President Barack Obama took to the press to talk about the economy and the recent scandal enveloping the CIA, FBI and the US Military. President Obama made it clear that he wants more money coming in, and that the wealthiest need to pay more, and is encouraged by the fact that several Republicans have already voiced agreement that the wealthiest in the nation need to pay more even thought House Speaker John Boehner and several other Republicans have also stated emphatically that the only compromises that they are willing to engage in are those where Democrats agree to enact the Romney/Ryan plan.
With regards to the scandal, Obama was asked about whether or not anything classified was leaked, and Obama stated that he has not seen anything which showed that anything had been leaked that was classified.
President Obama was then asked about whether or not he would cave again on the Bush Tax Cuts again. He replied that the last time he and the economy were in a different situation. Obama stood firm on extending the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthiest 2%, and stated that the math does not work with regards to the idea of just cutting loopholes. Obama also stated strongly that he did not want the Middle Class to be held hostage during the Fiscal Cliff negotiations.
Obama was asked about immigration reform. In the past, he has been reluctant to send specific legislation to Congress. Obama laid out that he wants to continue the border security measures that the government has already taken, provide a path to citizenship for those already here, and to penalize companies that are purposefully hiring undocumented workers. He also wants to pass the DREAM Act.
Obama was then asked by Chuck Todd about whether or not he should have known about the CIA scandal sooner, and right now he is withholding judgement on whether or not he should have known sooner rather than later. With regards to tax rates, he stated he wants to hear ideas from everyone, but is still firm about raising taxes on the top 2%. Obama wants a firm solution rather than passing this off, so basically he is willing to not cut taxes if there is a firm solution that will solve the problem. He does not want the Middle Class to pay anything more than they already are.
President Obama was asked about building relationships with Congress. He admitted that there are things he can do better, but feels that there are needs for everyone to work better together. He believes that people want Congress to focus on getting the job done rather than focusing on the next election.
Obama was then asked about the continued attempts by the Republicans to make Benghazi a scandal to hurt him. McCain and Graham want to hold Watergate-style hearings on the attack and have pledged to block Susan Rice’s nomination to the State Department. Obama made it clear that Rice’s statements regarding Benghazi were based on the intelligence that she had been given at the time, and it was the common line that had been reported at that point. He made it clear that, they are going after her because they think she is an easy target and if they have a problem with her, they have a problem with him.
Obama was then asked if he felt he had a mandate, and about giving any orders to try and protect the four men who were slain in Benghazi. Obama stated clearly that he did everything he could to protect them. Obama gave the order upon hearing that there was an attack that everything needed to be done to protect those in danger. It should be noted that two of the men who were slain were part of the rapid response team sent in to protect the people in Benghazi. Obama feels that his only mandate is to protect the middle class.
Obama was asked about being able to imagine a scenario where the nation goes over the Fiscal Cliff, and he stated that he could if there was too much stubbornness in the Congress. He then talked about Iran. Regarding Iran, Obama wants a solution to Iran getting a nuclear weapon, and wants a diplomatic solution before anything else is considered.
With regards to climate change, Obama laid out what is currently known. Obama is planning on talking to scientists and educating people about what needs to be done to reduce carbon emissions.