Obama press conference thread
by desmoinesdem, Thu May 27, 2010 at 02:37:19 PM EDT
I wasn't able to watch President Obama's press conference today, but wanted to put up this thread to discuss it. The consensus on Twitter seems to be that the White House press corps didn't ask very good questions. Read the Daily Caller's liveblog and judge for yourself.
Before taking questions, Obama confirmed changes in administration policy on offshore drilling reported earlier today:
President Obama also is expected to announce a suspension of upcoming lease sales in the western Gulf of Mexico, after receiving a 30-day review of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig explosion that caused an ongoing massive leak.
The White House also will propose more rigorous oil development regulations and oversight as part of an effort to boost its response to the disaster as criticism has mounted of its handling of the worsening crisis.
Obama plans to extend the current moratorium on new deepwater drilling, put in place after the Gulf leak began, until the independent commission created to investigate the spill and to make recommendations for improvements can complete its work.
Any applications for exploratory drilling in the Arctic will be suspended until 2011, sources said. That includes suspending preliminary permits that had already been given to Shell to drill in the Chukchi and Beaufort seas off Alaska, which had been scheduled to start in less than 35 days.
A lease sale 50 miles off the coast of Virginia planned by 2012 also will be canceled.
Most of the questions related to the BP oil spill in the gulf. Obama said he was in charge and took responsibility for the damage caused and for not changing the culture at the Minerals Management Service quickly enough. He did not confirm whether that agency's head, Elizabeth Birnbaum, resigned or was fired.
Asked about our Afghanistan policy, Obama defended our military involvement. Responding to a question about Arizona's new immigration law, Obama said it's "the wrong approach" but didn't endorse any boycotts. He confirmed that the Department of Justice is reviewing the law. Fox News reporter Major Garrett asked about the allegations that the administration offered Joe Sestak a job to get him out of Pennsylvania's Democratic primary for U.S. Senate. Obama said, "“There will be an official response shortly on the Sestak issue, which I hope will answer your questions, [...] I can assure the public that nothing improper took place, but as I said, there will be a response shortly on that issue."
The floor is yours.