduled for tuesday. so i don't think anybody had the expectation that -- that senator sanders was going to deviate from that plan. at the same time, to go back to your first question, the president's had the opportunity to speak to senator sanders now three times in the last week. and as a result of those conversations, i think it's fair to say that senator sanders was not at all surprised by today's announcement. >> did the president show senator sanders the video? >> i'm not going to get into the details of their interactions, but aassure you that senator sanders was not surprised. senator sanders began his statement in the driveway in the front of white house today by saying president obama and vice president biden had made a commitment to him early in the process that they would not put their nuthumb on the scale.
and senator sanders himself said how much he appreciated that president obama and vice president biden kept that promise. >> when was the video recorded and why it was decided that the endorsement would be done through video rather than having an event other some other alternative? >> the video was recorded on tuesday and i think secretary clinton's campaign already announced that there will be an event. and the president is looking forward to traveling to green bay, wisconsin, with secretary clinton to appear with her in person at a campaign event and build support for her campaign in the state of wisconsin, a state that president obama won twice. >> does he have other plans for campaign-related events sdr secretary clinton? >> that's the only one on the schedule at this point. it's only the first of many between now and november. michelle? >> things that the president would like to see, working
together on those issues. did sanders also have things that he wanted to see from the white house or did he have any particular asks? >> i'll let senator sanders characterize the points that he raised in their meeting. look, and i think he did that again when he spoke to all of you a couple hours ago. he was quite direct about his appreciation to the president for keeping his promise not to weigh in in the primary process and give democratic voters the opportunity to make a decision about who should represent our party in the general election. senator sanders, i think, again as i -- when i spoke to the president briefly about his conversation with senator sanders, i think both men are pretty enthusiastic about the opportunity that lies ahead. not just in advance of the general election, but over the course of generation to ensure that the future of the democratic party looks as diverse and vibrant and inclusive as our country is. >> did the president ask sanders
to step out of the race sooner rather than later and did he want him to step out beforeprim? >> as i mentioned yesterday, senator sanders has more than earned the right to make his own decision on his own time frame about the future of his campaign. and the president certainly respects the important work that senator sanders has done on the campaign trail. he certainly respects the strong support that he's built in all 50 states and that means that senator sanders gets to decide when -- what the future of his campaign looks like. i'll just point out, again, when senator sanders spoke to all of you after meeting with the president, senator sanders reiterated how critically important it is for president obama to be succeeded by a president who shares our values and is committed to building on the progress this country has made under president obama's leadership. that certainly was part of the conversation in the oval office
and senator sanders when he spoke to all of you made clear that this was a priority. >> what was the point and the outcome of this meeting? what was decided between the two of them? >> i think the point was for president obama and senator sanders to continue the conversation that they been having over the course of this week. this is a conversation that dates all the way back to january -- or february, wherever it was, that senator sanders was here at the white house much earlier in the campaign. so again, i don't think there was any expectations either on the part of senator sanders or president obama that senator sanders was going to make some abrupt change to his campaign strategy which at this point has included competing in the d.c. primary that's scheduled for tuesday. >> why release it on twitter and why have it come from clinton instead of the president? >> i think obviously the -- it makes -- i think there's some
intuitive decisions about why it's important to give secretary clinton the opportunity to make this news. obviously, you know, i saw some of the early comments from her campaign that she was deeply appreciative of the president's endorsement and the president was pleased to have the opportunity to share it. but it certainly is the decision for secretary clinton and her team to make about how best to use this material to advance her campaign. >> and you -- speaking of twitter. you see a lot of sanders supporters now putting out their continued support for sanders. many of them saying, women, it's bernie or nobody, won't be clinton. how -- what do you think is going to be the president's best approach now that he is going to be out on the trail in a matter of days to winning over those people? >> first of all, it's going to
be secretary clinton's responsibility to win over those people. i'm confident she will have a very forceful case to make about the values that she represents and -- so i think she'll have a strong case to make, but that's a case she will make. barack obama certainly has a lot of credibility with those voters, i think that is true. president obama over the course of the last seven years, has fought very hard for many of the principles and priorities that senator sanders has been talking about over the course of this campaign. senator sanders has devoted extraordinary amount of time to making sure that wall street doesn't run amuck and trample on middle class families. i can recite you, i'll spare you at least right now, a long recitation of all of the things that president obama has done by implementing wall street reform, and also making sure we're focused on expanding equal opportunity for the middle
class. that is entirely consistent with a message that was spread by senator sanders and his campaign that clearly deeply resonated with voters, young and old, democrat and independent all across the country. so president obama has a lot of credibility with these voters. senator sanders obviously has a lot of credibility with those voters. you heard him say how critically important it is that president obama be succeeded by somebody who shares our values and is dedicated to those progressive priorities. so there are any number of people, secretary clinton, senator sanders and president obama who can make a very forceful case to those who were enthusiastic supporters of senator sanders in the primary. >> thanks, josh. >> josh, you mention that the president, we obviously know will be out next week with secretary clinton and intends to be out many other times.
how eager is he to get out there on the campaign trail? is this like one more campaign for him? >> the president's very enthusiastic about the opportunity he will have over the course of the next several months to make a strong case in support of secretary clinton. i think that is evident from the comments that president obama made in elkhart, indiana last week. particularly if you take a look at the u.s. economy, we've made enormous producing over the last seven years. the private sector is what led that recovery, but the private sector would not have succeeded without the important policy decision made in the first couple months of president obama's presidency. for those voters focused on the economy, we've got a pretty strong case to make about the wisdom of the decisions made by president obama and the commitment to -- by secretary clinton to those principles. but i also think it was pretty
evident from that video and from his appearance on the "tonight show" with jimmy fallon that will air tonight at 11:30. that's a free plug there, peter, for your new york. >> appreciate it. >> i think anybody who as an opportunity to watch that interview will see that the president is quite enthusiastic about this election and the prospect of being succeeded in office by secretary clinton. >> i noticed in that video, she seems to give secretary clinton some credit for the bin laden decisions. that was really his decision alone he said in the past. what role did she have? >> well, i think the point of that video where the president talks about her courage and her come petition passion and her heart and how her service to the country were critically important to his decision to endorse her in this campaign. and i think the point that he's making in the video is that he
chose to have secretary clinton by his side for the first four years of his presidency as he was making difficult decisions that had enormous -- [ inaudible ] -- she's certainly in that picture where the decision is being executed. she certainly was an important architect of the kind of foreign policy decisions and strategic decisions that president obama had to make over the first four years of his presidency. >> i don't know if you've been tracking your presidency up there. donald trump has tweeted. >> i'm not surprised. >> obama just endorsed crooked hillary. he wants four more years of obama but nobody else does. is that what he wants, four more years of obama? >> no, i think there have been a number of occasions over the last several months where you-all have pointed out to me some differences between secretary clinton and president
obama. so they do not have -- they do not have the same opinion on every issue. just to go back to this video that was released today, the president said unequivocally that he does not believe, at least he can't remember, somebody who's been more qualified, a candidate that's been more qualified to hold this office. and after getting to know her personally, working closely with her in the first four years of this administration, and spending more than a year on the campaign trail competing against her in the 2008 presidential election, the president's had the opportunity to watch secretary clinton perform up close. and he's seen her tenacity, her dedication, her commitment to 00 set of principles that they share. and that's why the president's quite enthusiastic about her campaign. >> thanks, josh. >> let's move around. >> thanks, josh. can you confirm that the president did vote for secretary
clinton during the illinois primary a few months back? >> i did not ask the question about which box he checked on his ballot. but i'm not aware that he changed his mind at any point over the course of the primary. >> now that the endorsement is officially out, i want to revisit a question that you were asked a couple days ago about the first lady. she's going to be doing an event i believe next week. can we expect to see her now that we have our first woman nominee sort of make the case for secretary clinton on the campaign trail as well? >> well, listen, that event you're referring to is one that has been in the works for months here at the white house. so it is not a campaign event. it's an official event to talk about a series of issues critically important to america's women and american families. there are a wide range of issues that they'll discuss. part of that event includes a conversation that the first lady will have with oprah winfrey.
i don't know if it will come up in the context of that conversation. but this is an event that was planned independent of any consideration of secretary clinton's campaign. that said, i think it is entirely fair for you to interpret president obama's remarks in the video that was released today as consistent with the first lady's views of the campaign. the first lady is enthusiastic about secretary clinton's campaign and you could certainly interpret that video as a joint endorsement. and at some point, i don't know exactly when that will be, but at some point i'm confident that the first lady will have an opportunity to share her own views in her own words about why she believes it's important for secretary clinton to succeed president obama. i'll just -- i'll end by reminding you there are a number
of occasions where mrs. obama has discussed her deep admiration for secretary clinton's public service, her career. she's been a trail blazer. and mrs. obama deeply respects what secretary clinton has done and the issues she has fought for over the course of her long career. >> yesterday, the president said he was concerned about the ability of democrats to do sort of the hard work of the ground game of turning out young voters, low income voters like he did in 2008 and 2012. is that sort of a tacid criticism of the clinton campaign? >> no, it's not. the president was making a point similar to the point that he made in south florida at the end of last week. where he talked about how important it is for democrats to -- to run scared. to not be complacent about what
the polls say, the stakes in this election are high. and the republican nominee has certain defind conventional wisdom in the past. and his campaign is one that democrats should -- should take seriously. and the president certainly intends to devote a lot of time and energy to making sure that voters all across the country, democrats, independents and republicans, understand the high stakes and the president will certainly make a strong and clear case for the candidate that he believes is at least as qualified as any other candidate to seek the office of the presidency in our nation's history. >> a couple of questions. the sanders campaign where bernie sanders has been looking at history when it comes to this
unification process. they have looked at 2008 when headlight conceded and barack obama reached out his hand for unification with hillary clinton, for this president what does the -- particularly when it comes to his -- >> well, listen, i think you're making an important point, there is a relevant history here that secretary clinton was not in such a different situation than the one facing senator sanders today. what antonin scalsecretary clins is well in history now, she was justifiably proud of the campaign in 2007 and 2008. she was proud of the strong support that she got from voters all across the country. but she also made clear that
then senator obama was the best opportunity that our country had to advance the priorities that she'd been campaigning on. again, i think there's a relevant analogy to be drawn between what happened eight years ago and what's happening right now. >> can you bring us back to how beyond paying for her campaign debt with respect to how president obama worked with hillary clinton to get her supporters who were very angry at the time like to follow him. what was that piece? >> i think what's important is to be respectful of those voters and certainly in 2008, president obama, then senator obama was deeply respectful.
president obama and his campaign with the strong support and endorsement of then senator clinton made a powerful case. and i don't think there were too many of those supporters that were converted in a day. but over the course of the campaign, i think the president had made a strong case and i think that secretary clinton same thing with regard to senator sanders supporters. >> that could go to trump particularly when it comes to issues of trade. hillary clinton's trade issues. [ inaudible question ] >> well, again, as you all have pointed out to me a number of times in this room, all three of the candidates you just named have the same position on the
transpacific partnership and it's a different one than president obama has. >> and one last -- one last piece to tuesday and the video. what time was that video made? it was after new jersey or was it turn the day? >> i believe it was during the day. it was certainly after a number of your organizations has declared hillary clinton the presumptive democratic nominee for president. [ inaudible question ] >> i don't know exactly which room it was. it was a room in the white house residence. >> there are a lot of rooms. >> there are. i don't know which one it was. this is certainly consistent with the practice that previous presidents have followed when engaged in taping videos for political purposes. this is what president reagan did, this is what both president bushes did, it's what president obama has done before. >> costs borne by the hillary company?
>> either the hillary campaign or the dnc. what i can confirm you is it was not filmed at government expense. >> who wrote the script? >> i don't know who's involved in writing the script. >> both camps at the white house and the hillary campaign or the dnc, some -- >> some combination i think is best way to describe it. >> and you've always said in the past that when it comes to the president's endorsements, the it's the candidate who makes the decision about the timing. your hesitation about confirming that the president may have given a heads up to senator sanders in their meeting, i kind of want to nail that down. did the hillary clinton campaign decide when that went up or did you guys decide when that went up? >> i don't recall having said that the candidates themselves determined that. obviously, president obama made a very purposeful decision over the course of this campaign to not weigh in and to give democratic voters across the
country the opportunity to determine who should represent our party in the general election. so the timing of this decision was -- it was one of the -- made by the president, but obviously as i noted yesterday, the white house -- had an open line of communication with each campaign. and so in order to make sure that senator sanders wasn't surprised, it required president obama to communicate with senator sanders. in order to make sure that secretary clinton's campaign was in a position to release the video, we obviously had to communicate with them as well. >> and lastly, poor d.c. voters, right? what should -- should they just stay home? is that part of the message here, that the decision's been made now that the race is over, their votes don't matter as much as california, num, or other states. >> no, that's not how i would
describe it. i think the president is somebody who has on a number of occasions articulated his view that people should be engaged in the political process, that people should be engaged in the public debate. certainly an important way to do that is to participate in elections. there are delegates that are up for election to the democratic convention. that's something that's worth voting on. look, i think what other people have suggested, there are potentially reforms to the nomination process that could be made. that could potentially put district voters in a position to have more influence on the process than they do now. james? >> josh, thank you. a few quick, different subject. >> sure. >> does the president have confidence in debbie wasserman schultz to maintain her position through the end of this cycle?
>> the president was in south florida at the end of last week, and he talked about her service as the chair of the democratic national committee. the president appointed her to be the chair of the dnc during his first term. part of her legacy at the dnc is having built a democratic campaign apparatus that succeeded in reelecting the first african-american president in the united states. and certainly the dnc and the structure that was built and financed through debbie wasserman schultz's efforts can take some credit for that, she should. the president made clear that debbie wasserman schultz has always had his back and he's always going to have hers. the president has announced his support for her reelection campaign. >> was there ever any point
where the president ever considered endorsing anyone other than hillary clinton? >> as i alluded, i'm not aware that the president ever changed his mind in the course of the democratic primary. >> you mentioned earlier that president obama carried wisconsin twice in a row. why shouldn't we interpret the president's decision to campaign there with hillary clinton as his first outing as a sign of weakness on the part of the democratic ticket since they're going to be campaigning in a state whereby all accounts they should be easily able to retain that state. >> the president had to compete for wisconsin both in 2008 and 2012. i would anticipate a similar outcome in 2016. >> two more things really quickly. you just stated at the podium just now that you believe there's a strong case over the course of the last seven and a
half years. senator sanders in his statement in the white house driveway today paint add very different picture. senator sanders said that the united states right now is drifting toward oh la garky, does the president agree with that? >> i think the president certainly agrees that there is more work to be done to address -- >> drifting toward -- >> those are senator sanders words. >> i'm asking if you agree. >> what the president agrees with is the notion that there's more that can be done to fight economic inequality in this country. unfortunately, many of those ideas have been blocked by republicans in congress. i think the president is proud and justifiably so of the remarkable progress our country has made over the last seven years. but he's essenticertainly not s.
which is why he -- >> presumably if you or the president agree, you would have said so in response to my question sm. >> those are senator sanders words and i'm using my own to convoy our view. >> previously the president has used one public comment or another to comment on the fbi investigation into hillary clinton and her e-mail conduct. you yourself from this podium have suggested that the investigation wasn't trending toward any focus on mrs. clinton herself. i wonder if you could address for us the potential conflict of interest that might exist when the president of the united states, the head of the executive branch, is openly saying i want this woman to succeed me in the oval office and you have other employees of the ex-executive branch working
this case who have now just heard how the president wants to see this case resolved in essence. isn't there some conflict there? >> james, there's not. you noted instances where the president was asked about the fbi investigations. the president made clear that that is being conducted independent of any political interference. that is a principle that the president is resolutely committed. my comments were actually also in response to a question and were a reference to a published reports of comments from fbi officials that -- about the direction of the -- of the investigation. but, look, the reason that the president feels confident that he can go out and make this endorsement and record a video in which he describes his strong support for secretary clinton's campaign is that he knows the people who are conducting the investigation aren't going to be
swayed by any sort of political interference. they aren't going to be swayed by political forces. they know that their investigation should be guided by the facts and that they should follow the evidence where it leads. the president has confidence that that's exactly what they'll do. >> so when a career prosecutor or an fbi agent working on the clinton investigation hears this president speak openly about how he wants hillary clinton to succeed him, you don't think they take that as some indication as to how the president wants to see this case resolved? >> no. i think those career prosecutors understand that they have a job to do, and that that job they are supposed to do -- which is to follow the facts, to pursue the evidence to a logical conclusion -- that's a job that they are responsible for doing without any sort of political interference. this is the reason that we actually ask career federal prosecutors to take the lead on
these kinds of matters. they don't have political jobs. they have career jobs as law enforcement officers and as prosecutors and investigators. that's what their responsibility is. that's why the president when discussing this issue in each stage has reiterated his commitment to this principle that any criminal investigation should be conducted independent of any sort of political interference and that people should be treated the same way before the law regardless of their political influence, regardless of their political party, regardless of their political stature and regardless of what political figure has endorsement. >> he has discussed it with mrs. clinton? >> he has not. >> so what extent would you say today's meeting with bernie sanders was in front of the cameras, here at the white house, a formality in some ways to soften the blow not only to him, but to so many of his young
supporters who are so badly needed on the campaign trail by hillary clinton? >> i would not describe the meeting as a formality because i think the president is deeply respectful of senator sanders and the campaign that he has run over the last year or so. so again, they had a serious conversation about the stakes of the upcoming general election and about the future of the democratic party, something that both candidates are -- are quite interested in. so this was an important meeting. this was an important part of the president's day and an important part of senator sanders' day too. >> was there a request to get his grassroot supporters on board for hillary clinton? >> i'm not aware of any specific requests like that. i think it was