News / USA

Quran Controversy, US Economy Expected to Dominate Obama News Conference

President Barack Obama will hold a major news conference on Friday that is expected to focus on the economy, Iraq and Afghanistan, and the now-cancelled plan by a small Florida church to burn copies of the Quran.

President Obama last faced reporters in a major White House news conference in May, as his administration grappled with the early impact of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

High visibility foreign policy issues have made headlines in recent weeks - the formal end of the U.S. combat role in Iraq and the start of direct negotiations between Israel and Palestinians.

While there will be questions about these issues, and about Afghanistan, the U.S. economy is likely to dominate when reporters question Mr. Obama.

The president faces low public opinion poll numbers less than two months before midterm congressional elections in November. Surveys show that Americans are worried about slow job growth, and that they are skeptical about steps Mr. Obama has taken to bring down the unemployment rate, which now stands at 9.6 percent.  Political analysts say Democrats could lose as many as 50 seats in the House of Representatives.

Mr. Obama is facing intense criticism from Republicans, notably House of Representatives Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio, who spoke this week on ABC television's "Good Morning America" program. "You can't have a strong economy if you're raising taxes on the very people that you expect to invest in our economy to begin hiring again," he said.

Boehner, who stands to become House Speaker if Republicans win control of that chamber of Congress in November, says the current Democratic-controlled Congress should immediately extend tax reductions passed under former President George W. Bush, including those for wealthier Americans.

President Obama rejects this, saying that that Americans would be worse off if Republicans get another chance at managing the economy.  

In Cleveland, Ohio, Wednesday the president criticized Boehner for opposing steps the White House says saved middle class jobs.  Mr. Obama said Boehner and Republicans have no serious plan to govern.

"So that's the choice, Ohio.  Do we return to the same failed policies that ran our economy into a ditch or do we keep moving forward with policies that are slowly pulling us out?," the president said.

Certain to come up in Friday's news conference is the controversy over the now cancelled plans by a small Florida church, headed by Reverend Terry Jones, to burn copies of the Quran on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the 2001 al-Qaida terrorist attacks on the United States.

President Obama, administration officials, U.S. military commanders, and international political and relgious leaders had urged Reverend Jones to cancel the Quran burning.

The Pentagon confirmed it was Defense Secretary Robert Gates who telephoned Reverend Jones, expressing what a spokesman called grave concern that going forward with the Quran burning would put the lives of American troops at risk.  

It's assumed, but not confirmed, that President Obama played some role in the consultations leading up to that phone call.  Friday's news conference will be an opportunity for the president to comment on the latest developments in the controversy.

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid