Earlier today I wrote a mocking post on my other blog titled White House Promises Youth Violence Response (Once Chicago Wins Olympics). It seemed like everyone was just going to push the issue under the rug.
So you can imagine how much I appreciated reading about an unnamed reporter who earlier today badgered White House press secretary Robert Gibbs about the relationship between Chicago's youth violence problem and its Olympic bid. Gibbs said that President Obama was prepared to address the issue if it came up in Copenhagen. During the exchange, Gibbs also revealed that Arne Duncan and US AG Eric Holder are coming to town next week to address the issue.
It's not a ton, this little exchange at the White House, but at it's not nothing either. Click below for the transcript.
Q Robert, how is the President going to
address the ongoing violence in Chicago, going before the Olympic Committee and
making that bid?
MR. GIBBS: I'm sorry?
Q How is the
President going to address the ongoing violence in Chicago in going before the
Olympic Committee and making a bid? Is it something that he's going to
address? Is he prepared to talk about it?
MR. GIBBS: Well, I talked
about this yesterday. Obviously it's of great concern to the President,
as somebody who lives in Chicago, but would and should be a concern for every
American. This isn't a Chicago problem; this is violence -- youth
violence is a problem throughout our country. The President is concerned
and has asked that next Wednesday, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney
General Eric Holder travel to Chicago. They'll meet with officials from
the school, meet with students and meet with the community to talk about the
issues of school violence and youth violence.
Q It's not a
Chicago problem, obviously, but he's going before the Olympic Committee
tomorrow. Is he prepared -- what is he prepared to say if it comes up, as
they ask about the safety of the city in which the Olympics would be held?
MR. GIBBS: Well, I think that
the President has full confidence in the safety of the city and will be
prepared to talk about that if that were a question.