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Highlights: Obama's Press Conference

(AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
President Obama covered many topics during press conference today from the White House, including Iran, health care, his smoking habits and the economy. Here are some of his key quotes:

Iran:

"The United States and the international community have been appalled and outraged by the threats, beatings, and imprisonments of the last few days. I strongly condemn these unjust actions, and I join with the American people in mourning each and every innocent life that is lost."

"The fact that they are now in the midst of an extraordinary debate taking place in Iran, you know, may end up coloring how they respond to the international community as a whole. We are going to monitor and see how this plays itself out before we make any judgments about how we proceed."

"We didn't have international observers on the ground. We can't say definitively what exactly happened at polling places throughout the country… And so, ultimately, the most important thing for the Iranian government to consider is legitimacy in the eyes of its own people, not in the eyes of the United States. And that's why I've been very clear, ultimately, this is up to the Iranian people to decide who their leadership is going to be and the structure of their government."

Read More On His Remarks About Iran>

On Criticism Of His Iran Statements So Far:

"But only I'm the president of the United States. And I've got responsibilities in making certain that we are continually advancing our national security interests and that we are not used as a tool to be exploited by other countries."

"I mean, you guys must have seen the reports. They've got some of the comments that I've made being mistranslated in Iran, suggesting that I'm telling rioters to go out and riot some more. There are reports suggesting that the CIA is behind all this. All of which patently false. But it gives you a sense of the narrative that the Iranian government would love to play into."

"So the -- you know, members of Congress, they've got their constitutional duties, and I'm sure they will carry them out in the way that they think is appropriate. I'm president of the United States, and I'll carry out my duties as I think are appropriate."

Energy:

"This week, the House of Representatives is moving ahead on historic legislation that will transform the way we produce and use energy in America. It is legislation that will finally spark a clean energy transformation that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil and confront the carbon pollution that threatens our planet."

"These incentives will finally make clean energy the profitable kind of energy. And that will lead to the development of new technologies that lead to new industries that could create millions of new jobs in America – jobs that cannot be shipped overseas."

Health Care:

"We will also ensure that the reform we pass brings down the crushing cost of health care. We simply cannot have a system where we throw good money after bad habits. We must control the skyrocketing costs that are driving families, businesses, and our government into greater and greater debt."

"Now, the public plan, I think, is an important tool to discipline insurance companies. What we've said is, under our proposal, let's have a system, the same way that federal employees do, same way that members of Congress do, where we call it an exchange, but you can call it a marketplace, where, essentially, you've got a whole bunch of different plans."

Read More On His Remarks About Health Care>

Financial Regulation:

"I would say that all financial regulators didn't do everything that needed to be done to prevent the crisis from happening. And that's why we've put forward the boldest set of reforms and financial regulation in 75 years, because there were too many gaps, where there were laws on the books that would have brought about a -- a prevention of the crisis, the enforcement wasn't there."

"I think that the Fed probably performed better than most other regulators prior to the crisis taking place, but I think they'd be the first to acknowledge that, in dealing with systemic risk and anticipating systemic risk, they didn't do everything that needed to be done."

On Whether He Still Smokes:

"I've said before that as a former smoker I constantly struggle with it. Have I fallen off the wagon sometimes? Yes. The -- am I a daily smoker, a constant smoker? No. I don't do it in front of my kids. I don't do it in front of my family. And, you know, I would say that I am 95 percent cured. But there are times where... There are times where I mess up."

Read More On His Remarks About Smoking>

On Unemployment:

"I think it's pretty clear now that unemployment will end up going over 10 percent, if you just look at the pattern, because of the fact that even after employers and businesses start investing again and start hiring again, typically it takes a while for that employment number to catch up with economic recovery. And we're still not at actual recovery yet. So I anticipate that this is going to be a -- a difficult -- difficult year, a difficult period."

More Coverage Of Obama's Press Conference:
Obama: "Appalled And Outraged" At Iran Violence
Obama Lauds Public Health Care Option, But Stops Short Of Ultimatum
Obama Acknowledges Occasional Smoking Habit
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