From: Harris, Gardiner [mailto:email@example.com]
Sent: Saturday, October 10, 2015 05:57 PM
To: Barnes, Desiree N. EOP/WHO
Subject: Republicans have "gone off the deep end;" pool 12
In a large living room with 18-foot ceilings, windows that went almost floor-to-ceiling, a 10-foot floral display and several pieces of what appeared to be expensive art work, President Obama gave a stripped-down version of his stump speech prior to answering questions. Pool was ushered out before the questions.
Mr. Obama's light-hearted comments at the start of the speech had to do with his lack of a tie. He said that David Axelrod had instructed him during his first campaign to always wear a tie because "you don't look old enough" to be president.
His gray hair now confirms that he is old enough not only to be president but to have been president, so he plans to wear fewer ties, he said.
He then reviewed his administration's successes in job creation, clean energy and other issues.
"There’s almost no measure by which we’re not better off now than when I came into office," he said.
But problems remain, most prominently the failure of wages and income to grow for ordinary Americans, he said. That has led to economic anxiety, he said.
"And when people are anxious economically, the politics of fear oftentimes can override the politics of hope," he said.
That anxiety can express itself in anti-immigration rhetoric and "in cheap jingoism and militarism and nationalism that’s not grounded in our national security interests. And it’s a dangerous path."
He then complimented Democrats for making courageous votes and said he was not "intrinsically partisan," and he said he had sometimes been faulted by members of his own party for not being partisan enough.
"But I will tell you at this moment in history, the choices are stark. And facts, evidence and values are on our side. And the other side has gone off the deep end. And what you’re witnessing in the House fight right now is that even deeply conservative folks are not considered ideologically pure enough and we would rather burn the House down than admit the possibility of democratic process that requires compromise. “
He said that voters must work hard.
"If you let it pass, then you’ve got people in charge who don’t believe in climate change," he said. “So I feel as much urgency about this upcoming election as I’ve felt about any election, and I am not on the ballot.”
"I definitely need a Democratic successor because the alternatives we’ve got are not what I had in mind," he said.
White House Correspondent
The New York Times
1627 I St. NW Suite 700
Washington DC 20006