VIDEO: Entire Pres. Obama press conference on the sequester: "I am not a dictator."

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obama press conference sequester

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It's reassuring to know that President Obama isn't like MI Dictator, er, Gov. Snyder who declared a financial emergency in Detroit and will appoint emergency manager to take over.

Some excerpts. President Obama:

Washington sure isn’t making it easy. At a time when our businesses have finally begun to get some traction, hiring new workers, bringing jobs back to America, we shouldn’t be making a series of dumb, arbitrary cuts to things that businesses depend on and workers depend on like education and research and infrastructure and defense. It’s unnecessary, and at a time when too many Americans are still looking for work it’s inexcusable.

And let’s be clear: None of this is necessary. It’s happening because a choice that Republicans in Congress have made. They’ve allowed these cuts to happen because they refuse to budge on closing a single wasteful loophole to help reduce the deficit.

As recently as yesterday, they decided to protect special- interest tax breaks for the well-off and the well-connected, and they think that that’s apparently more important than protecting our military or middle-class families from the pain of these cuts.

I do know that there are Republicans in Congress who privately at least say that they would rather close tax loopholes than let these cuts go through. I know that there are Democrats who’d rather do smart entitlement reform than let these cuts go through.

And, I think, there are other areas where we can make progress, even with the sequester unresolved. I will continue to push for these initiatives. I’m going to keep pushing for high-quality preschool, for every family that wants it. I’m going to keep pushing to make sure that we raise the minimum wage so that it’s one that families can live on. I’m going to keep on pushing for immigration reform, and reform of our voting system, and improvements on our transportation sector. And I’m going to keep pushing for sensible government (ph) reforms, because I still think they deserve a vote.

And what I’ve said very specifically, very detailed, is that I’m prepared to take on the problem where it exists on entitlements, and do some things that my own party really doesn’t like if it’s part of a broader package of sensible deficit reduction.

[T]he Republicans have made a choice that maintaining an iron-clad rule that we will not accept an extra dime’s worth of revenue makes it very difficult for us to get any larger, comprehensive deal.

And that’s a choice they’re making. They’re saying that it’s more important to preserve these tax loopholes than it is to prevent these arbitrary cuts. And, you know, what’s interesting is Speaker Boehner just a couple months ago identified these tax loopholes and tax breaks and said, we should close ‘em and raise revenue.

Jessica Yellin: Mr. President, to your question, what could you do. First of all, couldn’t you just have them down here and refuse to let them leave the room until you have a deal?

Pres. Obama: You know, the -- I mean, Jessica (ph), I -- I am not a dictator. I’m the president. So, ultimately if Mitch McConnell or John Boehner say, “We need to go to catch a plane,” I can’t have Secret Service block the doorway. Right?

As everybody here knows, last year upon a long period of reflection, I concluded that we cannot discriminate against same-sex couples when it comes to marriage, that the basic principle that America is founded on, the idea that we’re all created equal, applies to everybody regardless of sexual orientation, as well as race or gender or religion or ethnicity.

And, you know, I think that the same evolution that I’ve gone through is an evolution that the country as a whole has gone through. And I think it is a profoundly positive thing. So that when the Supreme Court essentially called the question by taking this case about California’s law, I didn’t feel like that was something that this administration could avoid. I felt it was important for us to articulate what I believe and what this administration stands for.

The rest of the transcript can be found at the link.

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