January 23rd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Pres. Obama’s press room visit: Was substantive question unfair?


President Barack Obama took an impromptu tour of the White House press work area yesterday. The president made the surprise visit on his second full day in office. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When President Obama made a surprise visit to the White House press room yesterday he was asked how he justifies his new policy banning lobbyists in his administration when his pick for Deputy Secretary of Defense lobbied for Raytheon.

President Obama said he just came to visit and this is what happens. He added that he wouldn't be able to stop around informally to visit if he gets grilled every time.

When the reporter from Politico pressed further the President got serious and, by some accounts, sounded irritated. He said, "We will be having a press conference at which time you can feel free to [ask] questions. Right now, I just wanted to say hello and introduce myself to you guys - that's all I was trying to do."

During the 10-minute visit, President Obama was also asked if he's been able to work out or play basketball. And the President asked some questions of his own about who sits where and so on, as he checked out reporters' offices, shook hands with members of the press corps and noted how small the space is.

Here’s my question to you: Was it unfair to ask President Obama a substantive question during an informal visit to the White House press room?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


January 23rd, 2009
05:00 PM ET

How should the Obama Administration approach Mideast peace?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama proclaimed that the U.S. will actively and aggressively seek lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

An Israeli soldier fires tear gas at Palestinian stone-throwers during a demonstration by Hamas supporters to celebrate what they called the 'Gaza war victory' following the weekly Friday prayers in the West Bank city of Hebron on January 23, 2009.

Last month Israel launched an attack on Gaza that lasted three weeks destroying buildings and claiming lives. A unilateral cease fire was reached last week, and President Obama has urged Israel to open its borders with Gaza.

The new President also announced that George Mitchell will serve as special envoy for Middle East peace under Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Mitchell's credentials include negotiating the cease fire in Northern Ireland in 1998.

This is yet another break from the Bush administration that avoided appointing someone to the post.

Now former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice negotiated a deal for open border crossings to Gaza back in 2005 but Israel often shut them down because of security concerns.

Israeli officials say they will not open the border if it, in any way, strengthens or legitimizes Hamas.

Here’s my question to you: How should the Obama administration approach achieving peace in the Middle East?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


January 23rd, 2009
02:08 PM ET

Is it a mistake for the GOP to oppose stimulus plan?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama's hopes for broad bipartisan support for his $825-billion emergency stimulus package have been dashed.

US House Minority Leader John Boehner (L)R-OH and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) make remarks to the press outside the West Wing after their meeting with President Barack Obama today at the White House.

The President wants the emergency bill on his desk by President's Day. But there's an obstacle in the way: Opposition from Republicans that seems to be growing by the day. Now they are complaining they've been shut out of the process of writing the bill. They are pointing a finger at the Democrats for ignoring the President's call for bipartisanship.

We're in the middle of the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Voters made it clear they're sick and tired of partisan warfare in Washington. Is anybody listening?

Today President Obama met with GOP leaders to hear their concerns. House Republican leader John Boehner said he and his colleagues feel the package is too expensive and too slow. Republicans want tax relief in the hands of Americans right away.

The President said he would take the Republican concerns under consideration. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said President Obama will go to Capitol Hill next week to meet with lawmakers and try to get this thing done.

My question to you is: Are Republicans making a mistake by opposing President Obama's stimulus plan?

Here’s my question to you: Are Republicans making a mistake by opposing President Obama's stimulus plan?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Republican Party • Stimulus Plan