In his second prime-time televised news conference, President Barack Obama on Tuesday night emphasized he has had to make a lot of important decisions just two months into the job, but none of them have been rash.
This theme of cautious action was driven home when CNN's Ed Henry pressed the president on why it took the White House two days to comment on the shocking revelation that AIG executives had received large bonuses. "It took me a couple of days because I like to know what I'm talking about before I speak," he replied pointedly.
The hour-long Q-and-A session is part of a concentrated White House effort to sponsor a continued dialogue with the American people as the Obama administration navigates the tricky waters of economic recovery. As such, the president has made several television appearances of late, including a controversial chat with Jay Leno on NBC's The Tonight Show, an interview by Steve Kroft on 60 Minutes and a pop-in on ESPN, which included the president's picks for the NCAA tournament.
Though Obama's approval rating remains high, support for his budget plan, which heads into congressional committees on Wednesday, is on shakier ground this week. Some Republican critics have called it "the most irresponsible budget in American history."
Nevertheless, Obama sounded a resolute note in his opening remarks. "We're taking steps to move this economy from recession to recovery, and eventually to prosperity," he said.
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