James S. Brady Press Briefing Room
2:40 P.M. EDT
MR. GIBBS: Mr. Elliott, take us away.
Q: Thanks, Robert. Hundreds of thousands of people are marching in Tehran today. I know the administration is trying to stay out of the drama going on following the Iranian elections. But is there a point where the President would be comfortable stepping in saying enough is enough? Perhaps a timeline, or numbers of people that have been hurt or injured, or numbers of people in the streets? Is there a threshold?
MR. GIBBS: Well, Phil, our response is -- I think on this has been, from the very beginning, consistent even before the election. I was asked if -- about our candidate of preference. I said that the United States wasn't in the position of picking candidates for President. And I think the President has spoken to, in many ways, the causes and concerns of many that are marching in Iran by demonstrating, one, that he shares their concern and the international concern about the way the election was conducted. Secondly, he believes that there is a universal principle of demonstrating without the fear of harm.
So I think he has expressed on both of those -- in both of those areas concern for the way the election was conducted and concern to ensure that demonstrators can peaceably carry out their demonstrations.
Q: Robert, a follow-up on financial regulation from yesterday. One thing that struck a few observers is the fact that the proposals that came out yesterday did not mention rating and speculation in oil markets. Why not? And is that something that the administration plans to address in a future proposal?
MR. GIBBS: I don't know if it's a part of a future proposal, Jeff. I know that one of the great concerns that drove -- or the great concern that drove the process for financial regulatory reform that was outlined by the President yesterday was ensuring that the causes for the economic catastrophe that we saw over the past many months and the lack of regulation that caused many of those events be remedied to ensure that they don't happen again. That's what drove the creation of the proposal. That's what drove the President to create -- or seek to create an agency that protects consumers and has their best interests in mind. And we are hopeful and we see encouraging words from Congress that this proposal can be gotten through the legislative process this year and signed into law by the President.
Now, that having been said, I don't doubt, and you see it in reports today, very organized, very powerful special interests that will oppose the creation of the consumer agency or different aspects of the proposal. But the President intends to fight for each and every one of those.
Q: But energy speculation is certainly something that the President as a candidate expressed concern about.
MR. GIBBS: Right.
Q: Are you still concerned about speculation in the oil markets, and will there be something to address that?
MR. GIBBS: I don't think the President's concern has changed. I think yesterday's thrust was to ensure that what had gotten us into this mess over the past many, many months -- and, remember, this speech dates back to one of the -- a speech that the President gave that wasn't altogether noticed a lot in September of 2007 on Wall Street, and that we had to take steps to ensure that this never happened again. And that was the thrust of what was going on yesterday.
Q: We've talked about th ...
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