Fw: WH Travel Pool Report #3 Gaggle

From: Landler, Mark
Sent: Wednesday, February 10, 2016 11:35 AM
To: Allen, Jessica L. EOP/WHO
Subject: WH Travel Pool Report #3 Gaggle

Highlights from the Gaggle

Eric Schultz laid out the president's agenda in Springfield, saying that Mr. Obama accepts that his call for a better politics will be hard. "It is a lot easier to be cynical than to accept that change is possible," he said. "The president will again call on a politics of hard-won hope."

Schultz referred back to the speech that Mr. Obama gave in launching his candidacy in Feb. 10, 2007. He encouraged reporters to look at a version of the speech that had been annotated by Valerie Jarrett to show where the administration had delivered on the promise he made that day (it is available on the WH Web site).

Schultz offered no reaction from POTUS to the primary results from New Hampshire. But he said, "it's clear based on the results last night, and this was similar in 2008...that this is a process that is going to go on for some time, both on the Democratic side and on the Republican side."

Asked about the magnitude of Hillary Clinton's defeat, Schultz said, "That's not how we see it." He said there was "tremendous excitement to be a part of this political process, including on the Democratic side. However this shakes out, candidates on the Democratic and on the Republican side, that there's going to be a massive contrast between those candidates."

"That's going to boil down to 'Do we continue the progress we've made over the past  seven years? Or do we take steps backward?'"

On the Supreme Court's ruling against the administration's clean power-plant law, Schultz reiterated the White House's belief that the law would eventually prevail in court. "We do remain confident that we're going to prevail on the merits, when the clean-power-plant rule gets its full day in court," he said. "This is a rule that gives states the time and flexibility they need to develop tailored, cost-effective plans to reduce their emissions."

Schultz noted, however, that the clean power-plant rule was only one of a series of WH initiatives to transform the United States to a clean-energy economy.  "We're going to continue to take aggressive steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions," he said, pointing to stricter emissions standards for cars, trucks, and aircraft, as well as the long-term extension of renewable-energy tax credits. Those tax credits, he said, will have a larger impact on emissions than the clean power-plant law.

Schultz would not discuss specific conversations between the United States and other countries on this issue. But he said he believed the litigation would be completed in time for the U.S. to meet its emission-reduction commitments under the Paris climate-change agreement.

Asked if the administration had a Plan B if the clean power-plant law was struck down, Schultz repeated confidence that it would be upheld on the merits.

(will Potus temper his own rhetoric against the GOP if he wants the political discourse to be more civilized?) Schultz said the president's address will not be particularly partisan. As for Obama's remarks at fundraisers and other events with Democrats: "The combative nature of our politics are not new. That goes back centuries... What I do think the president will discuss is over the past few years our political system has become more polarized."

(on reports that Cambodia's Hun Sen has threatened protesters at the ASEAN summit) "A lot of these countries are in different phases of becoming democratic with a small d. Those are reforms that the president takes very seriously and pursues in private conversations and in public forums... So I'd expect the right to protest and the right to peacefully be heard falls under that umbrella and do expect the president to talk about the importance of democratic reforms as part of the summit conversations next week."

(On whether Bernie Sander is contributing to polarized politics in slamming Hillary as a moderate) Schultz said Obama has recognized the energy that Sanders has tapped into in the Democratic primary and that bringing people into the political process is a good thing. He also acknowledged that voters are frustrated with Washington and Obama will "tackle that head on" in his speech in Springfield.

(how concerned is Potus on huge methane leak in California?) "That is a very serious situation out in California. I know the president has been updated regularly on this." He did not have any new policies to read out but said administration officials have been in touch with local officials about the situation.

(members of congress on AF1 today to Springfield) Sen. Durbin. Rep. Duckworth, Kelly and Quigley. Gov and mayor meet on tarmac. ... Also on board are 2008 campaign team members David Axelrod, Valerie Jarrett and Anita Decker-Breckenridge.

Thanks to David Nakamura of the WaPo

Mark Landler

NY Times

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