Fwd: Travel pool report #6, 10/23/16 -- Burbank arrival and gaggle highlights

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Davis, Julie" >
Date: October 24, 2016 at 2:11:16 PM PDT
To: "Velz, Peter" >
Subject: Travel pool report #6, 10/23/16 -- Burbank arrival and gaggle highlights

Marine One touched down at 1:51 p.m. at Bob Hope Airport in Burbank, not far from where the grey Guns 'n' Roses airplane (with band logo emblazoned on either side of the nose) sat on the tarmac. POTUS emerged a few minutes later and the motorcade was rolling at 1:58.

Press Secretary Josh Earnest gaggled on Air Force One, and here are some highlights. He said POTUS would be spending a lot more time on the campaign trail in the days to come, although he wouldn't go into specifics.

"I would anticipate that the president will spend a significant amount of time traveling next week in support of not just Secretary Clinton's presidential campaign, but Democrats further down the ballot...The president's view is that the stakes in the election are high, not just in terms of determining who will occupy the Oval Office for the next four years, but how much success President Obama's successor will have in advancing their agenda through the Congress, so that would account for the president's passion."

"I would expect the president to be quite active on the campaign trail."

On POTUS' message to donors earlier today that Clinton must win big to repudiate Trump and all that he stands for, Earnest declined to put a number on it.

"I genuinely don't think the president has a specific number in mind, but I think what the president has in mind is the idea that the American people, that voters across the country would send a clear message to Republicans who have not been engaged in trying to govern the country, they've been engaged in waging small-minded political fights that are focused on obstruction, and that's led the party to nominate somebody that doesn't seem particularly committed to a conservative governing philosophy and really is famous for his ability to colorfully articulate his opposition to President Obama. ...So the president is hopeful that people will make clear that Republicans can't just pursue a political strategy that's focused on obstruction, but that they have a responsibility, particularly if they hold onto the majority in Congress, to actually pursue an agenda that they believe is in the best interests of the country and is not just focused on their own political self-interest."

Asked about the difference of the threat Obama sees Trump posing to the republic:
"He had confidence that despite those vigorous disagreements, that Sen. McCain and Gov. Romney would at least pursue the country's best interests as they saw it. He doesn't have that same kind of confidence about the current Republican nominee"

"the kind of rhetoric that we've seen from the Republican nominee, the kind of values that he claims to champion, I think raises questions in the minds of many Americans about whether or not he's committed to the kind of inclusive society that are consistent with long held American values and are consistent with the kind of country that the vast majority of Americans want to live in."

Asked if Obama would move abroad if Trump is elected, Earnest said:

"He's working very hard to make sure that nobody has to leave the country as a result of an electoral outcome that the president doesn't support."

On Donald Trump's comments about the Mosul operation being a failure:
Earnest said the least US troops can expect from Americans and those seeking to be commander-in-chief is "unconditional and unwavering support"
"It's far to early to reach that kind of conclusion," he said re Trump saying it's a failure. He said Obama has confidence the battle will be successful.

On Washington Post report that Obama has decided to let next POTUS make decisions on Syria re Plan B:
Earnest said POTUS has a "range of options" available to him and "has not ruled out using any of them at this point."

On the AT&T-Time Warner merger, Earnest said that "the White House doesn't take a position on the deal," and isn't looking at it, because it's a "regulatory decision." He said the Federal Communications Commission may decide to review it, and he would not be surprised if it did given the size of the proposed merger, but President Obama was not likely to weigh in particularly because it would occur after he has left office.

Next stop: the Jimmy Kimmel Live! taping. Special thanks to co-poolers Edward-Isaac Dovere of Politico and Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal for help with gaggle notes.

Julie Hirschfeld Davis
White House Correspondent
The New York Times
(202) xxx-xxx-xxxx mobile
(202) xxx-xxx-xxxx direct

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