President Obama Press Conference (Video) 6-23-09

Here is the Obama Press Conference video from June 23, 2009, with transcript. President Barack Obama held the news conference at 12:30 p.m. ET. This was his fourth Presidential news conference and it took place at the White House at the Brady Press Briefing Room.

Watch the full video below.

Excerpt – Health Care Reform

YouTube Video Link

Excerpt – Iran – Question from Nico Pitney

YouTube Video Link

The President addressed a range of subjects including the economy, health care, insurance, as well as international issues, including the worsening violence and unrest in Iran in the aftermath of the country’s elections on June 12, 2009, widely considered to have been rigged.

President Obama also directed criticism towards the Iranian government’s accusations of U.S. interference, saying: ‘They are an obvious attempt to distract people from what is truly taking place within Iran’s borders,” he said. “This tired strategy of using tensions to scapegoat other countries won’t work anymore in Iran. This is not about the United States and the West. This is about the people of Iran, and the future that they, and only they, will choose.”

Towards the end of the conference, again addressing violence in Iran Obama quoted the words of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, saying: “‘The arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice’…”We have to believe that ultimately justice is going to prevail.”

He took a question from Margaret Talev of McClatchy Newspapers who asked about his smoking, in light of the legislation he had signed on the previous day, June 22, which gives the FDA sweeping powers to regulate the tobacco industry. He said: ““As a former smoker, have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. Am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No. I don’t do it in front of my kids. I don’t do it in front of my family. I would say I am 95 percent cured. But there are times where I mess up.”

Regarding insurance reform, there was a lengthy exchange, which involved moments of levity with ABC correspondent Jake Tapper who asked about the question of the government competing with private health care insurance companies .

“Is the public plan non-negotiable?”

Obama, who seemed amused that Tapper was returning to a topic addressed already by a competitor: “Are you the ombudsman for the White House press corps?”

Tapper said something about Dr. Spock, which we missed. But Obama heard it. “First of all, the reference to Spock. Was that a crack on my ears?” he asked. Tapper: “I would never make fun of your ears.”

More on that here: Obama news conference: Talking health insurance

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Photo credit: White House

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Obama Press Conference Video, Photos 6-23-09

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