Sunday, September 20, 2009

Obama, Meet the Press Transcript, Video (9-20-09)

Read the complete transcript. Excerpt and video below:

PRESIDENT OBAMA: No. Look, I said, during the campaign, are there some people who still think through the prism of race when it comes to evaluating me and my candidacy? Absolutely. Sometimes they vote for me for that reason, sometimes they vote against me for that reason. I'm sure that was true during the campaign, I'm sure that's true now.

But I think you actually put your finger on what this argument's really about. And it's an argument that's gone on for the history of this republic. And that is what's the right role of government? How do we balance freedom with our need to look after one another?

I talked about this in the joint sessions speech. This is not a new argument. And it always invokes passions. And I— it— it was a passionate argument between Jefferson and Hamilton about this. You know, Andrew Jackson built a whole political party around this notion that somehow— you know— there— there is populous outrage against— a federal government that was over inclu— intrusive.

And— and so what— what I think is going on is that we've got a healthy debate taking place. The vast majority of people are conducting it in a very sensible way. I— I think that every president who's tried to make significant changes along these lines, whether it was FDR or Ronald Reagan, elicit very strong passionate responses.

But I do think that we all have an obligation to try to— conduct this conversation in a civil way. And to— recognize that each of us are patriots. That each of us are Americans. And that, by the way, the— my proposals— as much as you may not like them— if you're— a Republican, or on the right, recognize that this is well within the mainstream of what Americans have been talking about for years, in terms of making sure that everybody in this country gets decent health care. And that— people who have health care are protected.

DAVID GREGORY: Just to be clear though. It wasn't just President Carter. There are others in the Congressional Black Caucus. Other thinkers who have said that they agree. That there is racism out there in that opposition to you. I just want to be clear, are you— are you saying to the former president and others, to speak this way is counterproductive?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, look— David, here's what I'm saying. I— I— I think that— the media loves to have a conversation about race. I mean, the— this is— is catnip to— to— the media because it is a running thread in American history that's very powerful. And it invokes some very strong emotions.

I'm not saying that race — never matters in— in any of these— public debates that we have. What I'm saying is this debate that's taking place is not about race, it's about people being worried about— how our government should operate.
- Related Topic:

Video: Couple Sues Walmart over Nude Photos of Children and Their Arrest

Once again the system fails. We should protect children. But we shouldn't falsely accuse a husband and wife over innocent pictures. Rapist and murderers get better treatment than this couple received. Not to mention that the children have been traumatized.

Insane Killer Planned Escape from Field Trip

Another example of a failed criminal justice system. How crazy (pun intended) is this?

Authorities in Washington state say they're looking into whether an insane killer who escaped from a field trip organized by his mental hospital planned his getaway.

Police continued to search Sunday for Philip Arnold Paul, who escaped Thursday during a trip to a county fair.

Spokane County sheriff's spokesman Dave Reagan says the 47-year-old Paul left little clothing behind in his hospital room and carried a backpack and $50 on the outing.

Obama, Face The Nation Transcript (9-20-09)

Read the complete transcript. Excerpt below:

Schieffer: You have made speeches, you've addressed the joint session of Congress, you've done interviews, but the polling continues to show that people are still skeptical about your health reform plans.

Orrin Hatch, the Republican Senator from Utah, has done a lot of work on health care over the years, summed it up this way - these are his words: "If anyone believes that Washington can do a plan that will cost close to a trillion dollars, cover all Americans, not raise taxes on anyone, not increase the deficit, not reduce benefits or choices for our families and seniors, then I have a bridge to sell you."

Have you promised too much, Mr. President?

Obama: No I don't think I've promised too much at all. Look - first of all, everybody acknowledges this is a problem. Everybody acknowledges that the current path we're on is unsustainable. Not just for people who don't have health insurance, but for those who do.

We just had a study come out this week showing that premiums for families went up 130 percent over the last decade. Those costs probably went up even higher for the average employer and that's part of the reason why you're seeing each successive year fewer Americans having health insurance from their employers than they previously did.

Health care inflation went up 5.5 percent this past year when inflation was actually negative because of this extraordinary recession. So we know that standing still is not an option.

Now what I've said is we can make sure that people who don't have health insurance can buy into an insurance pool that gives them better bargaining power. For people who have health insurance we can provide health insurance reforms that make the insurance they have more secure. And we can do that mostly by using money that every expert agrees is being wasted and is currently in the existing health care system. So -- in fact what we've got right now is about 80 percent consensus on how we would accomplish that.

Now let me be honest: With a piece of legislation this complicated and a sector of the economy that's about one-sixth of our economy there's a reason why for the last 40 years people have been talking about this and it hasn't gotten done &30151; it's hard. And there are a lot of moving parts. And so I appreciate fact that the American people are really cautious about this because it's important to them and the majority of people still have health insurance. What I'm trying to do is to explain the facts, which are if we don't do anything a lot of Americans are gonna be much worse off and over time the federal budget just can't sustain it.

Video: Romney Speech at Values Voter Summit

From CNN:

A day after former Baptist minister and likely presidential rival Mike Huckabee offered a withering critique of Mitt Romney's record, the former Massachusetts governor made his pitch to the same group of religious conservatives.

As Mitt Romney, left, defended his health care record Saturday, Mike Huckabee won a vote.

Romney appealed to attendees at the Values Voter Summit in Washington on Saturday, using a speech that drew heavily from his address to social conservatives at the same hotel earlier this year. "Putting such a spirit-crushing, back-breaking debt burden on our children is unworthy of our national character," he said.

"That is why I believe that this spending and borrowing is not just economically irresponsible, it is morally wrong."

The former Republican presidential candidate, widely considered a likely 2012 contender, was on the ballot for the gathering's 2012 presidential straw poll, along with Huckabee, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Texas Rep. Ron Paul, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, Indiana Rep. Mike Pence and former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum.

Huckabee won the straw poll Saturday, grabbing nearly 29 percent of the vote. Romney, Pawlenty, Palin and Pence each won roughly 12 percent of the 597 votes cast.