White House Press Briefing Live Blog [Feb. 4, 2009]

Live-blogging the press briefing. Was scheduled to start at 2:30, it's now 2:38.

Watching on Fox News Channel. May also through up some Tweets @KenShepherd

The archive of official White House press briefings can be found here.

14:45: Still waiting for Gibbs to come out. Fox News has gone to split-screen.

14:52, Gibbs finally underway.

14:54, female reporter notes Judd Gregg connection to Abramoff scandal. 2nd question, is president getting tougher in rhetoric on stimulus?

14:56, same reporter he feels the need to ramp up the rhetoric a bit, why is that?

14:58, male reporter asks if there's any concern the executive pay guideline will backfire, with firms not asking for bailout money b/c of the rules. Also asks if Gibbs can give a "flavor" for what to expect from stimulus negotiations.

15:01, same reporter: Are you worried about it backfiring?

15:02, Ed Henry, CNN with question about president's stance on "buy American" provisions in the stimulus bill.

15:03, Henry asks "what balance" does Obama want "to strike" in buying American and honoring trade commitments.

15:04, Henry: Does he want a "buy American" provision in this bill? The current one doesn't have that?

15:04, Jake Tapper, ABC: On stimulus, Dem congressman Jim Cooper  of TN recently said the WH wants to keep the speaker happy but let them know privately the Dems... has the White House conveyed privately you're not interested in all the pork?

15:06, Tapper asks about executive bonuses.

15:08, Chip Reid, CBS News: if the voter were held today, would you lose? In the meetings, is he trying to eke out 60 votes [in the Senate on the stimulus]

15:10, Reid: What inning are we in now?

Gibbs: Bottom of the 5th. 

unknown reporter: How many outs?

Gibbs continues analogy...

15:11 Ed Henry, CNN: What is the accountability, what is the teeth[on the bailout package]?

15:14 Henry asks followup

15:14 Henry with another followup

15:14, Peter Maer, CBS Radio question on difference between President's public statements with private negotiations with legislators.

15:16 reporter with questions on governors approaching White House on stimulus

15:18 male reporter asking if compensation cap will be pegged to inflation and how many will face salary cap.

15:19, Major Garrett, Fox News cites CBO study on job creation and the costs of the bill. Asks how valid a "metric" that is and if he considers it a good value for Americans to consider the cost of the stimulus bill vs. cost of inaction.

15:21, Garrett with question on SCHIP: funding mechanism is 68 cent cigarette tax boost. That hits the poor disproportionately. Notes that stimulus has a plan to cut cigarette addix, but wouldn't that hurt SCHIP expansion, pegged to tobacco tax?

15:23, Garrett: So no concern about ability to fund this.

15:23, female reporter notes double standard of Geithner to continue in his job but not Daschle.

15:24, male reporter named Jeff: What exactly does the president believe he did to screw up [the Daschle pick]?

15:25, same reporters ask if any of the fundamentals will change in the job search for HHS?

15:28, Mark Smith, AP reporter: asks if president will lay out agenda for upcoming Williamsburg trip

15:29, Smith: Is he planning to take this on the road, talk to average Americans?

15:29, Ann Compton, ABC Radio with questions about Obama transition and vetting process, is it through the WH counsel's office?

15:29, Compton: so many individuals had problems erupt after nomination and seen by Cap Hill, is he satisfied that new nominees have been adequately vetted?

15:31, male reporter: Does the president need to retool or rework his legislative team?

15:33, another male reporter: President said last night he is going to fix the mistake made. What does that mean, what is he going to fix?

15:34, same reporter: Was it a bad political judgment or was he overeager?

15:34, male reporter: the James A. Baker institute says defer a lunar shot and focus on climate change? Any white house reaction?

15:35, female reporter: Is it a you know itwhen you see it in terms of problems with a nominee, or are there specific instructions from the president [for vetting]

15:37 Gibbs thanks reporters, closes briefing

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