At 1:30 PM—half an hour after the scheduled time—President Barack Obama will kick off his press conference on Standard & Poor’s Friday night downgrade of America’s long term sovereign credit rating from AAA to AA+. Plenty’s been said about this by plenty of people, except for this guy. We’ll be taking notes, with video of the press conference below:
2:06 PM: And…the Dow just dropped below 11,000.
2:04 PM: All done. Fairly painless. In short, President Obama noted Standard & Poor’s as so not worth our time, invoked Warren Buffet, and used the troops who died in Afghanistan this weekend as a thinly veiled metaphor for our congress’ inability to work together on the debt ceiling mess. Let’s hope he’s overestimated the analytic speech-listening skills of a lot of Americans who could very easily go ragey on that one.
2:01 PM: Speaking on Afghanistan deaths. “These men and women put their lives on the line for the values that bind us as a nation.” And: “No matter what differences they might have as individuals, they serve this nation as a team.” Ouch.
1:59 PM: OBAMA GOES H.A.M. ON S & P! “Markets will rise and fall, but this is the United States of America. No matter what some agency will say, we always have been and always will be a AAA county.“
1:58 PM: Discussing spending on infrastructure to spur growth of construction jobs. Blue-collar workforce = big Republican vote = How’s the G.O.P. going to spin that one away?
1:57 PM: Notes the big issue of Americans as the issue of jobs. A little surprising he didn’t use that one to note deaths in Afghanistan this weekend, but you play the hands you have on each draw?
1:57 PM: There’s the “super-committee” commitment announcement.
1:56 PM: And there’s your pullquote: “It’s not a lack of plans or policies that’s the problem here. It’s a lack of political will in Washington.”
1:56 PM: “What we need to do is combine those spending cuts with two additional steps.” Basically: taxing “those who can” pay up and adjusting entitlement programs further.
1:54 PM: “All of this is a legitimate source of concern. But here’s the good news: our problems are eminently solvable.” Also: “Markets continue to reaffirm” our good credit.
1:52 PM: President Obama enters the room. On the downgrade: “Not so much because they doubt our ability to pay our debt…but they doubted our political system’s ability to act.” He quotes Warren Buffet—who was also downgraded by S & P today—saying that he would give American a “quadruple-A” rating if he could.
1:50 PM: 50 minutes after the originally scheduled time, we have audio and video! The two-minute warning has been given.
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