September 18th, 2012
11:26 PM ET

Afghanistan: Obama vs. Romney

CNN's John King, Dan Lothian and Jim Acosta discuss where Pres. Obama and Mitt Romney stand on the war in Afghanistan and whether the war will play a part in voters' decisions in the upcoming election.

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Filed under: Afghanistan • Dan Lothian • Jim Acosta • John King
August 31st, 2010
11:28 AM ET

Obama aide: Iraq speech not a victory lap

Dan Lothian
CNN White House Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/08/31/oval.office/c1main.oval.jpg caption="President Obama will give an Oval Office address Tuesday night about the end of combat mission in Iraq." width=300 height=169]

Programming note: Watch President Obama's speech live on CNN tonight at 8 ET, online, on TV and on the CNN App for the iPhone.

Washington (CNN) - When President Obama steps into the Oval Office to deliver his prime-time address on Tuesday, he won't be taking a victory lap and won't utter the words "mission accomplished, a top aide says. Instead, the president will have a "change of mission" moment, where he explains the way forward in Iraq and thanks U.S. troops for their sacrifice.

The address, which is expected to last between 15 and 20 minutes, will mark what the White House is calling an important "milestone" and a campaign promise accomplished.

Related video: U.S. combat mission role in Iraq comes to an end

While the president's remarks have not been released, top aides say Americans will hear about the end of the combat mission in Iraq, about the challenges of forming a unified and stable government, and about the new role for the fewer than than 50,000 U.S. troops remaining to advise and assist Iraqi security forces.

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Filed under: Dan Lothian • Iraq • President Barack Obama • Raw Politics
August 19th, 2010
11:28 AM ET

Criticism likely to follow Obama on upcoming vacation

Dan Lothian
CNN White House Correspondent

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/POLITICS/08/19/obama.vacation/t1larg.obamamartha.gi.jpg caption="First Family to return to Martha's Vineyard for vacation" width=300 height=169]

President Obama and his family head to Martha's Vineyard on Friday for a weeklong vacation, but don't expect it to be without controversy.

It will be the president's second time on the island off the coast of Massachusetts. In 2009, Obama spent time golfing and hanging out with family and friends.

Vacations are often considered political low-hanging fruit: Zing a president or first lady anytime they go away for some rest and relaxation.

Critics have asked: Why did the Obamas go to Maine instead of the Gulf Coast as Obama had encouraged Americans to help bolster tourism there? Once in the Gulf, why only for 27 hours? Who footed the bill for Michelle Obama's glitzy trip to Spain?

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Filed under: Dan Lothian • President Barack Obama
May 28th, 2009
11:00 AM ET

White House to media – don’t ask, just laugh

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/20/art.gibbs.gi.jpg]

Dan Lothian
CNN White House Correspondent

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs always keeps a “foil“ in his pocket to wiggle out of tricky questions: sarcasm and comedy. There isn’t a briefing that goes by where he doesn’t use this tactic to deflect questions he really doesn’t want to answer.

When asked to give details on the Presidents upcoming visit with Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, Gibbs declined to offer anything up. When the reporter followed with another query, Gibbs responded, “see previous answer.” That comment got a lot of laughs. In fact if you read the transcripts of the daily briefings, they are peppered with {laughter}.

With constant questions about when the President was going to announce his Supreme Court pick, or who that person would be, Gibbs decided to strike first at last Friday’s briefing. Just after taking his place at the podium, Gibbs announced, “at 6:30 tomorrow morning, (which was Saturday) the President will announce his Supreme Court nominee. As everyone laughed, Gibbs said “Gotcha!” He couldn’t contain himself as he described how the necks of reporters snapped. He asked for someone to “text me the name of a chiropractor.” There was more laughter.