White House Press Briefing Live-blog [Jan. 27, 2009]

Once again I'm going to live-blog the daily press briefing. I'll be focused on the reporters' questions, not so much Gibbs's answers. I also caution this is a rough transcript and may contain errors. I hope to render as accurate a depiction as possible of the questions asked and who's asking them.

As a little twist, I'll also try Twittering some comments on my Twitter page, @KenShepherd.

The presser was scheduled for 3:45 p.m. ET, but is late getting off the ground. Gibbs entering room at 3:53 p.m. ET

15:54 Gibbs gives announcements including week-ahead schedule "better late than never" he adds.

15:54, female reporter: Did the  president come away with any specific reason to think Republicans will support the stimulus? Was there anything he agreed to put in the bill to get Republican support?

15:58, same reporter with followup, says way Gibbs describes it makes it sound like Obama is arguing for the status quo stimulus bill, not getting changes to it.

15:59, Bill Plante: It seems more aspirational. Public comments we hear are more predictable. Republicans accuse Dems of it being too larded up, Democrats say there's too much tax cuts... I don't hear enough from either side that there's compromise in the works.

16:01, Plante: hearing from members a willingness to make concessions?

16:01, male reporter question about economic stimulus and bank bailouts

16:04, same reporter has follow-up

16:04, Ed Henry: Where is the president's [stimulus] plan. You talk about posting on the Internet so the people can evaluate.

16:06, Henry: CBO says 66% of the stimulus plan will reach economy in few months, your office says its 75%. Henry also notes disagreement on the cost between White House figures and what Republicans argue it is. Asks what's the real price tag?

16:07, Henry asks follow-up

16:08, Jake Tapper, ABC News, noting frustration from Rep. Mike Pence (R-Ind.) asks, Does the president think Pelosi and Obey have been bipartisan in the way he thinks is bipartisan?

16:09, Tapper: Is he, for want of a better word, leaning on Speaker Pelosi and Chairman Obey for more bipartisanship. If you're lucky will get a dozen Republican votes tomorrow.

16:10, Ed Chen, LA Times: Does the rhetoric and action of Republicans and Democrats so far meet the president's idea of change?

16:12, Chen following up: How does the president feel?

16:13, Chuck Todd, NBC: asks about Obama's call to Waxman yesterday

16:13, Todd: Is the president concerned he's being used as a political wedge? Is he concerned he's being used as a---

16:14, Mark Knoller: Karl Rove's atty. wants to know if Rove still covered by executive privilege

Gibbs: Office of White House counsel is studying those issues

16:14, Major Garrett, Fox News: You said there would be many legs to the [economic recovery] stool. Many senators came away with impression there'd be a second request aside from TARP. Is there anything to suggest there isn't a need?

16:17, Garrett: President willing to revise parts of stimulus and to look at what's economially productive. Does he think sprucing up the National Mall is economically stimulative?

16:20, male reporter: President urged Republicans to put aside politics.... Is there anything in the proposal that is bad for the Democratic Party or for President Obama politically that he will take a dose of his own medicine in a sense?

16:22, female reporter: Does the president feel any differnetly about Senate Republicans? And by moving the ball forward, does he mean, move it into the Senate where there's likely to be a different dynamic.

16:24, male reporter asks about tomorrow's sked meeting of Obama with joint chiefs at Pentagon. Is it more for him to hear their briefings or him to lay out a vision for them?

16:25, followup from same reporter: The way you describe it makes it sound like he's expecting a fair amount of skepticism [from the joint chiefs] tomorrow.

16:26, another male reporter, noting al-Arabiyah interview comments asks Can you elaborate on what the hard choices are [that Obama sees] for Israel and Hamas.

16:28, same reporter: Will he be talking to other media like al Jazeera?

16:29, another male reporter asks if Obama wants anything else besides contraceptives removed from House version of the stimulus

16:29, Mara Liasson asks three questions, including, Did he hear any ideas from either meeting that was something he'd want to incorporate?

16:31, Liasson: it was a conversation about the specific tax cut?

16:32, Liasson: He did hear ideas [from Republicans] that he thought were good?

16:32, female reporter: It's been argued that it's less stimulative than reducing the tax rate. Grassley has talked about AMT patch

16:34, female reporter: He's not arguing the AMT should be touched?

16:34, male reporter: You talked a little about the Senate. Is that to say the House meeting was sharper. You brought distinctions in the House, Senate meetings.

16:36, male reporter with question on meeting with Republicans

16:37, David Corn of the liberal Mother Jones magazine: Eric Cantor released a statement, said would do very little for small biz, called it a partisan bill. Would you and the president say that's helpful or not so helpful as you move ahead.

16:39, Corn: If these are the type of statements Republican leadership put out, is there any way at the end of the day to avoid a partisan battle?

16:40, unid'd female reporter: Does the president feel any sense of urgency in restarting the six-party talks in North Korea?

16:41 unknown reporter: What about the week ahead?

16:41, Gibbs gives president's itinerary for tomorrow, including Obama addressing the full press corps in the afternoon.

CNN cuts away from the presser at 16:42

Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd
Ken Shepherd is a writer living in New Carrollton, Md.