MILWAUKEE, WI - FEBRUARY 15: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks to workers at the Master Lock factory on February 15, 2012 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Obama applauded the company, which he cited in his State of the Union address, for bringing back 100 jobs to the U.S. from China. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
The following is the official White House pool report from David Nakamura, Washington Post Staff Writer:
AF1 touched down in San Francisco at 12:39 p.m. PST after uneventful flight. He was greeted by Calif. Lt. Gen. Gavin Newsom, San Fran Mayor Ed Lee and Calif Att. Gen. Kamala Harris. Obama then worked the rope line before departing at 1 p.m. PST.
Jay Carney gaggled on board. Please check the transcript for accuracy and fuller quotes. Here are some highlights:
“There was another milestone reached today in the resurgence of the American automobile industry. Today we learned that each of the big three automakers posted a yearly profit in 2011. For the first time since 2004, all of those companies are operating in the black.”
He said the number of new jobs since the auto industry emerged from bankruptcy at the end of 2009 now exceeds 200,000 “marking the strongest period of auto jobs growth since the late 1990s.”
Also notes that the White House sent to Congress the “Consolidating and Reforming Government Act of 2012” which would “reinstate the authority that presidents held for decades to reorganize and consolidate the federal government.”
(Talks between U.S.,Afghanistan and the Taliban) “Almost all insurgencies come to an end through a political settlement. We believe that an end to the conflict in Afghanistan will come when there is a reconciliation. We have supported an Afghan led process of reconciliation and our principles that we have put forward with regard to that process is any Taliban who wants to participate… would have to renounce Al Qaeda, lay down their arms, renounce violence, and pledge allegiance to the Afghan Constitution, and its requirement that the rights of minorities and women are respected. … The principles we have laid out for the process are very clear.”
Can’t confirm developments in search for World Bank president or timetable.
(is president calling anyone in Congerss on payroll tax cut, such as Sen. Cardin) “He did speak with Senator Cardin. I don’t have any readouts. He isn’t making any calls today that I’m aware of. … The process is moving forward and the president looks forward to signing into law a tax cut for 160 million Americans and an extension of unemployment benefits that is vital to people looking for work.”
(Iran gov sent letter to lady ashton re:nuclear weapons? ) “We’re reviewing the letter. You’re accurate there was a letter sent in response to Lady Ashton’s letter … I don’t have a review to give to you. We’ve noted in the past.. that the Iranians needed to respond to that letter. So they have. But I don’t want to make any qualitative judgments to their response. As the president said, there is time and space to a diplomatic solution to this if Iran chooses to engage in constructive behavior.”
(Boeing trip? Does it fit into NLRB dispute from earlier this year in S. Carolina) “This trip has everything to do with the president’s focus on manufacturing and on increasing our exports and nothing to do with the matter that you just raised. Boeing … is doing a lot of business overseas. That’s very good for Boeing, very good for American manufacturing, American exports.”
(Whitney Houston laid to rest in NJ. Is prez following it and does he plan to mark her passing) “He certainly is aware and knows about her tragic death. His thoughts and prayers are with her family, especially her daughter.”
(On the pace of fundraising and campaign picking up): “This trip involves a number of political events. I think as a probably noted back when we discussed this in the past. As this year progresses the president will of course have to spend more time on the campaign on the reelection effort and that that would be a gradual escalation as required by the process. And I think that’s part of what we’re seeing. But it sort of ebbs and flows. We’re consolidating a lot fo events out here because he’s here and then there will be periods of relatively few political events and then more concentration, depending on what’s on the schedule.”
(On critics who say taxpayers are funding some of the fundraising trips when they are combined with official events): “The White House abides by all of the rules that govern how campaign costs are picked up by the campaign. And that’s absolutely the case with this trip. There’s a fairly complex process by which campaign costs are allocated. … We do it absolutely by the book and in the same manner that President Bush did and President Clinton did.”