MTP transcripts, resources and video - Meet the Press - Resources | NBC News
Transcript of the April 10, broadcast of NBC's Meet the Press, featuring David With us, President Obama's senior adviser, David Plouffe. merely a preview of the campaign: spending cuts, the tea party influence, chairman and CEO of the Special Olympics and contributor to The Washington. Transcript of the July 27, broadcast of NBC's 'Meet the Press,' featuring Sen. Senator Obama late Saturday afternoon in London, the last stop of .. attention will--we hope, at NBC--will be consumed by the Olympics. Michelle Obama spoke with reporters in Copenhagen, where she down in a hotel, meeting with voting members of the International Olympic Committee. In the last I.O.C. vote, for the Games, London beat Paris by a.
So we appreciate everything you all have done, and I want to wish you the very best of luck in whatever you choose to do next. And with that, it is now my pleasure to introduce another big fan of yours, my husband, our President, Barack Obama. And I want to thank Michelle for not teasing me too much, which is usually what she does in her introductions. It is true, I was pretty jealous of the fact that she had a chance to go to London.
But like millions of Americans, I had almost as much fun just following you guys from here and what you did. It was a great way to end the day, watching you guys do things that I did not think were humanly possible. Yes, it was good. I was inspired to run a little bit faster watching Tyson Gay, and lift a little more after watching Holley Mangold, or do a few more crunches after watching Michael Phelps and the other swimmers. But most importantly, what you guys did was inspire us.
You made us proud. And, as President, you made me especially proud to see how you conducted yourself on a world stage.
You could not have been better ambassadors and better representatives for the United States and what we stand for. And one of the great things about watching our Olympics is we are a portrait of what this country is all about -- people from every walk of life, every background, every race, every faith. It sends a message to the world about what makes America special. It speaks to the character of this group, how you guys carried yourselves. Thirteen years ago, Kari Miller was serving in the Army when her car was hit by a drunk driver.
She lost both her legs. She went onto college, learned how to play sitting volleyball. Today she is the proud owner of two silver medals. Lance Brooks is here. Charles Krauthammer, the conservative columnist said, "He hasn't earned the right to speak there. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan went to Berlin, their rhetoric soared, but their optimism was grounded in the reality of politics, conflict and hard choices.
Kennedy didn't dream of the universal brotherhood of man. He drew lines that reflected hard realities. Reagan didn't call for a kumbaya moment. He cited tough policies that sparked harsh political disagreements. We should help Palestinians and Israelis unite. We should unite to prevent genocide in Darfur. We should unite so the Iranians won't develop nukes. What Obama offered in Berlin flowed right out of that mind-set.
It will take politics and power to address those challenges, the two factors that dare not speak their name in Obama's lofty peroration. Obama has benefited form a week of good images. But substantively, optimism without reality isn't eloquence. Well, let me, let, let You're a candidate for president of the United States. Let me say first of all, there were a bunch of really good reviews that you didn't, you didn't put up on the screen.
I'd, I'd say there were about nine good reviews for every, every bad one. And number two, I think David Brooks is one of my favorite conservatives, but he is a conservative who is supportive of John McCain, so let's, you know, put that out there as, as a caveat.
But get to the point. But, but, but, but let's, let's get to the point. No one speech does everything, right? I could have delivered a exhaustive list of policy prescriptions.
I suspect thatpeople would have slowly drifted off as I entered into the 45th minute of the speech. What I was trying to do was provide some broad themes in terms of where America needs to go and where Europe needs to go.
And contrary to David Brooks' suggestion and some of the suggestions of other conservatives, I was, I think, pretty clear about the, the difficulties of, of power and of politics. When I specifically said that Europeans need to step up and do more in Afghanistan, that wasn't an applause line in Germany.
When I talked about the fact that they need to do more in Iraq despite our past differences, that wasn't an applause line in Germany. When I talked about the fact that there has been too much anti-American sentiment and a, and a stereotyping of America in Europe, that wasn't an applause line in Germany, that wasn't a bunch of high-flying rhetoric.
So I, I think that, given the purpose that I had, which is to get Europeans to recognize the extraordinary sacrifices that Americans have made on behalf of world freedom and security and to get Americans to recognize we need partners in order to be effective to solve our problems, I would give myself a, a slightly better grade than David Brooks did.
Senator, we're going to give you a chance to make some real news here in a moment. You can talk about the vice presidential choices that may be on your mind. But we'll have a brief break first, and we'll be back to continue our discussion with Senator Obama, talk about his vice presidential choices, the economy, and also race in America.
Remarks by the President and the First Lady Welcoming the 2012 U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Teams
I'll have more from London with Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama after this brief station break. And wherever you are, Senator, as you know, all politics is local. Vice presidential candidates, tantalizing to everyone. Recent poll said that, by a factor of about 60 percent, the American people believe that John McCain should have a vice presidential running mate who is strong on the economy.
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Think it's fair to say that conventional political wisdom in this country is that you need a vice presidential candidate who has very good national security credentials.
Is that your number one criteria? You know, I hate to do this to you, Tom, but I made a pledge that the next time you heard me talk about vice president it would be to introduce my vice presidential running mate. So here's what I'll tell you: I'm going to want somebody with integrity; I'm going to want somebody with independence, who's willing to tell me where he thinks or she thinks I'm wrong; and I'm, I'm going to want somebody who shares a vision of the country where we need to go, that we've got to fundamentally change not only our policies, but how our politics works, how business is done in Washington.
And I think that there are a number of great candidates out there. I'll be selecting one soon enough, and, and I'm sure NBC will be reporting on it. Are you going to break the old rules?
The old rules have been you pick a vice presidential candidate because you need electoral strength in some region and you need somebody who is stronger in some policy area than you are. I, I think the most important thing from my perspective is somebody who can help me govern. I want somebody who I'm compatible with, who I can work with, who has a shared vision, who certainly complements me in the sense that they provide a knowledge base or an area of, of expertise that can be useful.
Because we're going to have a lot of problems and a lot of work to do, and I'm not interested in a vice president who I just send off to go to funerals.
I want somebody who's going to be able to roll up their sleeves and really do some work. Mike Murphy, who you know is a political consultant primarily for Republicans, is now working with NBC as an analyst, said on this broadcast two weeks ago something very interesting.
He said, "Republican Party always has trouble when the Democrats put on the ticket a Southern white male Protestant. Will that be a factor in your consideration?
'12 Meet the Press transcripts, resources, video
Tom, you can fish as much as you want. You're not going to get it out of me. Well, let me--you, you had a conversation with a prominent Hillary fundraiser that got reported in the Los Angeles Times, in which she asked you--she's still a fan of, of Hillary, and she said And is she on your list?
I think Hillary Clinton--I've said--this one I can actually answer, because I've said consistently that I think Hillary Clinton would be on anybody's short list.
She, she is one of the most effective, intelligent, courageous leaders that we have in the Democratic Party. And according to the woman that you were talking to, you said that "we just don't know what to do about Bill," or something to that effect. Oh, you know, I maybe--I think that a lot of conversations get characterized.
I think that not only do I want Hillary Clinton campaigning with me, I want Bill Clinton, one of the smartest men in the history of politics, involved in our campaign. But I'm not going to, I'm not going to spill the beans here. You, you can, you can do what you want Bill Clinton as, Bill Clinton as a surrogate for you day in and day out, throughout the campaign?
I, I would love to have Bill Clinton campaigning for me. I--he was very effective when it came to our primary, you know. He was traveling to little towns in Texas and Ohio, and it was very hard to keep up, given that he was campaigning so hard at the same time as Hillary was campaigning as hard as she was.
We continue to hear that timing, obviously, will be a factor. It's no secret that next week the Olympics begin. And then America's attention will--we hope, at NBC--will be consumed by the Olympics, as it traditionally happens every four years. And then right after that, the Democrats have their convention.
Are you going to wait until the convention? You know, we will make the announcement when we make the announcement. Let, let me, let me just--and not to dodge, because I've already dodged enough.
I think what's going to be on people's minds over the next week is going to be what's been on their minds for the last four weeks, and that is And so one of the things that I'll be doing on Monday, I'm going to be pulling together some of my core economic advisers--Paul Volcker, the former Fed chairman; Warren Buffet; Paul Schmidt--Eric Schmidt, the chairman of Google; Bob Rubin; Larry Summers; a host of people--Bob Reich--to come together and examine the policies that we've already put forward--a middle class tax cut, a second round of stimulus, a effort to shore up the housing market in addition to the bill that was already passed through Congress, what we need to do in terms of energy and infrastructure.
I think that that is what is driving people all across the country right now is worries and concerns about inability to pay the gas bill, inability to buy food because prices have gone up so high.
And the failures of the economy, despite the fact that we grew for seven years, to provide rising levels of income and wages for the American people, I think, indicates the degree to which we've got to fundamentally shift how we approach economic policy.
Let me ask you a question about housing. A lot of attention this past week to federal aid for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two government quasi-agencies that got themselves in real trouble. Banks have gotten in trouble. There's now a housing bill out there to take care of people whose homes are being foreclosed. This is not as cold-blooded as it sounds, but I hear a lot of people around this country saying, "Look, I did the right thing.
Or the lenders who were taking the fees and doing loans that they knew that would not be being paid back and walking away?
Why should the hard-working taxpayer in this kind of an economy have to bail those people out? They shouldn't, which is why a couple of points that I've made. Any assistance to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac should not be focused on the investors and the shareholders. It should not be focused on management.
It should be focused on making sure that we've got liquidity in the housing market. And there are ways of making sure that we are not giving a windfall to investors who were enjoying the upside all these years of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, extremely profitable partly because there was this implied federal guarantee.
Well, if they enjoyed all that upside, they should enjoy some downside as well. Why not just reconstitute them as pure government agencies and take them out of the private sector? So there are, there are a host of complicated issues here. It is true that there may be some folks who didn't make the best decision that will still benefit from the home foreclosure plans that have been put forward.
But keep in mind that many of these folks were not so much speculators as they were probably in over their heads. They tried to get more house than they could afford because they were told by these mortgage brokers that they could afford it. We are better off helping them stay in their home if you can fix the mortgage and let them pay it off over time than have them foreclose, in which not only do they lose their home, not only do the lenders lose a lot, but that community suddenly sees its property values going down.
And what we need is a floor in the housing market, a, a stop to the decline in housing values, as well as some certainty on the part of lenders in terms of what houses are worth so that we can start restoring confidence in the housing market, but also confidence in the financial markets where credit has been contracting. And that's affecting a lot of terrific businesses and good sound developments and entrepreneurial opportunities because they just can't get good credit.
People are driving less now. In some states, there's an indication that maybe even traffic deaths are down. Well, I do not think that high gas prices are a good thing for American families. I mean, I've, I've met teachers who have quit their jobs because the school where they were teaching was just too far.
It was consuming too much of their income. I've met people who lost their job and couldn't go on a job search because they couldn't fill up the gas tank. Ordinary families are under extraordinary stress as a consequence of these high gas prices, so we need to do what we can to bring those prices down, but But there's no easy answer for that on a short term.
The, the fact of the matter is that we should have, over the last 20 years, been planning for this day.
I have been an advocate for raising fuel efficiency standards for years, something that John McCain has opposed. Had we taken those steps, we would not be in the same situation that we're in right now, the fact that all the big three U. Had we worked with them to adjust and retool to adapt to this market, we would not be losing as many jobs as we're losing right now. That's, that's all hindsight. Going forward, what we have to do is we do have to continue to push to make cars much more fuel efficient, and I think that the direction of hybrid plug-ins, where we can get a hundred miles per gallon of gas because we've developed battery technology and created a new electricity grid, that can make a huge difference.
Industrial use of oil, we can change that. We have to have the same approach that John Kennedy said, "We're going to the moon in 10 years. Let me ask you about race. We have some recent polling on that, and, as you know, it's a whispered if not unspoken issue in your campaign. When African-Americans were asked that question, they said yes, 78 percent to 20 percent. Racial justice in America was the second half of this question.
Again, we asked this question of African-Americans. Is it biased against blacks? Sixty-seven percent to, no, 27 percent. Do you see those numbers the same way? You know, here's what I've said based on my life experience is that there have been profound changes since I was born, ' When I accepted the Democratic nomination, it will be the 40th anniversary of Dr.
King's "I have a dream" speech, and here I am in a position to accept the Democratic nomination. That, that is a profound change that we should celebrate.
We've still got work to do. We want to move from talking about saving billions of dollars to going on to saving trillions of dollars. And that's, indeed, what's in the substance of your budget. But what about the debt ceiling fight? The front page of the paper this morning, that's the next big fight ahead. You heard Senator Hutchinson say that's going to be Armageddon. What has to happen for you and others to be satisfied that, OK, we can raise the debt ceiling?
Well, I'm pleased with what David Plouffe just said because I think that was a policy change. Tim Geithner's always been saying he wants just a stand-alone debt ceiling increase. We've never been in favor of that.
Now he's saying things can go as a part of this. So we believe, accompanying any debt ceiling, you need real fiscal reforms, real spending cuts, and real spending controls going forward so we can deal with the debt in the future. The debt ceiling is hitting 14 trillion in probably the end of May because of past spending.
We want to make sure that future spending doesn't give us this problem in the future. But will there be specific reforms or cuts that have to be in place? Yes, I think so.
I think that is what we're looking for. Well, we--I don't want to get into our negotiations, but real spending cuts and real spending controls, real caps on spending going forward so we can take pressure off the debt and get this country on the right fiscal path. But what's to think that we're not going to be right back to where we were this week when the next bigger fight over bigger numbers comes to pass?
I'm not saying we're not going to be. I think there will be some kind of negotiations. And, yes, it probably will go up to some sort of a deadline. The debt ceiling deadline is a moving deadline.
July Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) - Meet the Press | NBC News
It's not a date certain deadline like the government shutdown. Our strategy is not to default. Our strategy is to get spending under control. Let's talk about--I mean, this is the political environment that you're operating in as you produce the Path to Prosperity And it was very interesting. I've heard this before. Look, it really doesn't matter to me.
What matters is we try to fix the country's problems. Look, let me just show you. This is the debt that the CBO says we're going to have.
We're giving our children a lower standard of living. Our plan pays the debt off. So we really believe we need to own up to the fact that the country is on an unsustainable path and we've got to do something to fix this. But you're the budget chairman, you have your charts, I understand. I've got many more if you want me to I know you do. But I know you also have a reality. You just heard David Plouffe say This might pass the House, it's not going to pass the Senate.
It's certainly not going to become law. Is this more of a campaign document for ? No, not at all. We need a clean break from the politics of the past. Both parties do this to each other. Both parties use hyper rhetoric, both parties use all of this demagoguery. We have political paralysis and we don't fix the country's problems, but we have a debt crisis staring us in the face. And that's what's got to get fixed. Well, let's--and let's talk about some of the details and then, and then go through some of the items that are in your plan, just to give our viewers some context.
We'll put it up on the screen. With regard to Medicare, starting inwould no longer be an open-ended entitlement, which we'll talk about. Medicaid would also be changed. It would become a block grant to states, billion cut over 10 years. The Bush tax cuts would be made permanent. Something you should know the president opposes. And for individuals and businesses, the top rate would be cut to 25 percent from 35 percent.
Now you can expect that Democrats would come out and oppose this. And to your mind, even demagogue it. Let me put it on the screen. As a result, [it] relies on much larger reductions in domestic discretionary spending than does the Commission proposal, while also calling for savings in some safety net programs - cuts which would place a disproportionately adverse effect on certain disadvantaged populations. This is not a shared sacrifice document. Actually, if you read that earlier part of their statement, they said it's an honest, serious, incredible proposal.
A couple of things: We basically take the thrust of the--I was on the fiscal commission, we agree You voted against it, its recommendations. I did vote against it because it didn't do anything about healthcare costs, which is the big driver of our debt. But we also--our tax reform plan goes in the same direction, which is get rid of all those special interest loopholes so you can lower tax rates.
It's the higher income earners who use those special interest loopholes. Get rid of the loopholes, lower the rates, make our economy more competitive. Flatter, fairer, simpler tax system. With respect to the safety net, our goal is to repair the safety net, make it more sustainable.
Safety net spending grows every year under this budget. Medicare, Medicaid spending grows every year under this budget. What we're trying to do here is save Medicare and Medicaid so that they're sustainable. But also, the safety net is tearing apart at the seams. We want to fix the safety net. I--and I want to break that down. I want to break that down a little bit more.
But let me just stop you on the tax issue. Do taxes, at some point, have to be raised if you're really getting--going to get into the realm of asking something of the American people, shared sacrifice, not just helping upper earners?
Shared sacrifice, meaning sort of indiscriminate cuts across the board, is what you do when you're in a debt crisis. What we're trying to do is pre-empt a debt crisis. So there's two things we're trying to keep our eye on the ball on: