The White House has announced that Obama will inform the American people about his policy process for more gun control today in a press conference. Considering the way the announcement is worded, I expect that not only will he back specific demands in legislation for the next Congress, but he will pick which parts of Bloomberg’s plans to implement that don’t require any Congressional input.
I will live blog the press conference when it starts, so look to this post for updates.
While we wait on the White House (presumably they are running late since their own feed is just showing a blue screen), we do know that Joe Biden has been assigned the role of White House lead for the gun control efforts.
Okay, we’re watching the major networks get ready to do their openings, and some blonde flip her hair.
Obama: He says we don’t know why Newtown happened, but we know that Americans are killed by guns. It’s not just about mass killings, but we need more gun control. He’s happy to see nameless high profile people change longstanding positions on guns.
The fact that whatever he’s going to propose won’t likely stop violence doesn’t mean we shouldn’t restrict guns anyway.
Biden has a January deadline, and he’s going to take immediate action. Obama says he won’t wait at all, not wait on people to study the policies he’s going to enact.
He tapped Biden because he was a sponsor of the semi-auto ban. He says that a majority of Americans support gun control like gun bans, magazine bans, and ending private sales.
He calls on Congress to act quickly. He blames Congress for not appointing his ATF choices.
Obama says that he “is betting” that gun owners would be the first to say that we should ban semi-auto rifles. (Hint: Make clear to your Congressman that he is betting wrong.)
Obama is now talking about every person shot since Friday.
He focuses on using every power, so that’s likely to mean damn near every one of Bloomberg’s plan, but he hasn’t mentioned it specifically. Time will officially tell if that’s the blueprint he uses, but he’s making clear that he won’t allow time for debate over the proposals.
Obama says that we are obligated to help him pass his agenda. We aren’t courageous if we don’t agree with his plan.
Obama is taking questions before turning it over to Biden. The first question is actually asking him if he has betrayed voters by his actions in fiscal cliff negotiations.
After several minutes, Obama is still on the defense about his position on taxes and spending.
Wow. Second question is also on fiscal cliff & his actions in negotiations.
Third question – fiscal cliff agreement questions on whether he has any trust in Republicans anymore.
Fourth question – back to guns, but basically told that presidential commissions are pointless and ineffective. Obama says that he will reach out to “stakeholders” who he will not name, Biden will round up “cabinet members who are interested,” and come up with suggestions for actions that will be featured in the State of the Union.
The reporter asks about the NRA, and Obama says that mothers and fathers who are members of NRA need to do self-reflection and help him out. He claims that “a thoughtful approach” is needed, that responsible gun owners “may carry out their activities” – activities which he is refusing to define.
The final question is from Jake Tapper who says that Obama hasn’t been around on the gun issue even though he campaigned on it the first time. Obama swears he hasn’t been on vacation, but that this is a wake-up call. Obama says that healthcare is relevant to this debate, and that’s why he spent his time on it.
Of the yelled questions while Obama was leaving, the reporters were asking about Benghazi.
And, with that, the White House feed has turned the camera and mics off so we cannot hear what Joe Biden has to say.
I’m trying to see if other news outlets are carrying his statements. So far, every news outlet website I have surfed to has cut out and isn’t covering Biden, either.
Okay, so I’m hoping that C-SPAN recorded the Biden remarks and will include them with their video archive later on. By the time I thought to check their site, they had cut over to a Benghazi report issue. I don’t know if that’s because they didn’t carry Biden or if his remarks were just short with no questions from the press.
Okay, so Biden left the room with Obama based on C-SPAN’s camera angle. I guess he didn’t speak at all.