...sequester, Afghanistan, Hagel, more
Quick highlights from Carney gaggle aboard AF1…Only tidbits given time constraints. Please see full transcript.
--Afghanistan: POTUS has made clear that we will turn over security to Afghans as U.S. draws its forces. Afghanistan is increasingly capable of taking care of its own security because of U.S. commitment and sacrifice.
--Says POTUS remains hopeful that sequestration won’t go into effect even with clock ticking. Republican have refused to budge.
-- Highlighted fact that Rep. Rigell has said he would like to see sequester averted partly by closing loopholes and also noted Lindsay Graham’s comments on CNN yesterday regarding impact of sequester on defense and openness to balanced package.
Q: hoping for sequestration breakthrough? Planning to bring Boehner or McConnell back to WH?
"I don't want to set any expectations for the sequester on this particular meeting."
"Immigration and other issues will be on the table, Im sure."
"I don't have any meetings or phone calls to preview."
said it's "rather stunning to me that Republicans criticize the president for talking to the Aamerican people about the consequences of sequester."
Q: They called it a road show?
"Well, they did. Maybe they are opposed to the president talking to the American people about sequester because the American people overwhelmingly support the president's position on how to reduce our deficit."
Q: Where's the president when it comes to overhaul of entitlement.
"Not going to preview a meeting that hasn't taken place."
On entitlements: "The president's offer to the speaker of the House remains on the table."
He said that "includes savings from entitlement reform -- tough choices by Democrats."
"We have not seen proposals -- at least comprehensive proposals from Republicans -- that include revenue in the way that the president's proposal include savings from both discretionary spending and entitlements."
Q: Boehner wanted to lower rates, right?
"He talked about a tax reform package that would contribute revenue to deficit reduction. I understand that now they want to do tax reform that is revenue neutral. That is quite different than what we were talking about late last year."
Q: if it goes into effect, a defeat for Obama:
would be a choice by Republicans to "reject balance"