The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
July 14, 2011
Press Conference by the President
Fort Belvoir Golf Club Locker Room
1:03 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Good afternoon. As you can see, we’re trying something different today. You’re in the White House Briefing Room, and I’m here at the club. Jay thought things would be more pleasant if he put some distance between me and all you bird dogs.
Anyway, I just finished eighteen holes and figured I’d do another presser to light a fire under McConnell and Boehner. Also, I have several announcements to make before I evade your questions.
First, the putt I made on #3 had to be at least 40 feet, and I . . . . [looks off screen] Huh? Ok, sorry Jay.
As you know, Republicans refuse to raise taxes on entrepreneurs who selfishly exploit the system to create non-green businesses for profit. My pleas to House Speaker Boehner to punish these start-ups–uh, I mean upstarts–for chasing their dreams instead of saving the planet have been rebuffed. I am still hopeful we can resolve this issue my way in a bipartisan fashion.
Secondly, next Wednesday I’ll be conducting a televised “Conversation with Older Americans” in senior centers and convalescent homes across the country. Attendance is mandatory for those on Social Security, except for individuals not expected to live through November 2012.
The program begins with a Steven Spielberg short film, “Ryan’s Hauteur,” about a prideful Republican’s obsession to kick the canes down the road and watch old folks topple over.
Finally, I’m happy to report talks with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on the proposed “Iran-U.S. Mutual Defense Pact” are complete. Iran has agreed to come to our aid if we’re attacked by a non-Muslim state, and we’ll come to their aid if they’re attacked by a Jewish state. I consider this arrangement a personal matter and will not be submitting it to the Senate for ratification.
That concludes my prepared remarks. Unfortunately, there’s no time left for me to take questions, so . . . . [mugs] haaa, just messin’ wit’ y’all.
[looking at list] Let’s see. Chuck, Chuck Todd. Hey Jay, how far could you chuck Todd if I ordered you to? All right, hit me, Chuck.
Chuck Todd, NBC News
Q Thank you, Mr. President You said the other day Social Security checks might not go out in August if a deal is not reached on the debt ceiling. Are you . . . .
THE PRESIDENT: That’s the least of it, Chuck. Inmates will be released from maximum security prisons and violate one another on public streets; senior citizens will be removed from nursing homes and deposited with their closest relatives; nuclear submarines will be scuttled at sea; toilet paper will become more valuable than gold; and the Almighty will descend from heaven and judge the wicked. I’ll assist Him.
All these things Republicans unleash on us if they don’t bend on tax increases. And there’s nothing I can do, aside from ensuring Fort Belvoir Golf Club remains a sanctuary.
Ok, now we’ll go to, uh, Carlos Estrada, El Paso Times. Where is he? Go ahead, Carlos. Remember, no shouting.
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Sir, communities all along the Rio Grande are pleading for more agents to patrol the border. Governor Perry of Texas said recently you won’t act because you don’t like him or his state. True?
THE PRESIDENT: No, Carlos. In fact, this morning, I asked Secretary Napolitano to order Border Patrol clerical personnel in the El Paso office to spend one afternoon a month in the field. Proving, I might add, that despite what Boehner and McConnell say, I support lower Texas.
Q But questions remain, sir, about your commitment to the integrity of our . . . .
THE PRESIDENT: I know, I know. Let me tell you something. Last week I directed the Department of Justice to file a brief supporting Oregon’s claim that Washington State is unlawfully diverting the Columbia River to water its croplands. As I have said repeatedly, and as my action demonstrates, I oppose illegal irrigation.
Sunni Uplands, Berkeley Free Press
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Do you approve of Attorney General Holder’s handling of the Gunwalker debacle? Is he following your orders?
THE PRESIDENT: I haven’t spoken to the Eric Holder since last fall, Sunni. He may well be doing what I want. Otherwise, I won’t comment on the investigation until the DOJ Inspector General clears me of any impeachable offense.
Chip Reid, CBS News
Q Thank you, Mr. President. Should Justice Elena Kagan recuse herself when the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act reaches the Supreme Court sometime next year?
THE PRESIDENT: This may surprise some people, but my answer is yes. I want a clean vote, which I believe will favor the government’s position. A lingering controversy over the decision serves no one.
Q You’re surprisingly sanguine about the outcome, sir. Would your attitude relate to Senator Reid’s statement today that he’s discovered additional “no” votes in the trunk of his car voiding the Roberts and Alito confirmations?
THE PRESIDENT: No connection, Chip. Last question, um, Al Roker. Where are you, Big Al? Am I going to get wet if I play another nine?
Al Roker, NBC Weather Guy
Q Thank you, Mr. President. You’re good until 5:00, sir. Washington is buzzing about a strange scene which took place at the Whole Foods Market on P Street this morning: a half dozen Vatican Swiss Guards in full regalia accompanying the First Lady into the store. Can you explain?
THE PRESIDENT: Miscommunication, Al. Panetta overheard Michelle telling me the other day that she needed to go to Whole Foods to get some Swiss chard. Things just snowballed from there.
[Carney] Thank you, Mr. President.