Friday, February 20, 2009

The White House view on the Obama/Ignatieff meeting

Via Wells, an excerpt from the White House press secretary and State Department deputy secretary of state's briefing to U.S. reporters aboard Air Force One. This excerpt describes President Obama's meeting with "Mike" Ignatieff. No word if Iggy called him Barry...

P.S. No mention of Omar Khadr anywhere in the White House briefing. Found that interesting.

And that was the end of lunch. Then the press conference, as you all know. He then went over back to the airport and met with Mike Ignatieff and the two other members of the opposition in that briefing. And again, the issues focused on the economy. The leader of the opposition raised the concern about the danger of protectionism and sought the President’s assurance on “Buy America.” He repeated what you heard there.

Mr. Ignatieff spent a lot of time talking about the importance of bipartisanship in Canada on foreign policy and how they had made the decision to back the government on the deployment after the Manley Commission, and that they saw this as not a partisan issue; it was more important to get the country together on issues like the budget and on Afghanistan and Pakistan, and that this was a commitment that they were sharing across the parties, and that they wanted to work together with the United States.

And Mr. Ignatieff also stressed the point about the importance of not thickening the border and making sure that the commerce and people could continue to move across effectively in working together, about that.

In all these meetings, both with the PM and with Ignatieff, the President stressed the fact that he felt that having Governor Napolitano at DHS gave us somebody who was really sensitive to this and creative about how to address these issues, and suggested that she would, you know, be working with her counterparts to address those issues.

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Scott Tribe said...

The righties will instantly jump on that ..claiming both Bob Rae and Ignatieff are lying in saying they brought it up with Obama.

janfromthebruce said...

My fav in CTV report was this:

"The Liberal leader hinted that his party may not insist that Canada honour its pledge to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 2011.

He said a 2011 withdrawal is his party's "current" position but said if Obama convinced Prime Minister Stephen Harper to stay longer, he would cross that bridge when it happens."

I guess with Iggy having so much in common with Harper, and dumbing down "honor" on the value scale, one could almost say, "There is no honor among thieves."

Selling out Canada one policy at a time.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Really? Then you must not have enjoyed this but from CP, which corrected the earlier, tourqued report:

"Ignatieff spokesperson Jill Fairbrother later said the Liberal leader has not softened his insistence that the combat component of the mission
must end in 2011.

``He's said repeatedly that we're not going to change our position on
that. He's been 100 per cent solid on that,'' she said.

Ignatieff said he told Obama he supports continued Canadian involvement in Afghanistan ``on the development side, on the political side, on the diplomatic side, on the strategic side.''

But he also ``very directly'' told the president that ``you can't get us to re-up in a situation of strategic incoherence. Canadians don't know where this mission is going.''"