Press Conference Questions to Obama
What follows are the questions that President-elect Obama took today at his 11 a.m. news conference after formally announcing former Sen. Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) as his choice for Health and Human Services Secretary.:
JACKIE CALMES, Wall Street Journal: Given the, in your statement when you addressed the controversy over Gov. Blagojevich, you did not repeat what your spokesman said yesterday about having him, that he should resign. Why did you not? And could you tell us what context, if any, you know that your staff or any emissaries for you have had with prosecutors or the FBI?
PHIL ELLIOTT, Associated Press: Thank you. Have you or anyone in your transition or campaign been intereviewed as it relates to the criminal complaint? And who is the transition advisor referenced in the complaint?
MIKE FLANNERY, WBBM-TV, CBS affiliate: Could you shed any light on how it was that the governor got the impression that neither you nor Ms. Jarrett nor any of the people from your office were willing to play ball and why he said those unrepeatable things about you and your staff? And a two-parter. We have the immediate former governor still mouldering in the federal prison there in Terre Haute. What's wrong with politics in Illinois?
DEBORAH CHARLES, Reuters: Thank you, Mr. President-elect. At the risk of annoying everyone, I'm going to change the subject to health care. I wanted to ask you how are you actually planning to fund your health care program? I know that it had been estimated that it could cost up to $65 billion and you had planned originally to fund it through getting rid of the tax cuts* to the wealthy but that apparently in the current economic situation, maybe that's not so reasonable. Are you still planning to do that, or how will you fund this?
*Note: At this point, ABC's Charles Gibson interrupted the question by Charles at this point, wrapping up ABC's special coverage of the press conference by saying, "And so the news conference turns back to the subject of health care and indeed it is a vitally important subject...." The cable networks did not cut off Charles's question.