September 07 2008 meet the press

Barack Obama On Meet the Press Sept. 7, ? - You Decide Politics

september 07 2008 meet the press

I know, it's Why do we care about something that was allegedly said by Barack Obama during the presidential campaign? Well, it's. From Sunday's 07 Sept. EST, Televised “Meet the Press” the THEN Senator Obama was asked about his stance on the American Flag. General. I recently received an email stating that Barack Obama made comments on Meet The Press on September 7th regarding the flag of the.

You know, the bombs bursting in air and all. My wife disrespects the Flag for many personal reasons. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, you heard it right. This could possibly be our next President. I, for one, am speechless. Truth is the only thing that matters to me. I can safely say there are not many out there who dislike the policies of Obama more than myself.

If you read my latest blog I go so far as to call his policies evil, hells agenda. I truly believe evil resides in the White House of this I am convinced. After thorough research I have come to the conclusion that this email pertaining to Obama and the flag is false at best and a lie at worst. There is absolutely no proof that he ever made such statements. In fact the proof is to the contrary.

You can see for yourself by going to the archives of Meet The Press for September 7th Joe Biden was a guest that day and he never mentions the flag at all.

Well, there are a lot of discussions taking place right now between members of Congress, the Bush administration. I've had my team have conversations with these folks to see how can you keep the automakers' feet to the fire in making the changes that are necessary. But understand, these aren't ordinary times. You know, some people have said let's just send them through a bankruptcy process. Well, even as large a company as GM, in ordinary times, might be able to go through a Chapter 11 bankruptcy, restructure, and still keep their business operations going.

When you are seeing this kind of collapse at the same time as you've got the financial system as shaky as, as it is, that means that we're going to have to figure out ways to put the pressure on the way a bankruptcy court would, demand accountability, demand serious changes. But do so in a way that it allows them to keep the factory doors open. And, you know, right now there's a number of discussions about how to do that, and I hope that we're going to see some short-term progress in the next few days.

My economic team is focused on what we expect to inherit on January 20th, and we'll have some very specific plans in terms of how to move that forward. But help me out here. Are you looking at the possibility of some kind of a government structure that runs that reorganization? I--we don't want government to run companies. Generally, government historically hasn't done that very well.

september 07 2008 meet the press

Not to run the companies but Well, what, what we do need is, if taxpayer money is at stake, which it appears may be the case, we want to make sure that it is conditioned on a auto industry emerging at the end of the process that actually works, that actually functions.

The last thing I want to see happen is for the auto industry to disappear. But I'm also concerned that we don't put 10 or 20 or 30 or whatever billion dollars into an industry, and then, six months to a year later, they come back hat in hand and say, "Give me more. They're going through extraordinarily difficult times right now, and they want to see the kind of accountability that, that, that, unfortunately, we haven't always seen coming out of Washington.

But under that organization or any reorganization that you settle on Here's what I'll, I'll say, that it may not be the same for all the, all the companies, but what I think we have to put an end to is the head-in-the-sand approach to the auto industry that has been prevalent for decades now. I think, in fairness, you have seen some progress made incrementally in many of these companies.

You know, they have been building better cars now than they were 10 or 15 or 20 years ago. They are making some investments in the kind of green technologies and, and the new batteries that would allow us to create plug-in hybrids. What we haven't seen is a sense of urgency and the willingness to make tough decisions. And what we still see are executive compensation packages for the auto industry that are out of line compared to their competitors, their Japanese competitors who are doing a lot better.

Now, it's not unique to the auto industry. We have seen that across the board.

september 07 2008 meet the press

Certainly, we saw it on Wall Street. Figure out ways in which workers maybe have to take a haircut, but they can still keep their jobs, they can still keep their health care and they can still stay in their homes. That kind of notion of shared benefits and burdens is something that I think has been lost for too long, and it's something that I'd like to see restored. Let's talk for a moment about consumer responsibility when it comes to the auto industry.

As soon as gas prices began to drop, consumers moved back to the larger cars once again, to SUVs and the big gas consumers. We're not going to have gasoline that you can just fill up your tank for 20 bucks anymore. Well, keep, keep in mind what's happening in--to families all across America. Yes, gas prices have gone down. But, in the meantime, maybe somebody in the family's lost their job.

In the meantime, their housing values have plummeted. In the meantime, maybe their hours have been cut back. Or if they're a small-business owner, their sales have gone down 50, 60, 70 percent. So putting additional burdens on American families right now, I think, is a mistake. What we have to do long term is make sure that we have an energy strategy that focuses on fuel-efficient cars, that focuses on providing incentives for fuel-efficient cars.

Same applies to buildings. We have a enormously inefficient building stock, and we can save huge amounts of energy costs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil by simple things like weatherization and changing the lighting in, in major buildings.

september 07 2008 meet the press

That's going to be part of our economic recovery plan. It actually allows us to spend some money, put some people to work right away, but it also creates a long-term, sustainable energy future. And I think making some of those investments in ensuring that we change our auto fleet over the next several years, that's going to be important as well.

Dec. 7: President-elect Barack Obama - Meet the Press | NBC News

The other big financial storm that continues to build out there, of course, are mortgages. You said recently that is an area of particular concern to you. The chairman of the Federal Reserve, Bernanke, said recently that something that--needs to be done urgently.

During the course of the campaign, you suggested a three-month moratorium. Is that still part of the policy that you would like to have begun when you become president of the United States? And what else needs to be done to do something about mortgages? Well, I, I'm having my team examine all the options that are out there. I'm disappointed that we haven't seen quicker movement on this issue by the administration. And we have said publicly and privately that we want to see a package that helps homeowners not just because it's good for that particular homeowner, it's good for the community.

When you have foreclosures, property values decline and you get a downward spiral all across America. It's also good for the financial system because keep in mind how this financial system became so precarious in the first place. You, you had a huge amount of debt, a huge amount of other people's money that was being lent, and speculation was taking place on--based on these home mortgages.

And if we can strengthen those assets, then that will strengthen the financial system as a whole. So I think a moratorium on foreclosures remains an important tool, an important option. I think we also should be working to figure out how we can get banks and homeowners to renegotiate the terms of their mortgages so that they are sustainable. The vast majority of people who are at threat of foreclosure are still making monthly payments, they want to stay in their homes, they want to stay in their communities, but the strains are enormous.

And if we can relieve some of that stress, long term it's going to be better for the banks, it's going to be certainly better for the community, it's going to be better for our economy as a whole. This is going to be a top priority of my administration.

Have you personally conveyed your disappointment to the administration or had your economic advisers get in touch with Hank Paulson and say, "Why aren't you doing more about mortgages? We, we have specifically said that, moving forward, we have to have a housing component to any actions that we take. If we are only dealing with Wall Street and we're not dealing with Main Street, then we're only handling one-half of the problem.

And finally, what about those homeowners out there who are struggling to do the responsible thing, to pay their mortgages? And now they look across the street and the neighbor may be getting bailed out. So they feel they're the victim of a double whammy. They're paying their taxes to bail out the guy across the street and struggling to pay their mortgages.

Why wouldn't they just take a walk on their mortgage and say, "I want in on that"? Well, look, that, that's one of the tricky things that we've got to figure out how to structure. We don't want what you just described, a moral hazard problem where you have incentive to act irresponsibly. But, you know, if my neighbor's house is on fire, even if they were smoking in the bedroom or leaving the stove on, right now my main incentive is to put out that fire so that it doesn't spread to my house.

And I think most people recognize that even if there were some poor decisions made by home buyers, that right now our biggest incentive is to make sure that the housing market is strengthened. I do think that we have to put in place a set of rules of the road, some financial regulations that prevent the kind of speculation and leveraging, that we saw, in the future.

Advertise And so, as part of our economic recovery package, what you will see coming out of my administration right at the center is a strong set of new financial regulations in which banks, ratings agencies, mortgage brokers, a whole bunch of folks start having to be much more accountable and behave much more responsibly because we can't put ourselves--we, we can't create the kind of systemic risks that we're creating right now, particularly because everything is so interdependent.

We've got to have transparency, openness, fair dealing in our financial markets. And that's an area where I think, over the last eight years, we've fallen short. President-elect, we're going to take a break. When we come back, we're going to talk about taxes, the fallout from Mumbai, obviously, Iraq and Afghanistan. More of our exclusive interview yesterday in Chicago with President-elect Barack Obama after this brief station break. We're back with President-elect Obama.

We want to talk about taxes. That was a central piece of your campaign. Here's what you had to say. We need to roll back the Bush-McCain tax cuts and invest in things like health care that are really important.

Instead of giving tax breaks to the wealthy, who don't need them and weren't even asking for them, we should be putting a middle class tax cut into the pockets of working families. Have the economic conditions changed what you hoped to do about taxes? Is that your plan? Well, understand what my original tax plan was. It was a net tax cut.

Ninety-five percent of working families would get tax relief. To help pay for that, people like you and me, Tom, who make more than a quarter million dollars a year, would play--pay slightly more.

september 07 2008 meet the press

We'd essentially go back to the tax rates that existed back in the s. My economic team right now is examining do we repeal that through legislation? Do we let it lapse so that when the Bush tax cuts expire they're not renewed when it comes to wealthiest Americans? And we don't yet know what the best approach is going to be, but the overall thrust is going to be that 95 percent of working families are going to get a tax cut, and the wealthiest Americans, who disproportionately benefited not only from tax cuts from the Bush administration but also disproportionately benefited when it comes to corporate profits and where the gains and productivity were going, they are going to give up a little bit more.

And it turns out that But right away or ? Well, as I said, my economic team's taking a look at this right now. But, but I think the important principle--because sometimes when we start talking about taxes and I say I want a more balanced tax code, people think, well, you know, that's class warfare. It, it turns out that our economy grows best when the benefits of the economy are most widely spread.

It's still--it's a big problem, Tom. You got--we're paying bucks a month to each of those guys. Now the problem has been and the, and the promise was made by Maliki that they would be integrated into the overall military. That's a process that is beginning in fits and starts now, but it's far from over.

Far from--look, the bottom line here is that it's--let's--the surge is over. Here's the real point. Whether or not the surge worked is almost irrelevant now.

September 7, 208 Sunday Snapshot

We're in a new deal. What is the administration doing? They're doing what Barack Obama has suggested over 14 months ago, turn responsibility over and draw down our troops.

We're about to get a deal from the president of the United States and Maliki, the head of the Iraqi government, that's going to land on my desk as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee saying we're going to set a timeline to draw down our forces. The only guy in America out of step is John McCain. John McCain's saying no timeline.

They've signed on to Barack Obama's proposal. But the surge helped make that timeline possible, did it not? Well, it did help make it possible. But it's not the reason. Look, they also--take a look at the analysis, Tom.

They say the reason why there's such success against the, the insurgency is because of now small, very well trained counterinsurgency units. It's not the numbers, it's the type of units that are in there. What I was arguing about before was we have the wrong units in there.

We have the wrong kind of force in there. We weren't focused on counterinsurgency. And so look--but, but, but the bottom line is we can argue about whether the surge was good, bad or indifferent. Let's assume it was all good. The truth of the matter is, what do we do now? What's John McCain going to do when he's president? He says he will not sign on to a timeline, number one.

Number two, he has no, no idea, no suggestion how he's going to deal with the neighbors. He has no idea how he's going to deal with Iraq. He has no idea how he's going to deal with Syria.

'Meet the Press' transcript for Dec. 7, 2008

He has no idea how he's going to deal with Turkey. We have laid out a clear plan. But two years ago you were the principal author, along with Les Gelb of the Council on Foreign Relations, of an entirely different kind of plan.

You were promoting heavily the idea of a confederation, or a partition. That's exact--not, not a partition. You guys keep saying that. It was never a partition. Or the--we'll make it a confederation. That's what it was. But the--but terms of real political terms, it would quickly become a partition. Absolutely, positively not true. You think that the Kurds in the north and the, and the, and the Sunnis and the Shia would just say, "Oh, we can all get across--get together across lines," without having a prescription There was a central government that had power, but there was more power given to the localities like exist right now.

Tom, tell me, what's changed up among, among the Kurds? You still not--cannot, under the Iraqi constitution, send an Iraqi army up there. You still not--cannot fly an Iraqi flag up there unless you get permission. Tell me what's happened in Anbar province. It is de facto exactly what I said. Everything that's working in Iraq has been the bottom up approach, not a strong central government imposing.

And the truth of the matter is the only way you're going to make this--sustain it, the question is, how do we leave and leave a stable Iraq behind? Without a political settlement, Tom, we're going to be back there in another year or two or three or five. But are you encouraged they're moving toward a political settlement? Yes, I am encouraged, because they're doing the things I suggested.

They're localizing it, Tom. That's why it is moving toward some mild possibility of a resolution. And if you were to now follow up--if John McCain as president, would follow up like we will as president and say, "OK, how do you get the rest of the neighborhood in the deal?

And every--you know, this talk about how this has been such a great success, look where we are now in the Middle East. You now have a Shia-dominated government close to Iran. When Ahmadinejad comes, he kisses him on both cheek and seeks permission. So give me a break about how this is such a great political success.

We have the bravest soldiers in the world. I said at the time of the surge, if we sent introops we could tamp this down immediately, shut it down and end all violence. But that would not solve the problem. What do we do when we leave? And that's the hard work, and that requires the region as well. And you don't hear a word from John about that--John McCain. You don't hear a word from Sarah Palin about that. But you do now from the administration.

The administration's now signing on to Barack Obama's plan to set a timeline, to--not the exact plan, but to set a timeline to draw down American troops. Five years from now, do you think Iraq will have relative stability and democratic principles in a central government? If there is an Obama-Biden administration, yeah. If there is a John McCain administration and Sarah Palin, I think it's probably not going to happen, because John does not view this in terms of the region.

I never heard him speak about how he's going to integrate Iraq into the region where you have these competing interests that exist. And I, I, I just--now, John may have an idea.

I've never heard it. And by the way, that Biden proposal, 75 senators voted for it, including the majority of the Republican Party. But the Iraqi government didn't like the idea. Well, the Iraqi government--Maliki didn't, but the rest of the government liked it.

But he is the head of the government. Yeah--by the way, it is their country, but he's the head of the government, but he's the head of the government whose popularity is very much in question, and the election itself. You had a whole lot of people--look, here's going to be the key, Tom. They're about to have regional elections.

Let's see how they go. Let's see how the regional elections go. Pray God they'll go well for the sake of all of our sons that are there. Let's move on to some domestic issues.

Obama Explains National Anthem Stance?

The country's waking up this morning to the news that the federal government's about to move in on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They're in serious trouble at the moment, but they're in a free fall, in effect. The government reorganized them, it appears that they're going to pump in some fresh capital on a quarterly basis, but shareholders will have their shares greatly diluted by this move.

But the preferred shareholders--China and other governments that have invested in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac--will not suffer, because the government will prop them up. Well, no, it's not fair, but I don't think that's what's going to happen. I talked to Secretary Paulson last night. I'm not at liberty to lay out what he told me, because he should announce it today. But there's three principles that have to play here for this to work, in my view.

One, you have to make sure that you help homeowners and stabilize, at the same time, financial institutions. Secondly, you got to make sure that you're not bailing out shareholders vs. And the third thing you got to do is make sure that they're still in a position to be able to continue to lend, because there is a need for them to continue to have this elasticity of being able to deal with the market.

Now, what I've heard the outline of, I am--I want to wait till I see all the detail, but if it meets those three principles, then I think it has a great chance of succeeding.

And as I understand it, whatever proposal Secretary Paulson is going to make is a proposal to get us over this hump of instability and uncertainty. It's not an official reorganization.

It will be left to the next administration and the Congress to make those judgments. All investors suffer equally? We'll see what the plan is.

We want to talk a little bit about both campaigns now describing themselves as an agent of change. Senator Obama has been hard on the case about Washington lobbyists and their influence. Let's share with you and our viewers just some of the ads and the statements that he's made about all of that, if we can.

And suddenly, he's the change agent. He says, "I'm going to tell those lobbyists that their days of running Washington are over. Is he going to tell his campaign chairman, who's one of the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington? Is he going to tell his campaign manager, who was one of the biggest corporate lobbyists in Washington?

Who is it that he's going to tell that change is coming? I mean, come on. They must think you're stupid. Now Senator Obama is out with an ad as well, pretty much the same theme. Let's listen to that, if we can. Excerpt from political ad SEN. I'm Barack Obama and I approve this message. But America is listening, not just Democrats. The Republicans and independents who've lost trust in their government but want to believe again. I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over.

I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on the lobbyists and I have won. They have not funded my campaign and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am president. That is Senator Barack Obama during the primary campaign.

He was campaigning in Iowa at the time. In your hometown newspaper this morning, there's a big headline, "Banking on Biden. To some, Joe Biden's makeover as a blue collar warrior is slightly at odds with the blue blood company that he keeps in the corporate state.