FW: Pool Report #4a -- Remarks at Women's Summit

From: Sabrina Siddiqui [mailto:xxx@email.com]
Sent: Tuesday, June 14, 2016 3:48 PM
To: Velz, Peter T. EOP/WHO
Subject: Pool Report #4a -- Remarks at Women's Summit

Motorcade left the Convention Center at approximately 3:22 p.m. and arrived at the White House at 3:29, where the south lawn was strewn with tables for this evening's congressional picnic.

No glimpse of POTUS, who went straight to the Oval Office.

His remarks at the White House Summit on the United State of Women were delayed by roughly 30 minutes, due to the program itself running behind.

POTUS was introduced by Mikaila Ulmer, an 11-year-old girl from Austin, Texas, who created a lemonade called "Me & the Bees." The venture received widespread attention earlier this year after securing a partnership with Whole Foods and $60,000 on the TV show "Shark Tank."

POTUS walked on stage at 2:45 p.m., wrapping Ulmer in a hug before taking the podium.

"What an amazing young lady. I will be back on the job market in seven months so I hope she is hiring," he joked.

POTUS spoke for just under a half hour, focusing on the advances his administration has made with respect to women's economic and educational policies while citing the need to do more. Among the proposals he called for were equal pay, paid family and sick leave, paid maternity and paternity leave, and raising the minimum wage.

POTUS also shouted out Hillary Clinton, saying she has "raised the expectations of our daughters and our sons for what is possible" and later noting the pro-women agenda he laid out could be enacted depending on who is elected as his successor.

And POTUS declared himself "a feminist" before making a lengthy appeal for changing the culture around gender in America. He urged, in particular, against stereotypes that dictate how women and girls should act from school to the workplace to at home.

POTUS also dubbed women's advancement as a national security issue, pointing to Boko Haram as an example of an extremist ideology that enabled the kidnapping of schoolgirls.

Quotes from his remarks are below. As always, please check back against the transcript:

"I know that you're really here to see Michelle or Oprah. Actually they're together, so you're here to see both of them. I cannot compete with them."

"But I did want to stop by and make one thing very clear. I may be a little grayer than I was eight years ago, but this is what a feminist looks like … Of course in my household there's no choice."

"We've got some outstanding members of Congress, of course, including my dear friend and one of the finest speakers we've ever had and hope to soon have again -- Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.

On the progress made in women's rights:

"This is an opportunity to reflect on how far we've come and why it is we've got to keep going. It was almost 100 years ago that Alice Paul and her fellow suffragists were arrested for picketing outside the White House for the right to vote. Today, women make up more than half of the electorate. For the first time in history, a woman is a major party's presumptive presidential nominee."

"Because of all of you, over the past seven years we have significantly improved the lives of women and girls not just here at home but around the world. I want to talk about why it matters and why we've got to do more."

Mentioning Malia's high school graduation, POTUS said: "I sat in the back and wore dark glasses and only cried once. I made this weird sound -- [makes whimper noise] -- and people looked at me. Then I suppressed it. But I was thinking about how she is graduating at this extraordinary time for women in America."

"Progress is not inevitable. It's the result of decades of slow, tireless often frustrating and unheralded work," POTUS said, name-checking prominent women such as Polly Murray, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, and Gloria Steinem.

"And yes, people like Hillary Clinton who raised the expectations of our daughters and our sons for what is possible."

"In other words our progress has been the result of countless ordinary women and men whose names will never be written in the history books or chiseled on monuments but who dedicated their lives … to liberty and justice for all."

On economic progress and the gender gap:

POTUS said unemployment had dropped below five percent and wages were growing again but a gap remained between the rich and poor.

"We see some of those divisions not just between groups but within groups. There are women who have never had more opportunity, but there are a lot of women who are still stuck in the toughest of economic circumstances."

"It's because the economy hasn't caught up to some of the enormous changes in America over the last 50 years … Our workplace policies still look like they're straight out of Mad Men."

"A lot of the problems that cross my desk are really hard to solve -- if they end up on my desk it's because other people couldn't solve them. But this issue of how we support working families, the policies that we can put in place that can make a meaningful difference, here we actually have solutions right in front of us."

"We need equal pay for equal work. We need paid family and sick leave. We need affordable child care, we've got to raise the minimum wage. If we were truly a nation of family values, we wouldn't put up with the fact that a woman cannot even get a day off to give birth. We need paid maternity and paternity leave, too."

POTUS criticized opponents who dubbed such policies as "expanding some fictional welfare and food stamp state" while making a reference to Mitt Romney's characterization of "the 47 percent mooching off the government."

"A lot of Republicans in Congress are unwilling to act on the agenda I just laid out … They keep on waiting for this whole lame duck thing to happen, I don't know. It will happen as soon as [we] have elected a really good successor to carry on our policies. But until then, we're working pretty hard."

"It would help if we had more women in Congress. It would help if we had more women in the corner suite."

On changing the culture of how we think of gender:

"If we are going to truly change our policies and our politics, then we're also going to have to change something else. We're going to have to change the way we see ourselves and this is happening already, but I want us to be more intentional about it. I know I'm preaching to the choir here, but we're still boxed in by stereotypes about how men and women should behave."

"The emotional, sexual and psychological stereotyping of females begin when the doctor says it's a girl … and that has consequences for all of us -- whether we're men or women, black, white, straight gay, transgender or otherwise."

"We need to change the attitude that raises our girls to be demur and our sons to be assertive … We need to change the Internet where women are routinely harassed and threatened."

"We need to keep changing the culture that shines a particularly unforgiving light on women and girls of color -- about how they look, or how they feel or what they should and should not do."

On FLOTUS feeling such pressures:

"Despite her extraordinary achievements and success … she is an American original, she is unique … But she's had doubts about whether she was acting the right way or looking the right way, whether she was looking too angry … remember that?"

"We are going to change the stereotypes."

"Everybody has a role to play in America. And even as we make progress … we look abroad and we know that any country that oppresses half the population, that doesn't let them go to school or work or have control over their bodies, that's a society that will not work over the long term, it will not reach its potential."

"This is a national security issue … We need to be clear what we're about, what we stand for. Because organizations and ideologies that are repressive, that cultivate violence and anger, there's a running threat and it's dangerous. It poses a threat to pluralism and tolerance and openness."

On his daughter Malia's generation:

"They think discrimination is for losers. They think it's weird that we haven't already had a woman president. They expect the world to catch up to them."

POTUS also took note of Harriet Tubman replacing Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill: "Our country is not just about the Benjamins, it's about the Tubmans, too."

Recognizing women and their contributions to history was critical, POTUS added, "so our girls see that they too are America …confident and courageous and, in the words of Audre Lorde, 'deliberate and afraid of nothing.'"


Sabrina Siddiqui
Political Reporter

The Guardian

Cell: +xxx-xxx-xxxx

Twitter: @SabrinaSiddiqui



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