American manufacturing and a critical part of our attempt to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. I would like to see the administration do everything they can to accelerate the retooling assistance that Congress has already enacted.”
On foreign policy, Obama said, “Iran’s nuclear ambitions are unacceptable and the country’s support of terrorists is something that has to cease.”
Numerous times during the news conference, Obama took pains to state that he was not yet the president as if he wanted to remind people that he is unable to enact any policy until Jan. 20, 2009.
Obama had earlier said that he wouldn’t make any personnel announcements today, and stuck to that plan despite prodding from a journalist. When asked if he thought it would be better to name the secretaries of state and Treasury sooner rather than later, he said: “When we have announcements about cabinet appointments, we will make them. I want to move with deliberate haste.”
Earlier today, Obama met with his team of economic advisers to discuss mending the troubled financial system, record job losses and auto industry. Among the business leaders in attendance were Warren Buffett and executives from Xerox, Google, and Time Warner.
“Let me close by saying that I do not underestimate the enormity of the task that lies ahead,” he said before taking questions — including a query on what kind of dog he’ll get his daughters — from the more than 100 assembled journalists.