President Obama's news conference -- full text
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I also campaigned on the promise that I would change the direction of our nation's foreign policy. And we've begun to do that, as well. We've begun to end the war in Iraq, and we forged with our NATO allies a new strategy to target al-Qaida in Afghanistan and Pakistan.Skip to next paragraph
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We have rejected the false choice between our security and our ideals by closing the detention center at Guantanamo Bay and banning torture without exception.
And we've renewed our diplomatic efforts to deal with challenges ranging from the global economic crisis to the spread of nuclear weapons.
So I think we're off to a good start, but it's just a start. I'm proud of what we've achieved, but I'm not content. I'm pleased with our progress, but I'm not satisfied.
Millions of Americans are still without jobs and homes, and more will be lost before this recession is over. Credit is still not flowing nearly as freely as it should. Countless families and communities touched by our auto industry still face tough times ahead. Our projected long-term deficits are still too high, and government is still not as efficient as it needs to be.
We still confront threats ranging from terrorism to nuclear proliferation, as well as pandemic flu. And all this means you can expect an unrelenting, unyielding effort from this administration to strengthen our prosperity and our security in the second hundred days, in the third hundred days and all of the days after that.
You can expect us to work on health care reform that will bring down costs while maintaining quality, as well as energy legislation that will spark a clean-energy revolution. I expect to sign legislation by the end of this year that sets new rules of the road for Wall Street, rules that reward drive and innovation, as opposed to shortcuts and abuse.
And we will also work to pass legislation that protects credit card users from unfair rate hikes and abusive fees and penalties. We'll continue scouring the federal budget for savings and target more programs for elimination. And we will continue to pursue procurement reform that will greatly reduce the no-bid contracts that have wasted so many taxpayer dollars.
So we have a lot of work left to do. It's work that will take time, and it will take effort. But the United States of America, I believe, will see a better day.
We will rebuild a stronger nation, and we will endure as a beacon for all of those weary travelers beyond our shores who still dream that there's a place where all of this is possible.
I want to thank the American people for their support and their patience during these trying times, and I look forward to working with you in the next hundred days, in the hundred days after that, all of the hundreds of days to follow to make sure that this country is what it can be.
And with that, I will start taking some questions.
And I'll start with you, Jennifer.
Q: Thank you, Mr. President. With the flu outbreak spreading and worsening, can you talk about whether you think it's time to close the border with Mexico and whether — under what conditions you might consider quarantining, when that might be appropriate?
OBAMA: Well, first of all, as I said, this is a cause for deep concern, but not panic. And I think that we have to make sure that we recognize that how we respond intelligently, systematically, based on science and what public health officials have to say, will determine in large part what happens.