Chaffetz questions Obama at House GOP conference

Friday, January 29, 2010; 2:07 PM

After addressing the GOP House Issues Conference in Baltimore on Friday, President Obama took a series of questions from the lawmakers. Here is a transcript of one of the questions posed to the president:

JASON CHAFFETZ (R-UTAH): Thank you, Mr. President. It's truly an honor.

OBAMA: It's great to be here.

CHAFFETZ: And I appreciate you being here.

I -- I'm one of 22 House freshmen. We didn't create this mess, but we are here to help clean it up. And (inaudible) talk a lot about this deficit of trust. There's some things that have happened that I would appreciate your perspective on, because I can look you in the eye and tell you, we have not been obstructionist. The Democrats have the House and Senate and the presidency.

And when you stood up before the American people multiple times and said you would broadcast the health care debates on C-SPAN, you didn't. I was disappointed, and I think a lot of Americans were disappointed.

You said you weren't going to allow lobbyists in the senior-most positions within your administration, and yet you did. I applauded you when you said it, and disappointed when you didn't.

You said you'd go line by line through the health care debate -- or through the health care bill. And there were six of us, including Dr. Phil Roe, who sent you a letter and said, "We would like to take you up on that offer. We'd like to come." We never heard a letter. We never got a call. We were never involved in any of those discussions.

And when you said in the House of Representatives that you were going to tackle earmarks, and, in fact, you didn't want to have any earmarks in any of your bills, I jumped up out of my seat and applauded you. But it didn't happen.

More importantly, I want to talk about moving forward, but if we can address . . .

OBAMA: Well, how about -- yes . . .

(CROSSTALK)


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