WWL>Topics>>11-14 12:30pm President Barack Obama

11-14 12:30pm President Barack Obama

Nov 14, 2012|

President Barack Obama gives his first press conference since being re-elected.

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Automatically Generated Transcript (may not be 100% accurate)

I hear you have some questions for me. But it's. One let me just make a few remarks at the top and then all put enough. For smaller reiterate what I said on Friday. Right now our economy is still recovering from that. -- very deep and damaging crisis. So our top priority has to be jobs and growth. We've got to build on the progress we've made. But because this nation succeeds former got a growing thriving middle class and that's the idea at the core of the plan but I talked about. On the campaign trail last year foreign manufacturers. And small businesses to create jobs here not overseas. Providing more Americans the chance to -- the skills and businesses are looking for right now. Keeping this country in the forefront of research technology and clean energy. Putting people back to work rebuilding our roads our bridges and our schools. And reducing our deficit in the balance and responsible way. Now on this last night. We face a very clear deadline that requires us to make some big decisions on jobs taxes. And deficits by the end of the year. Both parties voted to set this deadline and I believe that both parties can work together to make these decisions -- -- balanced and responsible way. Yes had a chance to meet with the labor and civic leaders for their input. Today I'm meeting with CEOs of some of America's largest companies. And I'll meet with the leaders of both parties of congress before the week about. Because there's only one way to solve these challenges man is to do it together. As I've said before. I'm open to compromise and I'm open to new ideas. And I've been encouraged over the past week to hear Republican after Republican agree. On the need for no more revenue from the wealthiest Americans as part of our arithmetic if we're gonna be serious about reducing the deficit. -- because when it comes to taxes there are two pathway is available. Option one if congress fails to act by the end of this year everybody's taxes will automatically go up. Including the 98% of Americans who make less than 250000. Dollars a year. And the 97% of small businesses who earn less than 250000 -- That doesn't make sense for our economy can't afford that right now. Certainly no middle class families can afford that right now and nobody in either party says that they wanted to happen. The other option is to pass a low right now that would prevent any attacks like whatsoever on the first 250000. Dollars of everybody's income. And by the way that means every American including the wealthiest Americans get a tax cut. It means that 90% of all Americans and 97% of all small businesses. Won't see their taxes go up a single night. The senate has already passed a law like this. Democrats in the house are ready to pass a -- like this and I hope Republicans in the house come on board to. We should not hold up the middle class hostage while we debate tax cuts for the wealthy. We should at least knew what we agree on. And that's to keep the middle class taxes won't. And I'll bring everyone in the sign it right away so we can give folks some certainty for the home -- -- I won't pretend that figuring out everything else will be easy but I'm confident we can do I know we have to. I know but that's what the American people want us to do. That was the very clear message from the election last week and that was the message of a letter that I received. Over the weekend. I came from a man in Tennessee who began by writing that he didn't vote for him which is okay. But. We certainly wasn't even though he didn't give me is vote he's giving me his support to move this country forward. And he said the same it is Republican representatives in Washington. He says that -- back each of us. Regardless of party as long as we work together to make life better for all of us. And he made it clear that if we don't make enough progress to be back in touch. So my hope. She wrote is there we can make progress in -- a personal and party principles. Special interest groups and years of business as usual. We've got to work together and put our differences aside. I couldn't say it better myself that's precisely what I intend to do. Cameramen and -- -- open up. For your question and I'm gonna start off where Ben Feller of AP. Thank you Mr. President. Can you assure the American people that there had been no breaches and national security your core of support classified information. In the scandal involving. Generals Petraeus and Alan. And do you think the US commander in chief and the American people should have been told that the CA chief was under investigation before the election. Well. I have no evidence. At this point from what I've seen combat. Classified information. Was. Disclosed that in anyway would have. I had negative impact on our national security. Obviously there's an ongoing investigation. I don't wanna comment on the specifics of investigation. The FBI has its own protocols in terms of how they proceed. And Leo -- an alleged. Director Mueller and others examined those protocols and make some statements to the public generally. I do wanna emphasize what I said before. General Petraeus had an extraordinary career. He served this country we have. Great distinction. In Iraq in Afghanistan and as the head of the CIA. By his own assessment. -- did not meet the standards. Bad he felt. Were necessary as a director CIA. -- respect to this personal matter that he is now dealing with -- his family. I am which is -- And -- on the basis. That he tendered his resignation. And it's on that basis that I exception. But I wanna emphasize that. From my perspective at least he has provided in this country to an extraordinary service we are safer because of the work that. Dave Petraeus has done. I have my main hope right now is as good he and his family are able to move on. And this ends up being. Chasing a side note on. Oh what has just otherwise been an extraordinary court. -- Again I think you're gonna have to talk to the FBI in terms of what their general protocols are when it comes to. What started off as. A potential criminal investigation. They're one of the challenges here is is that we're not supposed to metal pin. You know criminal investigations and that's been our practice. And you know I think that nurse. Certain procedures. Both the FBI poll or DOJ formal women earned emboldened these investigations. That's traditionally been how we view things in part because people are innocent until proven guilty then we wanna make sure that we don't. Prejudged. These kinds of situations. And so. My expectation is that they fall protocols are very established. From. Just feel for just. Mr. President on the fiscal -- Two years ago -- you said that you wouldn't extend the bush era tax cuts but at the end of the day you did. So -- respectfully sir why should the American people and the Republicans believe that you won't -- again this time as well. Two years ago. The economy it was a different situation. We were still very much in the early parts of recovering from. The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. And ultimately we came together. Not only to extend the bush tax cuts but also a wide range of policies that were going to be good for the economy at that point. Unemployment insurance extensions. Payroll tax extension. All of which made a difference and as part of the reason why what we've seen now is 32 consecutive months of job growth in over five and a half million. Jobs created in beyond one rate coming down. But what I said at the time is what I meant which is this was a one time proposition. And you know what I have colds. Leaders privately as well as public. Is that we cannot afford to extend the bush tax cuts for the wealthy. What we can do is make sure the middle class taxes don't go up. And so. The most important step we can take it right now. I think the foundation for. A deal that helps the economy creates jobs. Gives consumers certainty which means gives businesses confidence that. They're gonna have consumers during the holiday season is if we right away say 90% of Americans are not gonna -- your taxes go. 97%. Of small businesses are not gonna see your taxes go up if we get that in place we are actually removing half of the fiscal -- Half of the danger to our economy is were moved by that single step. And what we commend doing shaped. A process whereby we look at tax reform which I'm very eager to do. I think we can simplify our tax system I think we can make it. No more efficient. We can eliminate loopholes and deductions that have a distorting effect on our economy. I believe that we have to. Continue to take a serious look at how we reform -- entitlements. Because health care costs continue to be the biggest driver of our deficits. So there is a package. To be shaped. And I'm confident that. Parties. Folks of the goodwill in both parties can make that happen. But what I'm not going to do. Is to extend. Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest 2% that we can't afford it. And according to economists will have the least positive impact. On our economy. You said that the wealthiest must pay more when closing loopholes instead of raising rates for them satisfy you. I think that there are loopholes which can be closed and we should look at how we can. Make a process of deductions. The filing process easier simpler. But when it comes true. The top 2%. When I'm not going to do is true. Extend it further. It's a tax cuts for folks who don't need it which would cost. Close to a trillion dollars and it's very difficult to see how you make up. That trillion dollars if we're serious about deficit reduction just by closing loopholes and deductions the other man tends not to work. And I think it's important to establish. A basic principle that. Was debated extensively during the course of this campaign I mean there shouldn't be surprised everybody this was if there was one thing that everybody understood. Was a big difference between myself mr. Romney. It was when it comes to how we reduce our deficit higher argued very balanced responsible approach and part of that included making sure that. The wealthiest Americans pay a little bit more. And I think every voter out there understood that was an important debate. And the majority of voters -- it would -- not by the way more voters agreed with me on this issue -- voted for -- So we've got to clear majority of the American people who recognizable going to be serious about deficit reduction from got a good -- right the only question now is. Are we gonna hold the middle class hostage. In order to go ahead. -- that happened or can we all step back and say here's something we agree on we don't want middle class taxes to go up. Let's go ahead and walkman and that will be good for the economy it will be good for consumers it will be good for business as it takes the edge off the fiscal cliff. And let's also then commit ourselves to. The broader package of deficit reduction and includes entitlement. Changes and and includes potentially tax reform as well as I'm going to look at additional work that we can do on the discretionary spending side so. I wanted a big deal I -- comprehensive deal -- one. See if we can. Killed at least for the foreseeable future provide certainty to businesses and the American people so that we can focus on job growth. So there were also investing in the things that we need to. But. Right now what I wanna make sure this is the taxes on middle class families don't grow up and there's a very easy way to do that we could get that on my next week. We're Montenegrin someone. Thank you Mr. President come on immigration reform and the criticism in the past his -- That he did not put forth. Legislation. With specific ideas and ended up to the hill this time around you have said again that this will be one of the top priorities. Com for a second term will you then send legislation to the hill and exactly what. Do you envision it is broad immigration reform does that include a legalization program. And also what lessons if any. It Democrats -- learn from this last election and and then Latino vote. I think what was incredible incursion -- to see. A significant increase in want to don't turn out. It is the fastest growing. Group in the country. And you know historically we've seen is look terrible boat had lower. Rates than the broader population. And that's beginning to change your start to see a sense of empowerment answered participation. That I think is going to be powerful and good for the country. And that is why I'm very confident that we can get immigration reform -- -- -- before the election night. Given a couple of interviews weren't predicted that luncheon on -- was going to be strong and that that would cause some reflection on the part of Republicans about. Their position on immigration reform I think we're starting to see that already. I think that's a positive sign and this is not historically been a partisan issue we've had. President Bush and John McCain and others who've supported conference immigration reform in the past so we need to seize the moment. And my expectation is that we get a bill. Introduced. And we'll begin the process. In congress. Very soon after my inauguration. And in fact some conversations I think are already beginning to take place among senators and congressmen and my staff about. What would this looks like and when I say conference -- immigration reform and is very similar good outlines of previous efforts a conference of immigration reform I think -- I should include. A continuation of the strong border security measures that we've taken because we have to secure -- borders. I think it should contain. Serious penalties for companies that are purposely hiring. Undocumented workers and and taking advantage of them. And I do think that there should be a pathway to. Four legal status for. Those who are living in this country had a -- Are now engaged in criminal activity are here. Simply to to work -- it's important for them to pay back taxes it's important for them to learn English it's important for them to potentially pay a fine. But to give them the avenue whereby. They can. Resolve their legal status here in this country I think is very important. Obviously. Making sure that we put in the law. What the first step we've taken administratively dealing with the DREAM Act kids is very important as well. One thing but I'm I'm very clear about is that young people who were brought here through no fault of their own. Who hadn't gone to school earlier pledge allegiance or flag wanna serve on our military. Wanna go to school and contribute to our society. That they shouldn't be on the under the cloud of deportation. That we should give them every opportunity. To earn their citizenship and so. You know there are other components to -- obviously the business community continues to be concerned about. Getting enough high skilled workers and I am a believer that if you got a Ph.D. in physics or it. Computer science. Who wants to stay here and start -- business here we should make it harder for him to stay here we should try to encourage him to. Contribute to this site. I think -- In the agricultural sector obviously has very specific concerns about making sure that they've got to workforce. That. That helps deliver food court table so there going to be a bunch of components to it. -- I think. It was whatever process we have needs to make sure border security strong. He's a deal -- employers effectively needs to provide a pathway. For the undocumented here needs to do you deal with the DREAM Act kids. And I think that's something that we can get done. -- -- -- -- Which presidential -- on the cover both Ben's question and Jessica's question. On an avenue Ben's question are you pretty much the worst person you -- -- I don't know why I you know and especially curious that went completely. Are you withholding judgment on whether you should have known sooner that there was a potential -- that there was an investigation. Into whether your CIA director potentially there was a national security breach which are CIA director do you believe you should have known sooner. Where you withholding judgment until the investigation is complete on that front and then the follow up to Jessica's question. Tax rates. Are you is or no deal at the end of the year if tax rates for the top 2% aren't the Clinton tax rates period. No if ands or buts and any room negotiating on that specific. Aspect of this -- I am. I am withholding judgment. With respect to how the entire. Process -- surrounding. General Petraeus. Came up. We don't have all the information yet. But I wanna say that a lot of confidence generally in the FBI. And they've got a difficult job. And the sole I'm gonna wait and see to see if there's any other. Well it is -- -- we're all would also areas is that if it is also possible that had we've been told. Then you'd be sitting here asking a question about why we're here military uniform criminal investigation. So. We are I think it's best right now for us to just. See how this whole process unfolded. I would respect to the tax rates I just want emphasized. I am open to new ideas if there. Republican counterparts or some Democrats. Have a great idea for -- to raise revenue. And maintain progressivity make sure the middle class is getting hit it. Reduces our deficit. Encourages growth but I'm not gonna just slammed the door on her face I want pure. Idea I want I don't wanna hear ideas from everybody. Well. -- -- -- I believe this is soul. I think that a fair minded people. Can come to an agreement. Bad does not cause the economy to go back in the recession that protects middle class families that focuses on jobs and growth. Can reduce our deficit I'm confident it can be done. My budget frankly doesn't I understand that. I don't expect the Republicans simply to adopt my budget that's not realistic so I recognize that we're gonna have to compromise and as I said on election night. Compromises hard. And not everybody gets a 100% of what they want and not everybody's going to be perfectly happy. Might what I. Will not do he is true. They have a process that is made. This says more gonna sort of kind of raise revenue. Through the dynamics scoring enough or. Closing loopholes that have not been identified. And the reason I won't do that is because I don't wanna find ourselves in the position. Six months from now or a year from now we're lo and behold. The only way to close enough that. Is to -- to middle class families. Ford to burdened families who have disabled kids or you know every parent and nursing home or. Some ways we've got to cut more out of our. Basic research budget that is the key to. They're growing economy long term. Who's who's -- so -- that's my concern I'm less concerned about. Red lines first say when I'm concerned about is not finding ourselves in a situation. Where. The wealthy. Aren't paying more. Or I'm paying as much as they sure -- Middle class families one way or another -- making up the difference. That's the kind of status quo -- has been going on here too long and that's exactly what I argued against during this campaign. And if there's one thing and I'm pretty confident about -- people understood what they were getting. When Megan gave me this incredible privilege of being an office for another four years they want to compromise they wanted to action. But I also wanna make sure that. Middle class folks aren't bearing the entire burden and sacrifice. When it comes to some of these big challenges do they expect the folks in the top. Are doing their fair share as well and that's going to be my guiding principle. During these negotiations for more importantly during the next four years my administration. That's according. Mr. President on election night you said that you were looking forward to speaking with governor Romney sitting down in the coming weeks to discuss ways that you could work together. On this nation's problems have you extended that invitation has he accepted and in what ways do you think you can work together. You we haven't scheduled something yeah. I think everybody's. Forget smooth -- only where people are going. I know I've forgotten I forgot on Wednesday. I think everybody -- to catch their breath I'm sure that governor Romney is spending some time -- his family. And my hope is before the end of the year though we have a chance to just sit down and talk. No there there. Certain aspects of governor Romney's. -- record and his ideas that I think could be. -- very helpful. And well to give one example. I do think he did a terrific job running the Olympics. And I think -- -- -- -- -- of trying to figure out how do we make. Something work better applies to the federal government. There are a lot of ideas that I don't think our partisan ideas. But are just Smart ideas about how can we make the federal government more customer friendly how can we make sure that. You were consolidating. Programs that are duplicative. -- how can we. Eliminating traditional ways and you can he presented some ideas during the course of the campaign that I actually agree with the and you should be interesting to talk to him about. Some. With congress almost three rented. Criticisms we've heard over the past few years from members on both sides is that you haven't done enough to reach out. And build relationships are -- concrete ways that you plan to approach your relationships with congress in the second term. WWL New Orleans and WW FM Canada -- -- And so I will. You know examine. Ways that I can make sure to communicate my desire. To work with everybody. So long as it's advancing the cause of strengthening our middle class and improving our economy. -- I've got a lot of good relationships with folks both in the house and the senate. I have a lot of relationships on both sides they'll. It hasn't always manifest itself in. The kind of agreements that I like to see between Democrats and Republicans and so. I think all of us ever sponsor booths is your -- things that we can improve on and I don't exempt myself. -- from. Meeting to. You know do some self reflection and see if I can improve our working relationship their -- going to be still some very sharp differences. And as I said during the campaign they're going to be times where there fights and I think those are fighting the need to be here. But. What I think -- -- people don't wanna see it is a focus on the next election instead of a focus on them. And I don't have another election. And commercial we're talking last night about. You know what an incredible honor and privilege it is. Two. To be put in this position. And -- people all across this country millions of folks who worked so hard to help us get elected but they're also. Millions of people who may not a motive force but are also counting on us. Hands. And we take that responsibility very seriously I take that responsibility very seriously. And I hope and intend to be. And even better present the second term and I was in the first. Jonathan Karl. Thank you Mr. President. Plus Senator John McCain and senator Lindsey Graham ball -- did they wanna have Watergate style hearings on the attack. On the US consulate in Benghazi and said if you nominate Susan Rice to be secretary of state they will do everything in their power to block her nomination. A senator Graham said he simply doesn't trust. Ambassador rice after what she said about -- Ghazi I'd like your reaction to that in and would those threats deter you from making nomination -- best. Well for small and under comment at this point Don. Various nominations -- all put forward. To fill up my cabinet for the second term and those are things that are still being discussed. But -- six Serwer about Susan Rice she has done exemplary work. She has represented the United States and our interest in the United Nations. With skill. And professionalism. And toughness. And grace. As I've said before. She made an appearance. At the request of the White House. In which she. He gave her best. Understanding. Of the intelligence that had been provided to her. If Senator McCain. And senator Graham and others wanna go after somebody they should go after me. And I'm happy to have that discussion what. But for them to go after. The UN ambassador. Who had nothing to do -- -- Gaza. And was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received. And this divert besmirch her reputation. These outrageous. And you know. Word after an election now. I think it is important. For us to find out exactly what happened in my Gaza and I'm happy to cooperate in many ways. That congress wants. We have provided every bit of information that we have and we will continue to provide information and we've got a full blown investigation. And all that information will be discourse. To congress. And I don't think there's any debate in this country that when you have four Americans killed that's a problem. And we've got to get to bottom of it. And their needs to be accountability. We've got to bring those who turned out to justice. They won't get a debate from me on that. When they go after the UN. Ambassador. Early because they think she's an easy target. The they've got a problem with me. And should I choose. If I think we achieve would be the best person to serve America. In the -- The State Department that I won't nominate -- that's not to mention that I made it. -- -- -- take chuck sleet and -- a very small follow which is. Would you feel you have a mandate not just on taxes but a range of issues. Because of your size of victory. But wants him in Gaza based on what John asked because you said if they wanna come after me come after me. I wanted to ask what the families of these four Americans were killed Sean Smith's father ray said he believes his son basically called 911. For help and they can get. And I know you've said you -- for these four Americans. That is being investigated but the families of the way for more than two months so. I would like to free to address the families if you can. On 9/11 as commander in chief did you issue any orders to try to protect their lives. Doesn't it over all address the fairways. Not through the press all -- families. Directly and clarity have. And we will provide all the information. That is available about what happened on that day that's what investigations for. But as I said repeatedly. If people don't think that we did everything we can to make sure. That. We save the lives of folks who I sent there. And who were. Carrying out missions on May have the United States then you don't know. How our Defense Department thinks or State Department thanks or CIA thinks. They're number one priority is obviously to protect American lives that's what our job it's. Now. There -- war are put forward and I will put forward. Every bit of information that we have. I can tell you vet immediately upon finding out that to our folks were in danger. Then my orders to my national security team work to do whatever we need to do to make sure there saying. And that's the same word that I would give it any time I see Americans are in danger whether -- civilian. Or military. Because that's our number one per hour. With respect to them the issue of mandate for. I've got one mandate. I've got a mandate. To help middle class families. And families that are working hard to try to get in the middle class that's my mandate. That's what -- -- people so they said. Work really hard to help us. Don't worry about politics. Don't worry about the party's. Interest don't worry about the special interest. Just work really hard to see if you can help us get ahead because we're working really hard out here and were still struggle a lot of us. That's my mandate I don't presume that because I won election that everybody somebody agrees with me on anything -- everything. I'm more than familiar with the all the literature about the presidential overreach in second terms. We are very cautious about that. On the other hand it's. I didn't get reelected just. Bad -- reelection to. I got elected -- do work. On behalf of American families and small businesses all across the country who. Are still recovering from a really bad recession but are hopeful about the future. And and I am too they're the one thing good. If you I said during the campaign that maybe so sounds like. A bunch of campaign rhetoric but now that campaigns over I'm gonna repeated and hopefully -- really believe me. When you travel around the country you were inspired by the grit and resilience. And hard work and decency of the American people. And it just makes you wanna work harder. Tell you meet families who were. Have overcome really tough spots and somehow. Are Macon and send their kids to college and you you meet young people who are doing incredible work in. Disadvantaged communities. Because they believe them. You know the American ideal and it should be available for everybody and did you meet farmers who are helping. Each -- -- -- -- -- time to dry out and the only meats businesses that kept their doors opened -- in the recession even though. No word and have to take a salary and you when you talk to these folks you say to yourself man. They deserve. Better government than maybe get. They they deserve. All of us here in Washington to be thinking every single day how can I make things a little better for them. Which in the -- everything we do is going to be perfect or that -- just going to be some big tough challenges. That we have to grapple with. But. I do know the federal government can make a difference which we're seeing it right now. On the Jersey coast and in New York. People are still going through a really tough time the response hasn't been perfect but. It's been. Aggressive and -- Strong and fast and robust and a lot of people have been helped because of -- and that's a pretty good metaphor for how I want. The federal government to operate generally number would do everything I can make sure does. Christi -- And I. Thank you Mr. President. And congratulations by the last. When crystal clear in my -- run for state senate and Sino land Christian I'd go back court has never -- you live. That's -- they'll -- that one time yeah. One quick follow up and then I wanna ask you about Iran. I just wanna make sure I understood what he said can you envision any scenario in which. We do go off the fiscal cliff at the end of the year. Com and on Iran are you preparing a final diplomatic push here to resolve -- nuclear program issue. And are we headed toward the one on one talks. -- -- we can all imagine this there were regardless of fiscal what if the -- despite. The election if despite. Dangerous. Going over the fiscal cliff. And and what that means for our economy. That there is too much. Stubborn us. In congress that we can't even agree on your middle class families tax cut them. Middle class families are all gonna end up having a big tax -- And that's going to be a pretty rude shock. For them and I suspect we'll have. A big impact on. Always shopping season which in turn will have an impact on. Business planning and hiring and we can go back into recession it would be a bad thing -- it is not necessary. So. I want repeat. Step number one that we can take in. The next couple weeks. Provide. Certainty to middle class families. 98% of families who make less than 250000 dollars -- nice numbers are small businesses that their taxes when my book a single dime next year. Give them that certainty right now we can get that done. We -- set up a structure. Whereby we are dealing with tax reform closing deductions closing loopholes simplifying. Dealing with -- entitlements. And -- -- and then willing to make it big commitments to make sure the world watching him. The kind of deficit reductions that stabilize our deficit start bringing it down the start bringing down our debt. I'm confident we can do. It's the end look I've been living with a -- a couple of years and I know the math pretty well and it it's been really as arithmetic it's not calculus. There are some tough things that have to be done but there's a way of doing -- that does not hurt middle class families do that does not hurt. Our seniors doesn't hurt families -- disabled kids allows us to continue to invest in those things that make us grow like. Basically search and education helping young people -- going to college. As we've already heard from. Some Republican commentators. A modest tax increase on the wealthy is not done. Break their backs they'll still be well I think. And it will not impinge on business investment. So so we know how to do this is this just a matter of whether or not we come together enjoy it and say it. Democrats or Republicans were both gonna. Hold hands and do what's right for the murder people and and I hope that's what happens would respect to Iran. I. I very much wanna see a diplomatic resolution to. The problem I was very clear before the campaign I was clear during the campaign and I'm not clear after the campaign. We're not gonna let Iran doing nuclear weapons. But. I think there is still a window of time for us to resolve this diplomatically. We've imposes tougher sanctions. In history it is having an impact on Iran's economy. There should be a way in which they can enjoy peaceful nuclear power while still meeting their international obligations and providing. Clear assurances to the international community that they're not pursuing a nuclear weapon. And so yes I would I will try to make a push -- In the coming months to see if we can. Open up a dialogue between Iran and not just us with the international community. To see if we can get the same result I can't promise that Iran will walk through the door that they need to walk through. But. That would be very much the -- more options. I won't talk about the details in negotiations but. Things first say that. We wanna give this was all -- we're not going to be constrained by. Diplomatic niceties are protocols if Iran is serious about wanting to resolve this. They'll be in a position to result. One point prior just prior to the election there was talk that talks might be imminent that was not -- and it's not. It's not true of as of today. It's okay. Just gonna be knocked through a couple others mark winners. -- -- There for -- from. Thank you Mr. President. In his endorsement in view a few weeks ago Mayor Bloomberg. Said he was a motivated by the belief that you would do more. To confront the threat of climate change than your opponent. Tomorrow you're going up to to New York City -- and I I assume see people who are still suffering the effects of hurricane sandy which many people say as further evidence. How a warming globe is changing our weather. What specifically do you plan to do and a second term to tackle the issue of climate change. And do you think the political will exists in Washington to pass legislation. They could include some kind of attacks on carbon. You know this is you know mark we can attribute. Any particular whether an event to climate change. What we do know where is the temperature around the globe is increased. Faster than was predicted even ten years ago. We do know that there are. Ice cap is melting faster than was predicted even five years ago. We do know that there have been extraordinarily. That they're they're been an extraordinary large number. Of severe weather events. Here in North America but also. Around the globe. And I am a firm believer that climate change is real that is impacted by it. Human behavior and its carbon emissions. And as a consequence -- we've got an obligation to future generations to do something about it now in my first term. We. Had doubled fuel efficiency standards on cars and trucks. That won't have an impact that will take a lot of carbon out of the atmosphere. We doubled the production of clean energy. Which promises to reduce. The utilization of fossil fuels. Four power generation. And we continue to invest in potential breakthrough technologies. That could further. Remove carbon from our atmosphere. But we haven't done as much as we need to so what I'm gonna be doing over the next several. Weeks. Next several months is having a conversation a wide ranging conversation with scientists engineers. And elected officials. To find out what can what more can we do. To make it short term progress. In. Reducing. It cardinals. And then -- Working through an education process. That I think is necessary discussion and conversation. Across the country about your what realistically. Can we do long term but to make sure this is not. Something we're passing on to future generations it's going to be very expensive and very painful to deal with -- I don't know what. What other Democrats or Republicans are prepared to do -- this point. Because. Of this is one of those issues that's not just a partisan issue that -- also thinkers of the regional differences. There's no doubt that for us to take on climate change and a serious way. Would involve. Making some. Tough political choices. And you know understandably having the murder people right now have been so focused and will continue to be focused on our economy and jobs and growth. That you know if the messages somehow we're gonna ignore jobs and growth. Simply address climate change I don't think anybody's gonna go for that. I won't go. If on the other hand we can shape an agenda that says. Weekend. Create jobs advance growth. And make a serious then climb change and be an international leader I think that's something that the murder people would support so. You know. You can expect that you'll hear more from me. In the coming months and years about how we can shape an agenda that. -- Bipartisan support helps move this moves this agenda forward. There. I bad that I am pretty certain. And look we're we're still trying to debate whether we can just make sure the middle class families don't get a tax hike. Let's agree -- resolve that. That should be easy. -- -- But it's important. Because. You'll be one of things we don't always factory owner of the cost involved. In these natural disasters we. We just put them offers. As something's unconnected to our behavior right now and to. I think what. Based on the evidence we're seeing news is that what we do now is gonna have an impact and it cost. Down the road if if if we don't do something about it. All right last question. Mark don't -- simple. -- -- Thank you Mr. President that the Asad regime is engaged in a brutal crackdown on its people. France has recognized -- just coalition. What would take for the United States do the same. And is there any point at which the United States would consider arming the rebels. You know I was one of the first leaders I've been around the world to say us I had to go. In response to -- incredible brutality. That his government displayed. In the face of war were initially peaceful protest. Obviously the situation serious deteriorated since them we have been. Extensively engage with the international community as well as regional powers to help the opposition you know we've committed to. Hundreds of millions of dollars of humanitarian aid to help folks both inside of Syria and outside of Syria. We are. Constellation. -- consulting with the opposition on how they can get organized so that. They're not splintered and divided in the face of the onslaught from this leveraging. We are -- in in very close contact where. Countries like Turkey and Jordan. That immediately border Syria and have an impact and obviously Israel which is having already. Grave concerns as we do about for example. Movements of chemical weapons that might occur. In such a chaotic. Atmosphere and they could have an impact not just within Syria but. On the region as a whole I'm encouraged to see that the Syrian opposition. And created an umbrella group that may have more cohesion. -- may have had in the past were going to be talking to them my envoys are going to be traveling to. Your various meetings that are going to be taking place with the international community in the opposition. We consider them pay a legitimate. Representative of the aspirations. The Syrian people. We're not yet prepared to recognize them as some sort of government in exile. But we do think that it is a broad based representative group one of the questions that we're gonna continue to press is making sure that opposition is committed to. They democratic. Syria and inclusive Syria a moderates -- We have seen. Extremist elements insinuate themselves into. The opposition. And no one of things that we have to be on guard about particularly when we start talking about arming. Opposition. Figures is that we're not. In directly. Putting arms in the hands of folks who would do Americans -- or do Israelis are war. Otherwise engaging in actions that are detrimental to our national security so we're more costly Coleman and working on that issue. The more engaged we are the more will be in a position to make sure that. That we are encouraging the most moderate. Thoughtful. Elements of the opposition that are committed to inclusion. Observance of human rights and I'm working cooperatively with us so long for -- Thank you very much. That was a great question. But it would be a horrible precedent. For me to answer your question just because you yell that out. Saw thank you very much guys.