Update: Full transcript of the press briefing available here. | Consider this your presidential press conference open thread. Managing Editor Ken Shepherd will live-blog the questions. This is a rush transcript. We will update it later with an accurate transcript.
Julie Pace, Associated Press: Today marks the one month anniversary of the shooting in Newtown.... How hard will you push for an assault weapons ban? ... What other measures could be pushed?
Chuck Todd, NBC: As you know, Senate Democrats, Harry Reid sent you a letter begging you to take executive action on debt ceiling.... Just this morning, Jim Clyburn asked you to use the 14th Amendment.... Are you considering a plan B and if not, why not?
[Chuck Todd issues followup question, not on microphone, barely audible]
[Second Todd followup, also off-microphone]
Major Garrett, CBS News notes then-Sen. Obama's votes against raising debt ceiling and how previous debt ceiling hikes have been coupled with deficit reduction plans. Asks him why the reversal of course from how previous presidents and Congresses have tackled debt ceiling increases, including himself.
Garrett followup off-microphone.
Jon Karl, ABC News: Given how difficult it will be, some say impossible to get gun measure passed this Congress, what are you willing to do with powers of your presidency? What do you make of increased interest in guns, interest in gun shows after Newtown?
Karl followup question off-microphone
Karl followup: Do you think this is an irrational fear?
Julianna Goldman, Bloomberg: I just want to come back to the debt ceiling. IN the summer of 2011, you said you wouldn't negotiate on the debt ceiling and you did. Said last year that you wouldn't negotiate on tax increases and you did.... This year, why should House Republicans take that seriously and think that... you're not going to back down?
Goldman followups off microphone.
Matt Spetalnick, Reuters: Are you prepared to let the government grind to the halt [over the debt ceiling debate] and who do you think American people will blame if that comes to pass?
Jackie Colmes, New York Times notes longstanding criticism that Obama's team is too insular and newfound criticism that his team isn't diverse, asks POTUS to address both.
# # #
That's all. Chuck Todd asked perhaps the worst question, noting Jim Clyburn's call for invoking the 14th Amendment and how Clyburn compared unilateral action on the debt ceiling to President Lincoln's most famous executive order, the Emancipation Proclamation.
The best question was from Major Garrett, noting the president's hypocrisy on the debt ceiling by contrasting his present position with that of when he was a senator protesting increasing the debt ceiling under President Bush.