REMARKS BY PRESIDENT-ELECT BARACK OBAMA, VICE PRESIDENT-ELECT JOSEPH BIDEN AND FORMER VICE PRESIDENT AL GORE AT A PHOTO OPPORTUNITY SUBJECTS INCLUDE: CLIMATE CHANGE
3:20 P.M. EST, TUESDAY, DECEMBER 9, 2008
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PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA: Have we got everybody in here?
STAFF: Yes, sir.
PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA: Okay.
Well, let me start off. Obviously, like the rest of the people of Illinois, I am saddened and sobered by the news that came out of the U.S. attorney's office today. But as this is a ongoing investigation involving the governor, I don't think it will be appropriate for me to comment on the issue at this time.
The purpose of this meeting here today was to listen and learn from Vice President Al Gore on the extraordinary work that he has done around the issue of climate change. And all three of us, I think, are in agreement that the time for delay is over, the time for denial is over. We all believe what the scientists have been telling us for years now: that this is a matter of urgency and national security, and it has to be dealt within a serious way. That's what I intend my administration to do.
I think what's exciting about that conversation is that it is not only a problem, but it's also an opportunity. As I've already spoken about, as we've started to provide a framework for our economic recovery plan, we have the opportunity now to create jobs all across this country in all 50 states, to repower America, to redesign how we use energy, to think about how we are increasing efficiency, to make us -- make our economy stronger, make us more safe, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and make us competitive for decades to come, even as we're saving the planet.
And so we are not going to miss this opportunity.
My office is going to be working with a whole host of stakeholders on this issue, including Vice President Gore, businesses, Republicans, Democrats, consumers, everybody who has a stake in this issue -- and we all do. I want to bring together the kind of aggressive, bold approach that is -- that is going to make the future better for my children and all our children.
So I'm grateful that Vice President Gore has -- has shared the information that he has with us, and I'm looking forward to a busy next couple of years getting our handle -- getting our arms around this issue.
Okay? All right, guys. That's it.
Q Mr. President-elect, did you have any contact -- were you aware of -- were you aware at all of what was happening with your Senate seat?
PRESIDENT-ELECT OBAMA: I -- hold on, hold on, hold on a second, guys. I'll just answer this one question.
I had no contact with the governor or his office, and so we were not -- I was not aware of what was happening. And as I said, it's a sad day for Illinois. Beyond that, I don't think it's appropriate to comment. Okay?
Q Thank you very much.