the WHITE HOUSEPresident Barack Obama

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The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release

Press Gaggle by Press Secretary Robert Gibbs Aboard Air Force One en route Toronto, Canada

10:14 A.M. EDT

MR. GIBBS:  We may have to make this one quick because it feels like we’re, as I would say, getting closer to the ground on purpose.

Fire away.  Who’s got something?

Q    Robert, with regulatory reform now building on the health care bill, the stimulus bill, how can the President try and capitalize on these wins over the last year and a half heading into November?

MR. GIBBS:  Well, before we get to November, let’s talk about where we’re heading right now, which is we’re heading into, obviously, as you heard the President just say, this series of meetings which are the premier economic forum in the world.  And the President goes first having led the world in Recovery Act, in dealing with the financial system, under the leadership of the economic team and Secretary Geithner, in dealing with our banking system, and now we head to this important meeting at a very important time economically in the world leading again on financial reform.  So I think that’s certainly important to note. 
In terms of your broader question, Julianna, I would say you have a -- I would add one more to the list that you put in there, and that is the reforms that have been done in education, both in K-12 and in college loans, represent probably as significant a reform in our educational system as we’ve ever seen.

So, look, the President has accumulated in 17 months an impressive record of getting things done.  It’s helped turn our economy around and we’re seeing growth and we’re seeing job creation again.  We’ve got new rules for banks and our financial system so we don’t have what caused this disaster -- we don’t have a repeat of that; obviously education and health insurance reform. 

So, look, I think there’s -- the short of it is the President said coming into office that we were going to get all those things done, and we’re on the cusp of all four of them.

Q    But yet it still doesn’t seem to have resonated with the public.

MR. GIBBS:  Well, the conference closed at 5:40 a.m. this morning, so --

Q    No, I’m not talking about reg reform, but --

MR. GIBBS:  Well, look, I will say this.  There will be a significant time and place to have a debate about the actions of the last 17 months -- or at that point, the last two years and the President will be a forceful voice in that debate. 

Look, I think if you wanted to see -- if you want to see a situation that illuminates where these two parties are, for the third time the Senate tried simply to extend unemployment benefits to those who have, because of what happened to our economy, they’re part of the long-term unemployed.  And for the third time, that was blocked.  And I think that says a lot about who you’re in Washington fighting for. 

Q    Robert, any plans to add to the bilats?  There’s some talk that there may be a breakfast tomorrow morning between the President, French, German, and the British leaders to kind of clear the air.

MR. GIBBS:  Kind of clear the air about --

Q    Well, there’s some amount of pushback from the Germans about fiscal austerity and calls from the United States to do more to accelerate the economy.

MR. GIBBS:  Look, I've heard different talk about the schedule.  We'll try to nail down if anything else has been added.  Again, I'd go through the first part of my original answer, which is we took some -- the President took some very bold steps.  It’s led to economic growth; it’s led to a stabilization of our financial system.  And now we have -- now we lead the world in financial reform. 

So I'm sure the President looks forward to seeing all of those leaders, but we go to this meeting with a strong record of having identified and taken care of a number of our problems.

Q    How does the financial reform bill being passed today make the case for global recovery?

MR. GIBBS:  Well, look, I think it’s a significant reform.  It’s a significant reform of the biggest -- of the financial system in the biggest economy in the world.  I think it demonstrates to the world the steps that we have to continue to take globally in order to ensure that we don't find ourselves in a situation like we did two years ago -- and just a tremendously important step as we come here to discuss the state of the recovering world economy.

All right, guys, I'm going to go sit down.  Thanks.

10:19 A.M. EDT

Schedule for the Week of June 28, 2010

On Monday, the President will attend meetings at the White House.

On Tuesday, the President will meet with a bipartisan group of Senators to discuss the process for passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year.  Later, the President will welcome King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia to the White House.

On Wednesday, the President will travel to southeast Wisconsin to discuss the economy.

On Thursday and Friday, the President will attend meetings at the White House.