White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs mentioned Citizens United at least twice during today’s outdoor press briefing.
Q Robert, just as more details about those conversations — understanding you can’t give us the names of who he’s talking with — but in terms of the content of those conversations, what is he saying that he hasn’t already said already? The President has been having conversations like this for over a year. There’s obviously a new sense of urgency; the foreign trip has been cancelled. Can you give us any kind of characterization of the specifics of those conversations? Has the President said, “Listen, the future of my agenda is on the line unless we get this through”?
MR. GIBBS: Well, look, I think the President would be the first to tell you that there will be — after health care passes, there will be many big issues with which we have to tackle. We’ve talked about a few just over the past week: Financial reform, obviously, is something that is going to take up a great amount of the administration’s time; the Citizens United case and campaign finance, again, being just two of those.
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Q In his conversations with members, to what degree is he stressing — is the President stressing the importance of passing health care to his strength as President, the health of his presidency?
MR. GIBBS: Well, again, Chip, I think the — I don’t think anybody doubts the desire for the President — the President’s desire to see this through, the President’s desire to get this done. He spent quite a bit of time in the first 15 months of his presidency tackling a problem that he believes we have failed to deal with adequately for 70 or so years.
Again, after health care passes, I think that we will move on to many other extremely important issues. We’ve got several more bites at the economic apple in terms of small business lending, zero capital gains for small business on the economic side; as I mentioned, financial reform, the Citizens United campaign finance case, comprehensive energy legislation. I think there’s no doubt there will be many, many more big issues with which the President deals with. Obviously this is one he wants to see through.
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