Hagerstown Regional Airport
Hagerstown, Maryland

Q    Mr. President, how close are we to the ceasefire? 
THE PRESIDENT:  It’s in the hands of Hamas right now.  The — the Israelis have been cooperating.  There’s an offer out there that’s rational.  We don’t know what we’re — we’ll know in a couple days if it’s going to happen.  But we need the ceasefire.
Q    How close are we —
Q    (Inaudible) to the hostage deal?
THE PRESIDENT:  I was just saying that.  The hostage deal is in the hands of Hamas right now —
Q    Okay.
THE PRESIDENT:  — because there’s been an offer — a rational offer.  The Israelis have agreed to it and — waiting to see what the — Hamas does.
Q    Do you think there will be a deal by Ramadan?
THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I — there’s got to be a ceasefire because Ramadan — if we get into a circumstance where this continues through Ramadan, Israel and Jerusalem (inaudible) — it could be very, very dangerous.  So, we’re looking — we’re trying hard for that ceasefire.
Q    Mr. President, what’s your message to Democrats who are concerned about your poll numbers?
THE PRESIDENT:  My poll numbers — the last five polls, you guys don’t report, I’m winning.  Five — five in a row.  You guys only look at the New York Times.  They’re a great paper.
Q    Can you get the Israelis to allow more aid into Gaza?
THE PRESIDENT:  Pardon me?
Q    The Israelis, can you — are you pressuring them to get more aid into Gaza?
THE PRESIDENT:  I’m working with them very hard.  We’re going to get more — we must get more aid into Gaza.  There’s no excuses.  None.
Q    And how is your relationship Netanyahu these days?
THE PRESIDENT:  Like it’s always been.
Q    Sir?
THE PRESIDENT:  Like it’s always been.
Q    Mr. President, what are you preparing for your State of the Union Address?
THE PRESIDENT:  You’ll hear me on Thursday.  (Laughs.) 

All right.  Thank you all so very much.

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