President Obama just wrapped up his first official press conference on the Gulf Coast oil spill. It lasted about an hour.
After about ten minutes of remarks, the President took questions. Up first was the AP’s Jennifer Loven who asked if the President has been personally involved enough. “This has been our highest priority,” Obama responded.
Brian Williams, Harry Smith and George Stephanopoulos anchored special coverage on NBC, CBS and ABC. Chuck Todd, Jake Tapper and Chip Reid all also reported from the WH East Room.
After Loven, Tapper, Todd, McClatchy’s Steve Thomma, Reid, Bloomberg’s Julianna Goldman, Helen Thomas, NYT‘s Jackie Calmes, EFE’s Macarena Vidal and Fox News’ Major Garrett got called on by the President for questions, in that order.
Thomas asked the first non-oil spill question, on Afghanistan. She asked Obama not to give her any “Bush-ist” too (not bullsh*t, calm down everyone). Calmes brought it back to oil spill. Garrett asked about the possible Sestak job offer from the administration- Obama promised an official response shortly, adding that nothing improper took place.
CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC also carried. WaPo‘s Chris Cillizza, who’s live-tweeting the press conference, tweeted “tough image for Obama…MSNBC goes with split screen: Obama on one side, oil pipe spewing into gulf on the other.”
White House deputy press secretary Bill Burton took on criticism that the President hasn’t had a press conference in a long time on Twitter today:
@billburton44: politico: photo w/ a caption saying potus hasn’t had a press conf in 10 mos – odd since it’s from his press conf 4 mos ago
@billburton44: Other recent press conf’s: 2/9 (in the WH briefing room – documented in the photo) & 4/13 (in DC at the Nuclear Summit)
And despite press corps complaints that Presidential press conferences have been lacking, Real Clear Politics’ Mike Memoli tweeted this pic, “Low turnout from press for this event. Dozens of empty seats.”