Obama in Austin
Thu July 10, 2014
President Obama is Back in Austin Today
Note: This post initially contained the White House livestream of Obama's speech. As the speech has concluded and is not yet archived, we have removed the embed.
President Obama is flying back to Washington DC after spending the night in Austin. This morning, Obama attended a round table discussion at the home of Democratic activist Aimee Boone Cunningham and then drove the Paramount Theater to deliver a speech – the first time a president has spoken at the Paramount since it opened in 1915.
The president's speech focused on economic opportunity and the middle class. Obama attacked Congressional Republicans for not agreeing to increase the minimum wage, extend unemployment insurance benefits or pass equal pay laws.
"The best thing you can say about them this year is that so far they have not shut down the government or threatened to have America welch on our obligations," Obama said.
Republican nominee for Texas Governor, Greg Abbott, speaking just a few blocks from the Paramount, said Obama could learn something from the Texas model of limited government, low taxes and laws restricting labor union activity. "He is all talk and no action," Abbott said. "It reminds us Texans of an old saying we have. He's all hat and no cattle."
Meanwhile Democratic nominee for Governor Wendy Davis today said President Obama should visit the U.S. Mexico border – where more than 50,000 Central American children have arrived since October.
Update: Air Force One Lifts Off (3:38 p.m.)
And that's it: following what local pool reports called an "uneventful" trip from Franklin Barbecue to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Air Force One left Austin shortly before 2:30 p.m.
See KUT's photos from outside the Paramount in the slideshow player above. And see our other coverage here:
Update: Speech at Paramount Concludes; Obama Heads to Franklin Barbecue (2:15 p.m.)
Continuing his tour of Austin, Pres. Obama crossed Interstate 35 to grab lunch from Franklin Barbeque. KUT recently spoke with pitboss Aaron Franklin. Read our interview here.
When he gets to the counter, Obama offers to pick up the order for the two people immediately in front of the counter – Bruce Finstad of Houston and his daughter Faith of Austin. When they ordered 3 pounds of brisquet, 2 pounds of ribs and a half-pound each of turkey and sausage, Obama says: “How many folks are you guys feeding? Just kidding.”
Obama bought almost $300 in barbecue -- before the Finstad’s order was added – and had to put away a wad of money he had pulled out of his pocket in favor of a credit card.
Update: A Quick Stop at Magnolia Cafe (Noon)
President Obama is expected to arrive at The Paramount shortly; late this morning, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest tweeted a photo of the Obama motorcade's arrival at Magnolia Cafe. The president met with Kinsey Button, who had previously written Obama a letter.
The White House local pool report says neither Obama or Button ate; the president "ordered hot tea, 'maybe with lemon.'"
Original story (10:04 a.m.): President Barack Obama arrived at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport aboard Air Force One last night.
After a Democratic National Committee fundraiser at the Pemberton Heights home of Austin filmmaker Robert Rodriguez last night, Pres. Obama’s next public event is a speech on the economy shortly after noon at the Paramount Theatre. KUT will carry Obama's remarks live.
While the specifics of President Obama’s travel around Austin aren’t being released, you can expect delays and detours wherever the president goes.
Street closures around the Paramount begin this morning. Several Capital Metro buses will be rerouted to avoid the area around Eighth, 11th, 12th and Red River Streets. Read more from Capital Metro.
It's Obama's ninth trip to the Central Texas region since 2006. Take a look at his previous trips to Austin.
Obama in Austin