John T. Bennett

As Election Nears, Obama to Dive Into Congressional Races
Popularity of campaigner in chief seen as a plus for Dem candidates

With the Senate in play and Democrats sensing gains in the House, White House aides say President Barack Obama will get more and more involved in down-ballot races as Election Day nears.

Until Thursday, Obama’s public campaign rallies have focused almost exclusively on making the case for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and against her GOP opponent, Donald Trump. That changed, however, when the president flew to Florida and dove headlong into GOP incumbent Sen. Marco Rubio’s re-election fight.

Obama Calls Trump Threat ‘Dangerous,’ Hits Rubio Hard
President weighs in on close Florida Senate race

President Barack Obama on Thursday criticized Donald Trump for making a “dangerous” threat to reject the outcome of the presidential election, but saved some of his sharpest criticism for Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio.

Obama delivered much of his now-familiar stump speech at a college in Miami, touting what he sees as his administration’s major economic and other achievements. As he has for several weeks, the outgoing president talked up Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and threw sharp elbows at Trump, her GOP opponent.

White House Watch: ‘Big Guns’ Set to Hit Campaign Trail

Roll Call's White House Correspondent John T. Bennett looks at the White House’s plans to hit the trail for Hillary Clinton in the final weeks before Election Day. Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., for example, will be in Ohio and Pennsylvania next week. Meanwhile, as Clinton’s lead over Donald Trump widens, Bennett previews what Clinton’s legislative agenda might be if she assumes office....
Obama Tells Trump to ’Stop Whining,’ Campaign Harder
President calls GOP nominee’s ’rigged’ election claims baseless

President Barack Obama has some advice for Donald Trump: Whine less and campaign harder.

As the Republican presidential hopeful has fallen further behind in nationwide and swing-state polls, Trump has alleged that the general election is being “rigged” in favor of his opponent, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

Obama on Trump's Global Elites Warning: 'C'mon, Man'
President draws line from congressional Republicans to their party's nominee

Donald Trump’s attacks on a “global power structure” don’t add up because he spent his adult life trying to join that group, President Barack Obama said Friday.

At a rally in West Palm Beach, Florida, on Thursday, Trump railed against a group he said “is responsible for the economic decisions that have robbed our working class, stripped our country of its wealth and put that money into the pockets of a handful of large corporations and political entities.”

White House Watch: The Sniff Test

As President Barack Obama enters his final 100 days in the Oval Office, White House reporter John T. Bennett looks at how the president has ramped up his campaigning for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton....
White House to Trump: We Dare You to Take on FLOTUS
GOP nominee's lewd comments have "shaken me to my core," first lady says

The White House on Thursday essentially dared Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump to take on first lady Michelle Obama.

“I can’t think of a bolder way for Donald Trump to lose even more standing than he already has than by engaging the first lady of the United States,” Eric Schultz, principal deputy White House press secretary, told reporters on Air Force One.

White House: 'Significant Resources' to Protect Election Systems
Obama administration has accused Russia of meddling in U.S. elections

The federal government is throwing "significant resources" at states' voting systems to protect them from Russian attempts to influence U.S. elections, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Wednesday.

Homeland Security officials are working with 30 states, but Americans should be confident with the "durability" of the systems, he said.

Barack Obama: Leaked Trump Remarks Described 'Sexual Assault'
White House says president found GOP nominee's comments ‘repugnant’

President Barack Obama found the recently leaked video of Donald Trump recounting his treatment of women “repugnant” and the comments were tantamount to “sexual assault.”

That’s how Josh Earnest, his top spokesman, described Obama’s reaction to the Republican presidential nominee’s raunchy remarks made 11 years ago to talk show host Billy Bush over a live microphone.

Aiming for Mars, Obama Announces Deep-Space Work With Industry
Outgoing president sees humans on Red Planet by 2030s

Citing his boyhood “sense of wonder” about the U.S. space program, President Barack Obama on Monday announced work with private firms on technologies that could make human travel to deep space possible. And Obama reiterated his goal of sending humans to Mars before 2040. ...
White House Breaks With Senate Democrats on Iran Sanctions
Administration says it has ample authorities without 1996 law

The Obama administration is breaking with a group of Senate Democrats who want to renew expiring sanctions that target Iran's energy sector, arguing that it has the muscle to apply new penalties administratively if needed.

At issue is the Iran Sanctions Act of 1996, which punishes investments in Iran’s energy sector and was meant to deter Tehran’s pursuit of a nuclear arsenal. Set to expire on Dec. 31, the law has been a “pivotal component of U.S. sanctions against Iran’s energy sector … since enactment in 1996,” the Congressional Research Service has noted, adding that its reach has “been expanded to other Iranian industries.”

How One Victim's Fight Got Sexual Assault Bill to Obama
Amanda Nguyen's push culminates in historic survivors' Bill of Rights

Amanda Nguyen remembers watching the reactions of lawmakers as they listened to women from their states and districts who'd been sexually assaulted — and family members of victims who'd been killed.

That’s when she realized change was still possible, even in Washington’s era of dysfunction.

White House Watch: Obama Gets Into Election Game

After his campaign plans were derailed this week by Hurricane Matthew, President Barack Obama is back on the trail next week stumping for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton in key swing states. With his poll numbers on the rise, Obama may be particularly effective in attacking Clinton’s Republican opponent, Donald Trump. Roll Call’s John T. Bennett explains how the White House plans to intervene in the race to fill his shoes....
Obama: Don't Underestimate Hurricane Matthew
President says there's enough money for immediate hurricane response

A federal disaster relief fund should have ample funds to pay for immediate needs in response to Hurricane Matthew as the powerful storm pummels Florida and heads north, President Barack Obama said Friday.

Still, when Congress returns in November for a lame-duck session, there should be discussions about “how to fund effectively” a series of natural disasters, including additional relief for Matthew and extensive flooding in Louisiana, he said.

The Closer: Obama Enters Campaign as Democrats Cling to Leads
Timing is all about motivating 'Obama coalition' to put Clinton in White House

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is clinging to a slim lead and the party’s Senate candidates are fighting to grab control of the chamber. Enter President Barack Obama, poised to serve the role of his party’s campaign closer.

The president spent much of August on vacation and traveled to Asia in September. But Obama has an opportunity to nail down wins for Clinton and the party’s Senate candidates.

White House Blasts McCain's 'No Strategy' Op-Ed on Syria
Armed Services boss wants to ground Assad's planes, but Obama still skeptical

Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain and the Obama administration are sparring anew over Syria, trading barbs over whether the U.S. should get further involved in the bloody conflict there.

The Arizona Republican penned an op-ed published late Tuesday charging the administration with having “no strategy” to stop the bombing of civilians there. Hours later, the White House accused him of advocating a war with the Assad regime that could drag America into another costly Middle East ground campaign.

FEMA Tries New Approach for Hurricane Matthew
Clinton campaign forced to cancel Obama rally in Miami Gardens

Federal officials are placing personnel and equipment close to areas where heavy damage from Hurricane Matthew is expected, aiming to respond more quickly than in the wakes of past storms.

The Category 4 storm will soon move over the island of Cuba and head north, putting the Eastern Seaboard of the United States squarely in its path. Matthew, with its 145 mph winds and torrential rains, is already being compared to Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

White House: Busy October on Campaign Trail for Obama
Administration also stops talking to Russia about Syria

President Barack Obama is planning a busy October on the campaign trail as election season hits the homestretch.

Obama plans to travel around the country for political events “a couple of times a week,” his top spokesman, Josh Earnest, told reporters on Monday. That will start on Wednesday when the president is slated to fly to south Florida to campaign for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

White House's Last TPP Pitch to Congress: ‘What's the Alternative?’
McConnell, however, says vote will wait for next president

President Barack Obama’s top economic adviser says the White House will make a last-ditch sales pitch to Congress about his proposed trade deal with some Asian countries: “What’s the alternative?”

Obama administration officials continue pressing lawmakers to take up the Trans-Pacific Partnership after the election, but Jason Furman, chairman of the White House’s Council of Economic Advisers, told reporters Friday that they know the proposed pact “absolutely faces challenges.”

White House Watch: Icy Relations With Congress Anew

Roll Call's White House correspondent, John T. Bennett, talks Congress and White House tensions this week. Both chambers overrode a President Barack Obama veto for the first time in his presidency, and questions surround the White House’s involvement, or lack thereof, in government funding talks. Watch for more....