tv ABC News Good Morning America ABC February 15, 2011 7:00am-9:00am PST
darkness, landing in frigid waters. how she survived, against all odds. good morning, everyone. boy, that water looks so calm and peaceful in that picture. but it was icy and cold that day. incredible story. >> she thought she had better chances with that than the truck coming toward her. we're watching the situation in iran this morning. the protests continue across the middle east. and the government cracking down very hard in iran. what you're seeing is youtube cell phone video coming in from across the country. at least one person has been killed in the protests. they're inspired by the revolution in egypt. we're also seeing, robin, more protests in yemen. more protests in bahrain, all across the region. >> everyone has been asking about the possible ripple effect from what we're seeing in egypt. also this morning, a simple test. we'll show you on tape right here. can it tell you whether your child has attention deficit
hyperactivity disorder? dr. richard besser looks at a really revealing study. >> that's important news for a lot of parents. and tiger woods, and there was the longest time it didn't seem like he could do wrong. now, it seems like he can't do right. you see him spitting on the green. he got in a lot of trouble for that. >> that's a huge no-no. we start with the budget fight in washington. president obama has submitted his budget, as you know, which he says contains painful cuts. the republicans say the cuts are not deep enough. if the two sides cannot agree, next month, there could be a government shutdown. all this goes on as the national debt creeps toward a milestone. jonathan karl has more from washington. >> reporter: we are about to witness the biggest showdown yet, between the president and this new congress. republicans are denouncing his budget as d.o.a., debt on
arrival. national debt is getting closer and closer to the tipping point. when we owe more than the entire value of everything made in this country, for a whole year. >> we're broke. >> our problem is, we are running out of road to keep kicking this can down. >> reporter: america's more than $14 trillion in the red, with both parties vowing to fix it. >> we can get this deficit under control. it is not impossible. and if we do so, we will have put the country on a better path. >> reporter: so, how much is $14 trillion? well, if you stacked 14 trillion $1 bills on top of each other, they would reach all the way to the moon, almost 4 times. put another way, the amount we owe would be enough to buy every american worker three years of paid vacation. and it's only getting worse. this year is on track for another record deficit. under the president's proposed plan, the national debt will
keep rising for another ten years and beyond. not a balanced budget in sight. >> the president's budget is the clearest sign yet that he simply does not take our fiscal problems seriously. >> reporter: the president's plan does cut spending for hundreds of programs. but that does little to stop the flow of red ink. and each pin prick to the deficit means real-world pain to many workers and families. for example, the president's proposed cuts to heating subsidies for the poor. a move, that in the middle of a winter that's been tough for most of the country, could leave more than 3 million poor families out in the cold. the republicans haven't come out with their budget for next year yet. but so far, george, nothing they have proposed, none of their cuts, get us anywhere near a balanced budget, either.
>> jon, thanks very much. for more on this, let's turn to the republican chairman of the house budget committee, paul ryan. thanks for coming in this morning, congressman.
you heard jonathan karl. that is the white house line. you say you've come up with specific spending cuts. but you don't have a deficit reduction plan. will you commit to come up with a plan that reduces the deficit by more than the president? >> of course, we will. that's not easy to accomplish, george because the president punted on the budget. i'm disappointed. i was hoping for sincere presidential leadership. the biggest threat to our budget and our economy, is our debt. he doubled the debt in five years after taking office. and then, triples it in ten years. yes, we will, when we bring our budget to the floor, bring a budget that is far more interested in debt reduction. >> how are you going to do that, congressman? i take you at your word. but it will be something to see. you've ruled out tax increases. revenue increases of any kind. that means you have to come up with a $1.6 trillion more in savings than the president, just to get to even. >> that's right. >> hitting medicare, hitting social security.
>> you have to do entitlement reform if you're serious about this budget. if you're serious about the debt. and the point i keep making about entitlement reform, the sooner we tackle it, the sooner off everybody is. the seniors near retirement, they're exempt from changes. but we make the changes for younger generations. >> you advocate that. not your fellow congress members. are you going to get republicans in the house to agree on a budget, that takes a bite out of medicare, takes bite out of social security. takes a bite out of entitlements. >> we don't do our budget until april. that's the way we do the budget act works. we will get our yardstick from cbo. if we ignore the drivers of our debt, which are these entitlement programs, we're no better than the president. and we're not leading. he is not leading, it's very clear. editorial boards from across the country are saying he whiffed.
he punted. presidents are elected to lead, to impose the country's biggest challenges. if he's not going to do that, we intend on giving the country a choice, and showing the country how we want to get our fiscal situation under control. if we don't get the debt under control, it will tank our economy, and give our kids a diminished future. >> in the meantime, another important deadline is looming. march 4th, the govern runs out of money. you're going to try to pass your plan with significant cuts, this week, in the house. but it's not going to get through the senate. to avoid a government shutdown, will you agree to keep the government running at current levels beyond march 4th? >> we obviously don't want to see a shutdown occur. but we don't want to rubber stamp the high spending levels. we want to see government continue. we don't want to see a shutdown. but we don't want to rubber stamp the levels of spending. >> what does that mean? >> that means we're going to have to negotiate some short-term extensions while we
jim sciutto has the latest from cairo again. >> reporter: good morning, robin. the turnout, surprisingly large in iran. and what's significant here, is many thought the protest movement in iran was effectively shutdown, silenced from a year-long crackdown. this is showing how far and wide the protests here in egypt are inspiring people. inspired by egypt, iranians took to the streets. and took aim at their own leaders. chanting, death to the dictator. a crowd estimated in the tens of thousands. their spirit lifted by a young protester, climbing a giant crane. they were the largest protests in iran in more than a year. and government security forces were waiting for them, in uniform and undercover. they fired tear gas and rubber bullets. dramatic cell phone video showed a man shot in the leg. but the protesters fight back, when a man believed to be a
plainclothes policeman, remove a banner, the crowd attack him. as the marches extend outside of the capital to the city of shiraz, the u.s. offers support. >> we wish the people in the streets across iran, the same opportunity that they saw their egyptian counterparts seize in the last week. >> reporter: iranians last took to the streets in large numbers after the june 2009 presidential election, which they saw was stolen by mahmoud ahmadinejad. we were on the ground. they just broke up a crowd firing tear gas. they're using batons on the protester, as well. in egypt, the streets are growing calmer. the protests, replaced by workers, demanding better wages and jobs. the response shows it will not tolerate its own revolution in the streets. today, an egyptian newspaper is reporting that president
mubarak's health is deteriorating. that he's depressed, refusing to take his medication. these reports, impossible to confirm. many in egypt, are not happy to hear of the reports. call it nostalgia, or national pride. but people here watching the stories closely and with concern. >> imagine so. thank you, jim. >> and president mubarak vowed to christiane amanpour, that he would die in egypt. getting a lot of new details about the los angeles television reporter who suddenly began slurring her speech and speaking gibberish during her report on the grammys. andrea canning has a lot more on this medical mystery. anyone who has done live tv can sympathize. but it seemed like more serious. >> reporter: it makes me break into a cold sweat just watching it. and people can't seem to get enough of this clip, that literally only lasts ten seconds. but with countless hits on the internet, there's no shortage of
theories that this was more than a bad case of nerves. >> well, a very, very heavy -- tonight -- we had a -- >> reporter: it's painful to watch. at first, serene branson seems impaired or nervous. but take another look. >> we had a very, very -- >> reporter: online, some are speculating it could be a medical issue. ms. branson needs an mri. spoke on air? we showed the video to neurologist, jesse weinberger? >> she is having a problem with her words. that's a symptom that can be related to a stroke. but it can be other things, like a partial seizure. >> reporter: that's what happened to wisconsin anchor, sara carlson last month, swhen had an epileptic seizure on the
air. >> my -- >> there was a huge part of my brain that knew it was happening. and i wonder if i'm saying anything that makes any sense. and finally, after 10 or 15 seconds, i look down, realizing, i probably wasn't making sense. >> reporter: carlson says she almost saw herself in serene branson's video. >> it was eerily similar. the look in her eyes. and the way she spoke. they weren't real words. but she tried so hard to keep something coming out of her mouth. >> reporter: late monday, branson's los angeles station updated viewers on her condition. >> she wants us to know, she followed up with a visit to the doctor. serene thanks everybody for their concern and good wishes. and hopes to be back on the air very soon. >> reporter: and her lawyer released a statement, saying at the time, branson was examined by paramedics immediately after her broadcast. her vital science were normal. and a colleague drove her home.
>> boy, robin. that reminds me of the south dakota senator, tim johnson, giving an interview. and you saw that gibberish coming out. let's bring in dr. richard besser to get his take on this. when you saw this video, what caught your eye? >> the slurred speech, for sure. and looking at her face, the two sides of her face weren't symmetrical. there was a difference in the crease in one side of the face. that's one of the things you look for in someone having a stroke. >> you look for the crease. >> that's right. >> what could have happened to her? >> the first thing to think about was a stroke. the other possibilities would be an unusual seizure. and then, a brief cutoff of blood to the brain. it goes away. by the time the paramedics are there, she may be back to normal. but it's a sign that's something going on there that causes the blood vessels to block. >> you talked about the creases.
and there's other things to look for. >> if you take anything away, remember the word f.a.s.t. f is for face. look for asymmetry. "a" is for arms. "s" is for speech, if it's slurred. and "t," is for time. remember, f.a.s.t. >> we have seen more and more, we think of bo biden in his 40s. 41, when he had a mild stroke. serene is very young. and there's a recent study that came out, showing that younger people are more likely, now, to suffer a stroke. and it's going down with older people. >> that's right. only 10% of strokes occur in people under 45. but that study from last week is saying, that's the group that's seeing the biggest increase. >> do we know why? >> it's not clear. whether it's due to obesity and rises in high blood pressure. it's something to pay attention to. but don't ignore stroke or the possibility of stroke in young
people. >> at any age. rich, thanks so much. now, for other developing stories right now, let's go to juju chang at the newsdesk. >> good morning, everyone. the prime minister of italy has just been indicted, accused of paying a 17-year-old girl for sex. and using his influence to cover it up. a judge has ordered the 74-year-old billionaire, silvio berlusconi, to go to trial in april. the nephew of the dalai lama has been struck and killed by a car in florida. jigme norbu was hit. the driver was not charged. last week, we told you about rising food prices. this week, clothing prices. the cost of cotton has doubled in the last year. and there's sticker shock at the gas pump, too. rice prices hit a record high for february. the national average is $3.14 a gallon. now, the creme de la creme of the canine universe.
mr. baggin's advanced the herding group to the finals of the westminster dog show. and in the hound category -- how adorable is that? a scottish deer hound named hickory. and a chinese sharpay named mrs. jane hathaway, became the first of the breed to advance to the final seven. best in show, will be announced tonight. >> we'll be watching. that little pekingese looked like it was waddling. >> a little fur ball. thanks, juju. let's get over to sam and the weather. are you feeling better? >> i do. let's get to the boards. there is some cold air, back into the northeast, after a one-day warmup. you'll get milder again this week. you were 70 degrees in washington yesterday. you start out about 33 degrees. 26 in new york. 18 in portland. here's what's going on in the west. we'll watch the rain. it was bad rain in the northwest yesterday. washington, oregon.
we'll leave you with a little morning feel-good. atlanta, at 60. this is our week to thaw out. in the northeast, it's a short, cooling spell. we'll go right back into the warmer temperatures. >> will we hit 60, sam? >> i think so by the end of the week. turning to tiger woods, now, back in the headlines, and not for winning a tournament. he has to apologize again. this time, for breaking the rules, after he was caught spittin' on the green, the 12th green at the dubai classic. john berman has more.
>> reporter: after the ugly car crash. after the steamy revelations, after the messy divorce, tiger woods is facing a new scandal. the case of the flying phlegm. call it spit in the spotlight. on the 12th green at the dubai desert classic, woods did unauthorized watering of the green. the commentators on sky tv, were outraged. >> somebody has to come on the green behind him and putt through the spit. it doesn't get slower than that. >> and the golf officials, were not happy. this is about golf etiquette. baseball was practically invented for spitting. and boxing. but not golf. >> go spit anywhere else. it's more rude than anything else. >> reporter: woods that promised to clean up his image on and off the course, agrees. on twitter, he wrote, the euro
tour is right. it was inconsiderate to spit like that. and i know better. just wasn't thinking. it hasn't been easy for woods. he's gone 17 tournaments, including all of 2010, without a win. that's the first time that happened since turning pro. if this had been anyone else besides tiger, would it be such a big deal? >> not really. most of the other players, we don't see on television as much. tiger woods is always on camera, 100% of the time. he has people watching him. >> reporter: and any efforts by woods to escape this constant scrutiny, you might say is spitting into the wind. for "good morning america," john berman, abc news. >> john could not resist that. coming up, charlie sheen chimes off. he wants to get back to work. and an amazing survival story. this woman jumped off an icy bridge to dodge a truck.
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quickly. 44 firefighters were called to the scene. everyone got out safely but one resident had a close call because an injury slowed him down. another resident helped him escape. oakland firefighters are keeping watch on a building leaning precariously. they closed 4th street for a wall that seemed to be buckling. a fire four years ago caused the roof of the building to collapse. crews put barriers around the west side of the structure but says it poses no immediate hazard. let's see if there are any road hazards this morning. could be wet in spots. >> they have been a little damp, kristen. this earlier stall on the dumbarton eastbound midspan is now an accident in the right lane so traffic slowing eastbound direction leaving menlo park towards newark and fremont. typically layless southbound 101. here's san mateo towards redwood city towards menlo park.
welcome back. a little breezy outside this morning from sutro back to diablo. let's take a look a live doppler 7 hd. a few scattered showers but this is for the storm but really fits right now. winds not nearly as fast as yesterday but they will pick up. 10 to 20 mph out of the southeast and left us pretty mild with temperatures running low to mid-50s. the heavier in the north bay during the afternoon hours and the rest of us during the evening hours. up to 3 inches in the north
just praying that somebody will hear me so i don't have to keep on swimming because i don't think i'll make it. >> my goodness. we're going to tell you more about that split-second decision that saved that young woman's life. she jumped from an icy bridge, into the water below. a truck was coming at her. she says it's a miracle. we'll talk to her coming up. we say good morning, america, on this tuesday morning. i'm robin roberts. >> and i'm george stephanopoulos. we also have, dr. richard besser coming back in our last half hour. there's a new clue to diagnosing adhd. a simple experiment that could give parents new information. >> could be a piece of the puzzle with adhd. and it's a milestone day for the giant panda cub at the zoo in atlanta. i was there in january. he's growing up. he's going to get his name
today. it's been 100 days, a chinese tradition. and who other, than mr. "kung fu panda" himself, jack black. just that look. >> a good name. we're going to kick off our "modern family" week, here at "gma." we're going to meet the first couple in our nationwide hunt, to find real "modern families" all across america. and you'll be behind the scenes. >> you can't help but be happy when you hear "the modern family" theme. first, charlie sheen, is speaking out. saying he's clean and ready to get back to work. it was a wide-ranging interview with the sitcom star, after he was rushed to a hospital last month, leading to his hit show being put on hiatus. here's mike von fremd, with so much more. >> how are you going to celebrate valentine's day? >> me and my girlfriend, who
will remain nameless. let's not turn her life upside down. >> reporter: when the troubled actor called into tv's "the dan patrick show," the host wanted to know why charlie sheen sounded so raspy. >> how did you lose your voice? >> well, i went back to work. and, you know, i was pounding on the stage door. >> you're on hiatus? >> no. we're on a horsed hiatus. they said, get ready. i got ready. and nobody was there. >> reporter: tv's highest-paid actor, who reportedly had been in rehab since being rushed to the hospital for stomach pains in january, says he's now clean. he's warning the cbs network and the studios that they need to take advantage of his clean bill of health right now. >> they didn't think it was going to happen this fast. but check it. it's like, you know, i heal really quickly. but i also unravel pretty quickly. so, get me right now, guys. get me right now.
>> reporter: cbs and warner brothers studios declined to comment on sheen's demand. industry sources say they are set to resume shooting the hit show by the end of this month. but there will be fewer episodes. and there's tremendous uncertainty. tmz showed sheen going to the ucla campus to take batting practice. sheen also donated $10,000 to the ucla team in 2004. tmz photographed him giving ucla baseball players on thursday, a most unusual pep talk. >> stay off the crack. drink the chocolate milk. >> i said, stay away from the crack, which is pretty good advice. unless you can manage it socially, dan. if you can manage it socially, then go for it. >> did you think you could? >> yeah. but that blew up in my face. >> reporter: hollywood media consultants say that sheen made a difficult situation worse. >> if you say it's okay, it's
okay to use drugs if you can handle them socially, that's not a message that the network wants out there. that's not a message the parents want out there. >> how long have you been soeb center. >> it's off and on. you know, it's been -- i was sober five years ago. just bored out of my tree. >> reporter: a new episode of "two and a half men" aired last night. taped before. hollywood is struggling with one. no matter what happens next, it won't be boring. for "good morning america," mike von fremd, abc news, los angeles. >> it won't. that interview, anything but boring. but handle crack socially? seeing if he can unravel as quickly as he can heal. >> it's a big problem. we're going to turn, now, to the harrowing story of survival that happened during the horrible atlanta storm last month. a truck was veering out of control on an icy bridge. and a woman right in its path had only one choice.
she had to jump 40 feet into total darkness into the icy water below. yunji de nies has the story of the survivor. yunji? >> reporter: good morning. it happened when bianca was on her way to school at 5:00 in the morning. it was a 40-foot jump into the water. she says she is lucky to be alive. last week's winter weather wreaked havoc on much of the south. bianna vera was driving through that mess, on this bridge, when a car side-swiped her. she opened her door, only to see another truck barreling towards her. >> and the car next to him, it was icy. i knew he couldn't stop. >> reporter: so, she jumped. four stories into the icy water. as she fell, she heard the truck smash into her car, followed by a series of crashes, as more cars piled up. >> i thought i was dead at that point. >> reporter: bianca hit that
water hard. she didn't realize it at the time. but she had actually broken her back. through immense pain, in icy water, she had to swim 100 yards to shore, all of it in the dark. >> everything went numb. the water was so cold. >> reporter: she screamed. but no one answered. >> just praying that somebody will hear me so i don't have to keep on swimming because i don't think i'll make it. and it wasn't until yesterday, that the only person that needed to hear me was god. and he helped me. and he was there. he was the one that got me to the shore. >> reporter: the icy swim took nearly an hour. once on shore, rescuers heard her cries. >> i have never been part of rescuing somebody who has jumped off a bridge. a lot of times, we -- those are -- >> reporter: looking at what's left of her car, she says that jump saved her. how is this going to change your life?
>> i can't take anything for granted. nothing at all. and i was obviously put here for a reason. god spared my life. i have a purpose. and i just have to find it. >> reporter: now, despite all of the pain she was in, once she hit the water, bianca remembered to take off her winter clothing, her coat and her boots, so she could swim faster. she credits her quick thinking to television. apparently she and her boyfriend are big fans of "man versus wild." george and robin? >> where you get your lessons from. amazing. an hour in the water. >> in those temperatures. >> with a broken back. incredible. sam, what have we got this morning? >> a live shot out of washington, d.c. you were 70 degrees yesterday. the first time since october, that you had numbers that mild. today is a little chillier. but the milder air will swing across the country and recover in areas like the mid-atlantic and the northeast, where it's
temporarily colder today. this is a warm week. chicagoland, 57 on thursday. dallas is 73 on thursday. washington, d.c., is about 58 degrees. new york, 55 on thursday. i think we're going to get near the 60-degree mark on the following day. we'll play that game right there. here's what's going on on the west coast. where things get better in some places, they get worse in others. all these areas of low pressure, will be pestering the west coast. there will be strong winds and heavy rain, and big-time mountain snow. and this will creep through southern california, in the day here's a look at what's ahead on the "gma morning menu."
what simple hand movements can reveal about adhd. and i love that we put these two together. jack black and pandemonium going hand in hand. big news about atlanta's baby panda. we're there live. and wait a minute. justin bieber, jazz. justin bieber, jazz. teen superstar loses out in a major grammy award. how do his fans feel about that? my contacts are so annoying. i just want to rip 'em out.
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use bayer aspirin. we're back, now, at 7:42. and could the flicker of a child's finger lead to a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder? in today's "america's health," we're going to look at a startling, new study. we're going to bring in dr. richard besser again. you see adhd and children. and almost 5.5 million young
people are diagnosed. roughly, half of them are on medication, rich. and there's a new study that's out? >> there is. very interesting study. they look at something called involuntary mirror moveovements. this is something we've known about in pediatrics for a long time. you ask someone with adhd, to perform a difficult task. the movement with their fingers, you'll see spillover. that can be a clue to diagnosis. let me show you first with a child that doesn't have adhd. and look here at this hand first. you see they're doing that movement. and on the other hand, no movement whatsoever. let's look, now, at a child who does have adhd and what they do with that same task. look here at this hand. when they're doing it. >> it's mirroring what the other hand is doing. >> their brain is unable to shut down that signal. let me show you what that looks like in the brain of that child. here's a child who does not have
adhd. you're seeing a lot of activity here. this is telling the other side of the body to not do that involuntary movement. it's shutting that right down. and that's a child that does have adhd. >> there's going to be parents watching this morning. do i tell my doctor about this? >> there's things that a parent should look for. inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity. those are the common things. if you go to see a doctor, they may ask your child to do these tasks. children under 5 will all have that involuntary movement. and girls with adhd are more unlikely to have the spillover movement. but boys, this could be a clue to your doctor that they have adhd. >> and boys are more likely to have adhd. >> four-times more likely. in this study, when they looked at the boys versus the girls, the boys were much more likely to do the spillover movement. fascinating information. >> a diagnostic tool.
thank you so much. get on twitter and get more information. >> at dr. richard besser. >> there you go. coming up next, jack "kung fu panda" black, there with dr. black, when we come w u wake up, your body craves fuel. make sure you give it something that counts. i love quaker oatmeal, it's seriously a superfood. it's fuel that your body needs to get going. this stuff is a game changer. and now it's better than ever. it's got a heartier texture, and in some of your favorites, all natural flavors and 25% less sugar. i can't think of a better way to kick off your day. so i just have one question for you. are you eating quaker for breakfast? i mean they're rewards, right? right? right. with the bankamericard cash rewards™ credit card... i get 1% cash back on every purchase. 1% cash back on groceries. highlights. frog leg green. 1% cash back on... whatever that is?
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lady gaga. >> a fun day. it's a big morning down in atlanta this morning. >> it is. it is. >> the little panda cub is going to get a name today. they're following the chinese tradition of getting a name at the 100-day mark. and the zoo is going all-out for the ceremony. this morning, bringing in "funk few panda" himself, jack black. all scrubbed out. how are you doing? >> how are you doing? >> very well, thank you. >> tell us about it. >> i'm just here, doing a little research. i'm a method actor. and i like to spend time with pandas, when i'm getting ready to portray one. and you know? this is an incredible, little creature. not as soft as you would think. i think he would be really silky
smooth. but actually thick, course, powerful hairs. fur? hair? whatever. >> dr. murphy will -- i'm sure she's close by. she'll let you know. i felt the same way, jack. when i was down there, that little fellow was about half of the size he is now. he is a big eater. have you seen it chow down? >> i did not get to see it do any eating. but yeah. i spent just a few moments with it. i came down also because they thought i would be an expert with the raising of pandas. but i had to break the news to them. i have zero experience. >> keeping you from the little guy. >> yeah. to tell you the truth, i was a little freaked out. i was thinking there was going to be some cuddling. >> right. >> and right before they brought the panda out, the nurse said, now, be careful, jack, because
they are wild bears. and they have very powerful, sharp claws. they don't like to be touched, really. and, action. here comes the panda. >> what about the sound they make? that is the cutest thing. what was that? >> it was making a squeaky squeak for his momma. he wanted some milk. he had just woken up. cranky, like i am in the morning. like i say, i think i was born to play the role. >> do you know the name? >> the name, interestingly enough is -- i have a woman here going -- she's telling me, it's a secret. i'm not allowed to tell you. you'll have to wait, 20 minutes, when the official naming ceremony happens. she could be fired if i tell you. >> that's all right. >> you kind of got the first letter. >> we'll share it with everybody in the next half hour. >> okay. >> thanks, jack.
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♪ this morning is your last chance to see an buddha sculpture in san francisco. the structure will be dismantled and sent back to china. the piece was on loan one year to celebrate the 30th year as shanghai's sister city. >> here you're looking at live doppler 7. a few scattered showers but the leading edge of the rain around uke eureka.
half inch to an inch for the rest of us. >> injury rash blocking at rodeo. the 15 minute wait backed up to good morning, hope it's a wonderful one for you, i'm diane sawyer at abc news headquarters with george stephanopoulos. hello, george, we are here because the president is going to have a press conference.
i believe it's 12th since taking office. >> his approval rating is r50%. we can expect a couple big issues dominate the press conference. the president put out his deficit reduction plan. this is the first major press conference since all of that resolution sweeping the middle east. >> a quick word for jake tapper in the room of questioning the president. jake. >> good morning, diane and george. president obama is going to face questions about his budget. a lot of critics on capitol hill, deficit hawks saying it's not going nearly far enough as far as reducing the deficit and reducing the deficit and debt. what's going on in the middle east, as far as egypt and what's going on in bahrain, he's eager to get out there and address the public. he's not had a press conference in several weeks. >> jake, take your seat. you're watching, we're told the president maybe ace 5-minute to
7-minute opening statement. we'll listen for that. >> good morning. everybody, please have a seat. >> i think i want to give jay one more of taste of freedom, before we lock him in a room with all of you. so i'm here to do a little down field blocking for you. before i take a few question, let me say a few words about the budget we put out yesterday. just like every family in america, that the federal government has to do two things at once, it has to live within its means, while still investing in the future. if you're a family trying to cut back, you might skip going out to dinner. you might put out a vacation. but you wouldn't want to sacrifice saving for your kid's college education, or making key repairs in your house. so, you cut back on what you
can't afford to focus on what you can't do without. that's what we've done with this year's budget. when i took office, i pledged to cut the deficit in half, by the end of my first term. our budget meets that pledge and puts us on a path to pay for what we spend by the middle of the decade. as a start, it freezes domestic discretionary spending over the next five year, which would cut the deficit by more than $400 billion over the next decade and bring annual domestic spending to its lower share of the economy, since dwight eisenhower. now, some of the savings will come through less waste and more efficiency, to take just one example, we'll give -- we'll save billions of dollars by getting rid of 14,000 office building, lots and government-owned properties that we no longer need. and make sure special interests
are not larding up legislation with special project, i've pledged to veto any bills that contain earmarks, still, even as we cut waste and inefficiency, this budget freeze will also require us to make some tough choices. it will mean freezing the salaries of hard-working federal employees for the next two years. it means cutting things i care about deeply, like community action programs for low income communities. and, we have some conservation programs that are going to be scaled back. these are all programs that i wouldn't be cutting, if we were in a better fiscal situation, but we're not. we also know that cutting annual domestic spending alone won't be enough to meet the long-term fiscal challenges. that's what mt bipartisan fiscal commission concluded. that's what i concluded. that's why i'm eager to attack domestic spending in wherever we find it, in domestic spending,
defense spending, health care spending and spending that is imbedded in the tax code. some of this spending we've begun to tackle in this budget. like the $78 billion that secretary gates identified in defense cuts but to get where we need to go, we'll have to do more. we'll have to bring down health care costs further, including in programs like medicare and medicaid, which were the single biggest contributor to our long-term deficits. i believe we should strengthen social security for future generation, and i think we can do that without slashing benefit or putting current retirees at risk and i'm willing to work with everybody on capitol hill to simplify the individual tax codes for all americans. all of these steps are going to be difficult. that's why all of them will require democrats, independents and republicans to work together. i recognize that there are going to be plenty of arguments for the months to come and everybody will have to give a little bit.
but when it comes to difficult choices about our budget and our priorities, we have found common ground before. ronald reagan and tip o'neill came together to save social security. bill clinton and republican congress eventually found a way to settle their differences and balance the budget and many democrats and republicans in congress today came together to pass a tax cut that made americans paychecks a little bigger this year and that will spur on additional economic growth this year. i believe we can find this common ground, but we're going to have to work. and we owe the american people, a government that lives within its means while still investing in our future in areas like education, innovation and infrastructure that will help us attract new jobs and businesses to our shores. that's the principle that should drive this debate in the coming months. i believe that's how america will win the future in many coming years, so, with that, let me take a few questions, and
i'll start off with ben feller of ap. >> reporter: thank you very much, mr. president, you've been talking a lot about the need for tough choices in your budget, but your plan does not address the long-term crushing cost of social security, medicare, medicaid, the real drivers of long-term debt. can you explain that? where is your leadership on that issue? when are we going to see your plan, and if i may, sir, on the foreign front the uprise in egypt prompt protests in yemen, bahrain and iran, how do you balance the push for freedom in those places against the instability that could endanger u.s. interests? >> on the budget, what my budget does is to put forward some tough choices, some significant spending cuts, so that by the middle of this decade, our annual spending will match our annual revenues. we will not be adding more to
the national debt. so to use a sort of a analogy that you're familiar with, we're not going to be running up the credit card anymore. that's important. and that's hard to do. but, it's necessary to do, and i think that the american people understand that. at the same time, we're going to be making some key investments in places like education, and science and technology, research and development that the american people pundz is required to win the future, so what we've done is taken a scalpel to a discretionary budget rather than amachete. i'll say in the union and i'll repeat. that accounts for 12% of our budget. we've got a whole bunch of other stuff we have to do, including deal with entitlements, we talked about social security, medicare and medicaid.
the truth is social security is not the huge contributor to the deficit that the other two entitlements are. i'm confident we can get social security done, in the same way that ronald reagan and tip o'neill were able to get it done. parties coming together, making adjustments, i think we can avoid slashing benefits. i think we can make it stable and stronger not only for this generation but the next generation. medicare and medicaid are huge problems, because health care costs rising even as the population is getting older. so what i said is that i'm prepared to work with democrats and republicans to start dealing with that in a serious way. we made a down payment on that, with health care reform last year. that's part of what health care reform was about. the projected upsets are going to be about $250 billion lower, over the next ten year than they otherwise would have been because of health care reform and they will be a trillion
dollars lower than they would have been if we hadn't done health care reform for the following decade. but we still have to do more. what i said is, if you look at the history of how these deals get done, typically, it's not because there's an obama plan out there, it's because democrats and republicans both committed to tackling this issue in a serious way. and so what we've done, we've been very specific in terms of how to stabilize the discretionary budget, make sure that we're not adding additional debt, by 2015, and then, let's together, democrats and republicans, tackle these long-term problems in a way that i think will ensure our fiscal health and, at the same time, ensure that we're making investments in the future. well, we're going to be in discussions over the next several months.
i mean, this is going to be a negotiation process. and the key thing that i think the american people want to see, is that all sides are serious about it, and all sides are willing to give a little bit. and that there's a genuine it spirit of compromise, as opposed to people being interested in scoring political points. now, we did that in december, during the lame duck on the tax cut issue. both sides had to give. and, yeah, there were folks in my party who were not happy and folks in the republican party who were not happy. and my suspicion is we're going to do the same thing if we have that same attitude respect to entitlements. the thing i want to emphasize, no one is more mindful than me that entitlements are going to be a key part of this issue, as is tax reform. i want to simplify rate, and i want to, at the same time, make sure that we have the same
amount of money coming in as going out. those are big, tough negotiation, and i suspect that there's going to be a lot of ups and downs in the months to come before we finally get to that solution, just as a lot of people were skeptical about us being able to deal with the tax cuts that we did in december but we ended up getting it done, i'm confident we can get this done as well. respect to the situation in the middle east, obviously, there's still a lot of work to be done in egypt itself, but what we've seen so far is positive. the military council that is in charge has reaffirmed its treaties with countries like israel and international treaties. it has met with the opposition, and opposition has felt that it is serious about moving towards fair and free elections. egypt is going to require help in building democratic institution, and also in strengthening the economy that's
taking a hit as a consequence of what happened, but, so far, at least, we're seeing the right signals coming out of egypt. there are ramifications, though, throughout the region, and i think my administration's approach is the approach that p gibes with how h most americans think about this region, which is that each country is different, each country has its own traditions. america can't dictate how they run their societies, but there are certain universal principles that we adhere to. one of them is, we don't believe in violence, as a way of -- and coercion, as a way of maintaining control. so we think it's very important that, in all from the protests that we're seeing in -- throughout the region, that governments respond to peaceful protesters peacefully. the second principle that we
believe in strongly is in the right to express your opinions. freedom of speech and freedom of assembly that allows people to share their grievances with the government, and to express themselves in ways that hopefully will, overtime, meet their needs. so, we have sent a strong message to our allies in the region, saying, let's look at egypt's example, as opposed to iran's example. you know, i find it ironic that you've got the iranian regime, pretending to celebrate what happened in egypt, when, in fact, they have acted in direct contrast to what happened in egypt, by gunning down and beating people who were trying to express themselves peacefully in iran. and i also think that an important lesson, and i mention this last week, that we can draw from this is, real change in
these societies, is not going to happen because of terrorism. it's not going to happen because you go around killing innocents. it's going to happen because people come together, and apply moral force to a situation. that's what garners international support, that's what garners internal support. that's how you bring about lasting change. patricia? >> reporter: thank you. getting back to the unrest in the middle east and north africa, what concerns do you have about instability, especially in saudi arabia, as the demonstrations spread? do you see -- foresee any affects on oil prices? talking about iran, what is your message to the iranian people? in light that there was some
criticism that your administration did not speak out strongly enough after the laugh -- demonstrations in iran after their elections? >> well, first of all, on iran, we were p clear then, and we are clear now, that what has been true in egypt, should be true in iran, which that people should be able to express their opinion, and their grievances, and seek a more responsive government. what's been different is, iranian government's response, which is to shoot people, and beat people and arrest people. and, you know, my hope, and expectation is that we're going to continue to see the people of iran, had the courage to be able to express their yearning for greater freedoms, and a more
representative government. understanding that america cannot ultimately dictate what happens inside of iran, any more than it could inside of egypt. ultimately, these are sovereign countries that are going to have to make their own decisions. what we can do is lend moral support to those who are seeking a better life for themselves. obviously, we're concerned about stability throughout the region. each country is different. the message that we've sent, even before the demonstrations in egypt, has been to friend and foe alike, that the world is changing. that you have a young, vibrant generation, within the middle east, that is looking for greater opportunity. and that if you are governing these country, you got to get
out ahead of change. you can't be behind the curve. and so i think that the thing that will actually achieve stability in that region, is if young people, if ordinary folk, end up feeling that there are pathways for them to feed their family, get a decent job, get an education, aspire to a better life. and the more steps these governments are taking to provide these avenues for mobility, and opportunity, the more stable these countries are. you can't maintain power, through coercion. at some level, in any society, there has to be consent. and that's particularly true in this new era, where people can communicate, not just through some centralized government, or
a state-run tv, but they can get on a smart phone or twitter account and mobilize hundreds of thousands of people. my belief is that, as a consequence of what happened in tunisia and egypt, governments in that region are starting to understand this. and my hope is that they can operate in a way that is responsive to this hunger for change, but always do so in a way that doesn't lead to violence. chip reed. >> reporter: thank you, mr. president. actually, i have to get my glasses out to read these. >> that's a bad sign there, chip. >> reporter: a little fine print in the budget, mr. president. you said this budget was not going to add to the credit card as of about the middle of the decade, and as robert gibbs
might say, i'm not a budget expert and i'm not a economist, but if you could just explain to me how you can say that, if you look at page 171, which i'm sure you've read, it is the central page in this, the deficits go from $1.1 trillion to $768 billion and go and then start to creep up again and 2021 it's at 7$774 billion. and the total bet is $17.2 trillion on top of the $14 trillion we already have. how can you say we're living within our means? >> let me be clear on what i'm saying. because i'm not suggesting that we don't have to do more. we still have all of this accumulated debt. as a consequence of the recession, and as a consequence of a series of decisions that were made over the last decade. we piled up -- we racked up a
whole bunch of debt. and there's a lot of interest on that debt. so in the same way, if you've got a credit card, and you got a big balance, you may not be adding to principle, you've still got all of that interest that you've got to pay. well, we've got a big problem in terms of accumulated interest that we're paying, and that's why we're going to have to whittle down further the debt that's already been accumulated. that's problem number one. and problem number two, we already talked about, which is rising health care comforts and problems like medicaid and medicare, are going to, once you get past this decade, are going to start zooming up again, as a consequence of the population getting older and health care costs going up more rapidly than incomes and wages and revenues going up. so you got those two big problems. what we've done, is try to take this in stages.
what we say in our budget is, let's get control of our discretionary budget, to make sure that whatever it is that we're spending on an annual basis, we're also taking in a similar amount. that's step number one. step number two, is going to make -- is going to be how do we make sure that we're taking on these long-term driver, and how do we start whittling down the debt? that's going to require entitlement reform and it's going to require tax reform, and in order to accomplish those two things, we're going to have to have a spirit of cooperation between democrats and republican, and i think that's possible. i think that's what the american people are looking for, but what i think is important to do is not discount the tough choices that are required, just to stabilize the situation. it doesn't solve it, but it stabilizes it, and if we can get that done, that starts
introducing this concept of us being able to, in a serious way, cooperate, to meet this fiscal challenge, and that will lay the predicate for us to bow able to solve some of these big problems over the course of the next couple of years as well. so, again, i just want to repeat, the first step in this budget, is to make sure we're stabilizing a current situation. second step is to be to make sure we're taking on some long-term drivers, but we have to get control of the short-term deficit as well, and people are going to be looking at that. and the choices we've made are some pretty tough choice, which is why i think you've been seeing some grumbling, not just from other party but my own party about the decisions we've made. chuck.
>> reporter: thank you, mr. president, everything you've talked about, tax reform, two parties coming together just happened in december in your fiscal commission. you had a majority consensus to do all of that. it's now been shoved. it seems you've not taken -- my question is what was the point of the fiscal commission if you had this moment, you had tom coburn, your conservative friend in the united states senate, sign off to this. judd greg also on this. dick durbin, your good friend from illinois, democrats, everything you described in the answer to chip and ben, just happened? why not grab it? >> the notion it's been shelved is incorrect. it still provide ace framework for a conversation. part of the challenge here, this down -- let's facial it. you guys pretty impatient. if something doesn't happen
today, the assumption is it's just not going to happen. right? i've had this conversation for the last two years about every single issue that we've worked on. whether was health care, or "don't ask, don't tell," on egypt? right? we've had this monumental change over the last three weeks? why did it take three weeks? so, i think that there's a tendency for us to assume that if it didn't happen today, it's not going to happen. well, the fiscal commission put out a framework, i agree with much of the framework, i disagree with some of the framework. it is true that it got 11 vote, and that was a positive sign. what's also true is, for example, that the chairman of the house republican budget eie
are concerned. i'm going have to have a conversation with him, what would he like to see happen? i'm going have to have a conversation with those democrats who didn't vote for me. there are some issues in there, that, as a matter of principle, i don't agree with. where i think they didn't go far enough, or they went too far. so, this is going to be a process in which each side, in both chambers of congress, go back and forth and start trying to whittle their differences down, until we arrive at something that has an actual chance of passage. and that's my goal. my goal here is to actually solve the problem. it's not to get a good headline on the first day. my goal is that, a year from now or two years from now, people
look back and say, you know what, we've actually started to make progress on this issue. >> reporter: nobody -- nobody wants to talk about it? >> this was the same criticism people had right after the mid-term election. if you had been in the press room, and the conventional wisdom in washington, after the mid term, there's no way we were going to end up getting a tax deal that got the majority of both democrats and republicans. it was impossible. all right? and we got to dump. so this is not a matter of you go first or i go first. this is a matter of everything, having a serious conversation about where we want to go, and then ultimately getting in that vote at the same time so it doesn't dip over over. and i think that can happen.
julia juliana. >> reporter: thank you, mr. president. your budget relies on shipping jobs overseas and increases on oil and gas industry. you've been calling on this for years. if you couldn't get it through a democratic congress, by why do you think you'll get it through now? and rp doesn't it push for the deficit neutral corporate tax reform? >> well, i continue to believe i'm right, so we're going to try again. i think what's different is, everybody says now that they're really serious about the deficit. well, if you're really serious about the deficit, not just spending but serious about the deficit overall, then part of what you have to look at is unjustable spending through the tax code. through tax breaks that do not make us more competitive, do not
crave jobs here in the united states of america, and two examples that you cite, most commits would look at it and say these aren't contributing to our long-term economic growth, and if they're not, why are we letting some folks pay lower taxing than other folks who are creating jobs in the united states, and are investing. why are we not investing in the energy sources of the future, just the ones in the past, particularly the energy sources of the past, are highly profitable right now and don't need a tax break? so, i think what may have changed is if we are going to get serious about deficit reduction, and debt reduction, then we've got to look at all of the sources of zef sit and debt. we can't be, you know, just trying to pick and choose and getting 100% of our weight. the same is true, by the way,
for democrats. there's provisions in this budget that are hard for me to take. you've got cities around the country, and statements around the country that are having a tremendously difficult time trying to balance their own budgets, because fallen revenue, they've got greater demands, because of folks that lost their job, housing market is still in a tough way in a lot of these places, yet, part of what this budget says is we're going to reduce community development block grants by 10%. that's not something i'd like to do, but -- and if it come un, a year ago or two years ago, i would have said no. under these new circumstances, i'm saying yes, today. and so my expectation is that everybody is going to have to make those same shorts of compromises. now, with respect to corporate
tax reform, the whole concept of corporate tax reform is to simplify, eliminate loopholes. treat everybody fairly. that is entirely consistent with saying, for example, that we shouldn't provide special treatment to the oil industry, when they have been making huge profits, and can afford to further invest in their companies without special tax breaks that are different than what somebody else gets. >> well, what is absolutely true is that it's going to be difficult to achieve serious corporate tax reform if the formula is, lower our tax rates, and let us keep all our special loopholes. if that's the formula, then we're not going to get it done. i wouldn't sign such a bill, and i don't think many the american people would sign such a bill. if you're a small business person out on main street and
you're paying your taxes, and you find out that you've got some big company, with billions of dollars, and far-flung businesses all across the world and they're paying a fraction of what you're paying in taxes, you'd be pretty irritated. and rightfully so. so the whole idea of corporate reform -- corporate tax reform is, yes, let's lower everybody's rates so american businesses are competitive with businesses all around the world but in order to pay for it, to make sure it doesn't add to our deficit, let's also make sure the special interest loopholes that a lot of lobbyists that have been working hard to get into the tax code, let's get rid of those as well. >> all right. april ryan. caught you by surprise, april. >> reporter: you did, sir, thank you. mr. prize, i want to focus in on the least of these. you started your career of service as a community
organizer, and now we are hearing from people like -- organizations like the cbc, saying, we building our economy on the backs of the most vulnerable americans is something that is simply not acceptable, like the cults to the community service block grants, pell grant, and freezing salaries of federal of workers, now roger harrison said it's not good to make these type of cuts at a time of recession, instead of doing it at a time of recovery. and also, i need to ask you, have you been placing calls for your friend p rahm emanuel for his campaign in chicago? >> your last question first, i don't have to make calls for recall emmanuel. he seems to be doing fine on his own. he's been very busy, shoveling snow out there. i've never saw him shoveling out here. let me use pell grants as an
example of how we're approaching these difficult budget choices in a way that it's sustainable, but preserves our core commitment to expanding opportunity. when i came into office, i said i want to, once again, have america have the highest graduation rates, college graduation rates of any country in the world that we have been slipping, so i significantly increased the pell grant program by tens of billions of dollars, so, millions of young people are going to have opportunities through the pell grant program than they did before and besides, the pell grant itself went up. what we also did, partly because we are in a recessionary situation, more people are having to go back to school as opposed to work. what we also did, for example,
say that you can get pell grants for summer school. now we're in a budget crunch. the take-up rate on the pell grant program has skyrocketed. the costs have gone up significantly. if we continue on this pace, sooner or later, what's going to happen, we're just going to have to chop off eligibility. we're going to have to say that's it, we can't do this anymore. it's too expensive. instead, what we did, how do we trim, how do we take a scalpel to the pell grant program, make sure that we keep the increase for each pell grant, make sure that the young people who are being served the the pell grant program are still being served but, for example, on the summer school thing, let's eliminate that. that will save us some money. but, the core functions of the program are sustained. that's how we're approaching awful these cuts.
on the liheap program, home heating assistance program. we doubled the home heating assistance program when i first came into office, in part because there was a huge energy spike, and so, folks, if we had just kept it at the same level. folks would have been in real trouble. energy prices have now gone down, but the costs of the program have stayed the same. what we've said is, let's go back to a more h sustainable level. if it turns out that, once again, you see a huge energy spike, then we can revisit it, but let's not just assume, because it's at a $5 billion level, that each year we're going to sustain it at a $5 billion level, regardless of what's happening, on the energy front. that doesn't mean that, you know, these aren't still tough cuts, because they are always more people who could use some help, across the country.
than we have resources. and so it's still a tough decision, and i understand the people's frustrations with some of these decisions. having said that, my goal is to make sure that when looking after the disabled, looking after senior, making sure our education system is serving our kids so they compete in the 21st century. we're investing in the future, and doing that in a way that's sustainable, and that we're paying for it, as opposed to having these huge imbalancing, where we're having some things that aren't working, paying a lost money for. some things underfunded. we're trying to make adjustments, so we have a sustainable budget that work force us over the long term. by the way, there just aren't some things that are working at all. so we eliminated a couple hundred programs, we're console
dated, 33 programs. there's waste and inefficiency that's long overdue. we identify a number of these programs that just don't work. take that money out of those programs that don't work and put that money in programs that do. so -- >> reporter: mr. president, they are community organized -- >> i definitely feel folks' pain. somebody is doing a book about the ten letters i get every day. they came by to talk to me yesterday. and they said, you know, what's the overwhelming impression that you get when you read these ten letters a day, and what i told them is, i'm so inspired by the strength and resilience much the american people, but sometimes, i'm also just frustrated by the
number of people out there who are struggling, and, you know, you want to help every single one individually. and i -- you almost feel like you want to be a case worker and just start picking up the phone and advocating for each of these people who are working hard, trying to do right by their family, often times through no fault of their own, they've had a tough time, particularly over the last couple years. so, yeah, it's frustrating. but, my job is to make sure that we're focused over the long term. where is it that we need to go? and, the most important thing i can do as president is make sure that we're living within our means, getting a budget that is sustainable. investing in the future and growing the economy. if i do that, then that's probably the most help i can give to the most number of people. >> jake tapper. >> reporter: thanks, mr. president.
house republicans, as you know, want to start cutting now. want to start cutting this year's budget. are you willing to work with them in the next few weeks so as to avoid a government shutdown? there's been talk of a down payment on budget cuts that they would like to make for this year's budget. and also, i was wondering if you could talk about the attempts to get american diplomat ray davis free from pakistan. some have criticized the administration for putting pressure too publicly on what is essentially a weak government. i wonder if you could walk us through that process. thanks. >> my goal is to work with the republicans both on the continuing resolution, and for those who are watching that don't know washingtonese, the c.r. is a continuing resolution, a way to keep government going, when you don't have an yoifr all budget settled and we didn't settle our overall budget from last year. this is carryover business from last year, funding vital
government function this year. so, i want to work with everybody, dids and republicans to get that resolved. i think it is important to make sure that we don't try to make a series of symbolic cult this year that could endanger the recovery. so, that's point number one. what i'm going to be looking for is some common sense that the recovery is still fragile, we passed this tax cut package precisely to make sure that people had more money in their pockets, that their paychecks were larger, were provided these tax credits and incentives for businesses, but if the steps that we take then prompt thousands of layoffs, in state or local government, or core vital functions of government aren't performed properly, well, that could also have a dampening impact on our recovery as well. so my measure is going to be, are we doing things in a sensible way, meeting core
functions, not endangering our recovery. in some cases, like defense, for example, p secretary gates has already testified, if we're operating -- even operating under the current continuing resolution, is putting significant strains on our ability to make sure our troops have what they need to perform their missions in afghanistan, further slashes would impair our ability to meet our mission. and so, you know, we've got to be careful. again, let's use a scalpel, let's not use a machete, and if we do that, there should be no reason for a government shutdown. and i think people should be careful about being too loose in terms of talking about a government shutdown, because this is not an abstract. people don't get their social security checks. they don't get their veterans payments.
basic functions shut down. and that also would have a adverse effect on our economic recovery. would be destabilizing. i think everybody is hopeful we start growing the economy quicker. so i'm looking forward to having the conversation, but the key here is for people to be practical, and not score political points. that's true for all of us. i think, if we take that approach, we can navigate the situation short term and then deal with the problem long term. with respect to mr. davis, our d diplomat in pakistan, we've done a very simple principle here, that every country in the world that is party to the vienna convention on diplomatic relations have upheld in the past, and should uphold in the future, and that is if our diplomats are in another country, then they are not subject to that country's local
prosecution. we respect it, with respect to diplomats who are here, we expect pakistan, that's a signatory. and recognize mr. davis as a diplomat to abide by the same convention. and the reason this is an important principle, is if it starts being fair game on our ambassadors around the world, including in dangerous places, where we may have differences with those governments, and, our ambassadors, are our various embassy personnel, are having to deliver tough messages to countries where we disagree with them on "x," "y" and "z," they start being vulnerable to prosecution locally, that's untenable. it means they can't do their job. and that's why we respect these conventions, and every country should as well. so, we're going to be continuing to work with the pakistani
government to get this person released, and, you know, obviously, part of -- for those who aren't familiar with the background on this, a couple of pakistanis were killed in an incident between mr. davis, within pakistan, so, obviously, we're concerned about the loss of life. we're not callous about that, but, there's a broader principle at stake that we have to uphold. >> the pakistani government, if they don't hand them over -- >> i'm not going to discuss the specific exchanges that we've had. but we have been very firm about this being an important priority. >> reporter: ed henry. >> thanks, mr. president. i wanted to go back to egypt, because there was some
perception around the world that maybe you were too cautious p during that crisis and' step behind the protesters, i know there was a dramatic change in three weeks and some of us wanted it to go faster than that. i realize it was a complicated session evolving rapidly. but you said before your message to the government involved was make sure you're not violent with peaceful protester, but what's your message to the protesters. do you want them to taste freedom, or do you want them to taste freedom own if it brings stability to our interests in the region? >> well, first of all, without revisiting all of the event over the last three week, i think history will end up records that at every juncture, in the situation in egypt, that we are on the right side of history. what we didn't do was pretend that we could dictate the outcome in egypt, because we
can't. so we were very mindful that it was important for this to remain an egyptian event, that the united states if not become the issue, but that we sent out a very clear message that we believed in an orderly transition a meaningful transition, and a transition that needed to happen, not later, but sooner. and we were consistent on that message throughout. so, particularly if you look at my statements, i started talking about reform two weeks or two and a half weeks before mr. mubarak ultimately stepped down,
and at each juncture, i think we calibrated it just about right. and i would suggest that part of the test is, that what we ended up seeing was a peaceful transition, relatively little violence, and relatively little, if any, anti-american sentiment. or, antiisrael sentiment or antiwestern sentiment. and i think that testifies the fact that in a complicated situation, we got it about right. my message, i think to demonstrators, to demonstrators going forward, is your aspirations for greater opportunity for the ability to speak your mind, for a free press, those are absolutely aspirations we support. as was true in egypt,
ultimately, what happens in each of these countries will be determined by the citizens of those countries. and even as we uphold these universal values, we do want to make sure that transitions do not degenerate into chaos and violence. that's not just good for us, that's good for those countries. you know, the history of successful transitions, to democracy, everybody ones in which peaceful protests led to dialogue, led to discussion, led to reform, and ultimately led to democracy, and that's true in countries like eastern europe. that was also true in countries like indonesia. a majority muslim country that went through some of these similar transitions, but didn't
end up doing it in such a chaotic fashion that it ended up dividing the societies fundamentally. >> reporter: h what are the chances of something like middle east peace or has it made it more complicated in your mind? >> i think it offers an opportunity as well as a challenge. i think the opportunity is, that when you have the kinds of young people who are in tahrir square, feeling that they have home, and they have opportunity, then they're less likely to channel all of their frustrations into anti-israeli sentiment or antiwestern sentiment. because they see the prospect of building their own country. that's a positive. the challenge is that, you know,
democracy is messy, so they're -- if you're trying to negotiate with the democracy, you don't just have one person negotiate with, you have to negotiate with a wider range of use. but i like the odds of actually getting a better outcome in the former circumstance than in the latter. all right. mike emmanuel. >> reporter: thank you, mr. president. the number one concern for many americans right now, is jobs. taking a look at your budget, there are tax hikes proposed for energy, for higher income people, and also for replenishing the state unemployment funds. if you worry about the impact on jobs, sirb? >> well, actually, if you look at that budget, there's a whole bunch of stuff in there for job
creation. some folks noted, for example, our infrastructure proposals, which would create millions of jobs around the country. our investments in research and development and clean energy, had the potential for creating job growth in, you know, industries of the future. you know, my belief that the high end tax cuts for -- or the bush tax cuts for the high end population, folks like me, my belief is that that doesn't, in any way, impede job growth. and most economists agree. we had this debate in december. we compromised in order to achieve an overall package that reduced taxes for all americans. and, so i believe -- i continue to believe that was a smart
compromise. but, when it comes to, over the long term, maintaining tax breaks, for millionaires and billionaires, when that will mean additional deficits of a trillion dollars, if you're serious about deficit reduction, you don't do that. and, as i said, you know, i think most economists, even ones that tend to lean to the right, are more conservative, would agree that that's not the best way for us to approach deficit reduction, and debt reduction. so, i do think it's important, as we think about corporate tax reform, as we think about individual p tax reform, to try to keep taxes as simple as possible, and as low as possible. but, we also have to acknowledge that in the same way that
families had to pay for what they buy, the government has to pay for what it buy, and if we believe it's important for us to have a strong military, that doesn't come for free. we got to pay for it. if we think we got to take care of our veterans when they come home and not just salute on memorial day, but we also have to work with folks who have post traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. that requires services that are very labor intensive and expensive. if we think it's important that our senior citizens continue to enjoy health care, in their golden years, that cost money. if we think that, after a flood, we help out our neighbor, and our fill low citizens, so that they can recover, we have to pay for it.
so, the circumstance that's changed earlier, juliana asked why i think i might get a deal, i think some of the questions here generally have centered about what's going to be different this time, my hope is, that what's different this time is we have an adult conversation where everybody says, here's what is important. and here's how we're going to pay for it. now, there's going to be some significant disagreements about what people think is important. and that's how democracy should work, and, you know, at the margins, i think that, you know, i'm -- i'll end up having to compromise on some things, hopefully, others will have that same spirit. >> part of that adult conversation, what if they say deeper spending cuts before you consider tax hikes?
>> well, i think it just depends on what exactly you're talking about. and i think that there should be a full, open debate with the american people. are we willing to cut millions of young people off, when it comes to student loans, that help kids and families, on their college education. are we only serious about education in the abstract, but when it's concrete, we're not willing to put the money into it. if we're cutting, you know, infant formula, to poor kids, is that who we are as a people? i mean, we're going have to have those debates, particularly if it turns out that making those cuts doesn't really make a big dent in the long term debt and
deficits, then i think the american people may conclude, let's have a more balanced approach. but that's what we're going to be talking about over the next couple of months. like i said, i know everybody would like to see it get reso e resolved today. it probably will not be. that's a fair production. all right, i'll take one more question here. >> reporter: thank you, mr. president, i had almost given up there. >> don't give up. >> reporter: you suggested that the media can be impatient about, seeing both sides come to a deal. but this is your third budget. your third year of your presidency, you said many times that you would rather be a one-party -- one-term it president, if it means you've dong the hard things that need to be done. now, i know you're not going to stand there and invite republicans to thing in yating
table today, because they're hashing it all out. but why not? and since you're not, though, what more are you doing to build the spirit of cooperation you mentioned earlier, needs to happen before there is bipartisan ship, and finally, do you think the markets will wait -- >> i should have written all of this down. i'm running out of room here in my brain. >> reporter: i'd be happy to repeat my question. >> let me just speak to this generally. it's true that this is my third budget. the first two budgets were in the midst of the worst recession since the great depression. so we had a different set of priorities. and i said it at the time. in each of those budgets, what i said was, the deficit is going up. and we are compiling some additional debt. but the reason is, because it is so important, for us to avoid, going into a depression, or
having a longer recession than is necessary, because the most important thing that we had to do in order to limit the amount of increased debt, and bigger deficits, is to grow the economy some more. so that was our priority. that was our focus. this third budget reflects a change in focus. the economy is now growing again. people are more hopeful. and, you know, we've created more than a million jobs over the last year. employers are starting to hire again. and businesses are starting to invest again, and in that environment, now that we're out of the depths of the crisis, we have to look at these long-term problems, and these medium-term problems in much more urgent and more serious way. now, in terms are what i'm doing with the republican, i'm everything conversation was them
and democratic leadership. i did before this budget was released and i will do so afterwards. and i probably will not give you a play-by-play of every negotiation that takes place. i expect that, you know, all sides will have to do a little bit of posturing on television, and speak to their constituencies, you know, rally the troops and so forth, but ultimately, what we need is a reasonable, responsible, and initially, probably, somewhat quiet and toned down conversation about, all right, where can we compromise and get something done, and i'm confident, that will be the spirit that congressional leaders take, over the coming months. because i don't think anybody wants to see our recovery derailed, and all of us agree, that we have to cut spending, and all of us agree that we have
to get our deficits under control and our debt under control and all of us agree that part of it has to be entitlements. so, there's a framework there that speaks, by the way, again to the point i made with you, chuck, about the commission. i think the commission changed the conversation, i think they gave us the basic framework and within that framework, we're going to have to have some tough conversations. the devil is going to be in the details. but, look, i was glad to see yesterday republican leaders say, how come he didn't talk about entitlements? i think that's progress, because what we had been hearing, made it sound as if we just slashed deeper on education, or, you know, other provisions in domestic spending that somehow, that alone was going to solve the problem. i welcome -- i think it was significant progress that there is an interest on all sides, on those issues.
in terms of the markets, i think what the markets want to see is progress, the markets, understand that we're not -- we didn't get here overnight, and we're not going to get out over night. what they want to see is that we have the capacity to work together. if we -- they see us chipping away at this problem, in a serious way, even if we haven't solved 100% of it all in one fell swoop, then that will provide more in confidence that washington can work. and more than anything, that's not just what the markets want, that's what the american people want. they want some confirmation that this place can work. and i think it can. all right? thank you, everybody. and there was the president about an hour-long press
conference. >> he said he wanted a serious, adult, quiet, toned down budget conversation. that's what we got. >> that's right. negotiations on medicare, medicaid and tax reform. he said he's ready to do that. we will have a full wrap-up tonight on "world news," we'll have more on "good morning america" tomorrow morning. also the president chiding the press for patience during the long one. the president has done that. e'll see you on "woep [cheers and applause] announcer: now, here are regis philbin and kelly ripa! [cheers and applause] kelly: hi! regis: oh, boy. hi. oh, yeah.