8:10 Obama references Bush programs that weren't paid for,
including the Bush tax cuts, saying "that's why I inherited" government
8:11 Now the hits on Republicans...Obama repeats the
"this isn't about me" line, adding "I have great health insurance, and
so does every member of Congress"...brings William Kristol's "move in
for the kill" comment into it, referencing Kritol as "one Republican
8:12 Re-states his pledge not to raise middle class taxes...
The new deadline: Obama abandons his August deadline for health care, closing his remarks with, "and we will do it this year."
8:17 The main talking point in Obama's response to the first question, asked by the Associated Press: he doesn't want the plan to be "shouldered by" the middle class--a point he repeats several times.
"If I see a proposal that is funded by taxing middle class families, I'm gonna be opposed to it," he says.
8:18 Says he wants to "see what comes out of those committees"--primarily meaning Senate Finance--and continue to look for ways to cut costs on the plan. Cost is the primary concern of the moderate Dems Obama will need to win--the votes that will determine the fate of the plan.
In response to a follow up question: "Is that your job?" (Obama has focused on pressing for broad principles and the necessity of reforming the system, rather than a detailed plan) Obama says "Absolutely it's my job, I'm the president and this has to get done."
8:22 Speaking to why he set the apparently blown August deadline in the first place, Obama says, "If you don't set deadlines in this town, nothing gets done."
"If we hadn't had any kind of deadline, that change [concensus and support from industry] probably wouldn't have surfaced until who knows when," he adds later, making the point that if Democrats are diligent and honest, reform will come.
8:26 Chuck Todd asks about an individual mandate; Obama says Americans want health care, they just can't afford it. Raises the possibility of a "hardship exemption" for people who still can't afford health care after reforms.
8:29 Todd asks whether this is really a fight inside the Democratic Party, given the Democratic majorities in both the House and Senate--asks whether Obama hasn't been blaming Republicans.
"Well, first of all you haven't seen me out there blaming the Republicans, I've been a little frustrated by some of the misinformation coming out of the Republicans, but that has to do with...politics," Obama says.
...points to Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), who sits as ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee, and Olympia Snowe (R-ME), a perennial moderate Republican in the upper chamber, as GOPers who have been "serious in engaging with Democrats."
...says "We've seen Republican ideas" included in Democratic plans...specifically in the Senate HELP Committee bill, in which "160 Republican amendments were adopted into that bill."