Feb. 23, 2009
"Your helicopter is now going to cost as much as Air Force One. I don't think there is any more graphic demonstration of how good ideas have cost taxpayers an enormous amount of money."
Senator John McCain, in comments to President Obama following his fiscal-responsibility summit at the White House
"The helicopter I have now seems perfectly adequate to me. Of course, I've never had a helicopter before, you know? Maybe I've been deprived and I didn't know it."
President Obama, in response to McCain
In the spirit of bipartisanship, the President calls on his former rival first to hear his takeaways from the daylong fiscal-responsibility summit. McCain uses the opportunity to go on the attack, suggesting that the President may be not be walking the walk on spending. Obama takes the criticism in stride and takes action on it, later ordering the project for a new fleet of presidential helicopters scrapped. About 130 lawmakers from both parties and representatives from a variety of groups meet at the White House for a frank discussion on spending, and the President promises them he plans to slash the deficit in half by the end of his first term.
Stimulus spending is still on the President's brain as he meets with governors at the White House to tell them what he expects of them as far as implementation. He also names Vice President Biden to help coordinate stimulus spending, saying, "The fact that I am asking the Vice President to personally lead this effort shows how important it is for our country and our future to get this right."