FW: Local pool #2 -- meeting with state legislators

From: David Boyer [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Wednesday, September 30, 2015 5:04 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP
Subject: Local pool #2 -- meeting with state legislators

The president met with about 40 progressive state legislators from around the country in a fourth-floor conference room at the EEOB, speaking for about 15 minutes. No big news. Please check quotes against transcript.

As the president was shaking hands with each legislator at the end, your pooler shouted out if he had any comment on the Russian airstrikes in Syria. He ignored the question.

One legislator, Illinois state senate president pro tem Don Harmon, shook hands and hugged the president and told him, "Come back and run for governor." Lots of laughter, including from the president, who responded, "Oh man. If [unintelligible] heard you say that, you'd be persona non grata." Sorry but there was too much laughter and chatter to hear the name he spoke.

He encouraged the legislators to keep fighting the good fight, and spent a good deal of the time recounting his own accomplishments.

"When you get frustrated, don't lose heart. We're counting on you," he said at the conclusion.

Describing the battles with Republicans in Washington, he said, "The good news is it looks like the Republicans will just barely avoid shutting down the government for the second time in two years. That's a somewhat low bar, but we should celebrate where we can."

The president said of his own record, "When you look back on these last seven years, we've made enormous progress." He listed statistics you've heard before on consecutive months of job growth,  unemployment rate much lower, millions with health insurance.

He said the GOP candidates running for president have "invented a reality" that things weren't so bad in 2007-08.

"Apparently they were the good old days," he said. "I'm going to hold up my record against anybody. We're on the right side of the policy prescriptions."

He said "not a single" one of the top 10 GOP presidential candidates agrees with the majority of Republican voters about climate change. He called it "unique among conservative parties worldwide."

He said the state legislators' jobs are vital.

"Over the last few years, states like yours have gotten a lot done" on minimum wage and other issues.

He said of life in public service, "It is absolutely worth it."

"For the next  year, year and a half, there's not going to be a lot of action on the wide range of issues that we'd like to see coming out of Capitol Hill." He said that puts more of a burden on states but also gives them greater opportunities.


Dave Boyer

White House correspondent

The Washington Times

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