Air Force One off-camera briefing


Deputy White House Spokesman Bill Burton briefed reporters on Air Force One en route to Tampa, FL for today's town hall meeting. Health care reform, 9/11 defendants' trial and campaign finance were among the topics discussed.

At last night's State of the Union, the President reiterated his willingness to reach out to members on the other side of the aisle. Burton said, "His door is open. If Republicans have ideas to create jobs and fix healthcare, his door is open." The President will headline the House Republican Retreat in Baltimore on Friday. But, serious differences remain between the two parties on health care reform. Yet Burton said the President's reason for overhaul has not changed since the Massachusetts election of Scott Brown last Tuesday.

When asked about New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's desire to move the 9/11 suspects trial out of his city, Burton called 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a "murderous thug" and said that the administration has confidence in the Justice Department and that the US justice system in providing a fair trial.

On the 5-4 Supreme Court's ruling to allow corporate financing of political ads, Burton said "The American people deserve the right to know corporations can't interfere with elections." The president still is committed to these reforms.

Jacqueline Pham contributed to this post.