President Barack Obama pauses as he begins to speak in the James Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, April 15, 2013, following the explosions at the Boston Marathon. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama took on a variety of issues at a White House press conference Tuesday morning.
The President says the United States doesn't know how or when chemical weapons were used in Syria or who used them. He told reporters he's got to make sure he has the facts before deciding how to respond to evidence that chemical weapons were used. Obama repeated his statement that the use of chemical weapons would be a "game changer" in the region. But he said the international community has to be completely confident in the assessment.
President Obama says a national security review following the Boston Marathon bombings will look at whether there is more the government can do to stop people within the United States who might become radicalized and plan terror attacks. One of the dangers the U.S. faces now, Obama said, is people who might decide to attack because of "whatever warped, twisted ideas they may have." Obama said that based on what he's seen so far, the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security did what they were supposed to before the attack. But he said the review was needed to find out whether more can be done to prevent this type of attack by people within the United States who may become radicalized. Obama said, "This is hard stuff."
The President is asserting that he still retains influence in the capital despite recent setbacks. He said, "things are pretty dysfunctional on Capitol Hill." But he invoked Mark Twain to declare that rumors of his political demise are exaggerated. He told the press he remains confident that he and Congress can still achieve significant legislation. He specifically cited immigration and predicted that overhaul in the law would be a "historic achievement."
Obama, however, was unable to win any gun control measures and the government is now trying to deal with across-the-board spending cuts that Obama had once worked to avoid.