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July 23 White House Press Gaggle

By The White House, The White House - July 23, 2012

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The White House

Office of the Press Secretary

Aboard Air Force One En Route Reno, Nevada

11:49 A.M. PDT

MR. CARNEY:  Good morning.  Welcome aboard Air Force One as we make our way to Reno, Nevada.  As you know, the President is addressing the VFW.  He will talk broadly about American foreign policy, where we were four years ago, where we are now, and where we need to go.  He will also talk about our veterans and the commitment that he has made and this country has made and must continue to make to our veterans who sacrificed so much serving abroad in two wars.

As you remember, when he spoke to the VFW four years ago, we were engaged in two wars that seemed to have no end to them.  Our alliances were frayed.  We were in the worst recession since the Great Depression, and people around the country were questioning America's capacity to lead. 

I think it's fair to say that much has changed in those four years.  The President kept his commitment and ended the war in Iraq.  He is winding down the war in Afghanistan.  He has taken the fight to our enemies, decimating the leadership of al Qaeda, including removing Osama bin Laden.  He has restored our alliances, made them stronger.  He has rebalanced our foreign policy toward Asia, an incredibly important region of the world that was largely neglected in the eight years prior to him becoming President.  And he has made significant commitments to our veterans, both in their care and in helping them when they return from these wars and they return from service, helping them find employment here in America.

And that's my top.  If Jen has something?

MS. PSAKI:  Sure, just one announcement for all of you.  Overnight, in advance of the President's remarks at the VFW Convention, we released -- the campaign released a video called "Welcome Home," that features a parade welcoming returning soldiers and discusses the President's commitment to keeping our nation's sacred promise to our veterans. 

Jay touched on this, of course, but just a reminder, the President has fought to pass a new law that provides business tax incentives for hiring returning veterans and military families, and he fulfilled his promise to fully fund the VA by securing the largest increase in funding for the VA in 30 years.  So look out for that video.

Q    Will we get prepared remarks?

MR. CARNEY:  I don't anticipate that we'll get prepared remarks.  We may have some excerpts for you, but we may not.

Q    The video that you talked about, and a little bit about what you talked about, as well, Jay, focuses on Iraq, drawing down the war.  There have been some pretty horrific attacks there today.  Does the President still consider this a success when you still have attacks and al Qaeda ramping up in Iraq?

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