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Obama news conference: President pledges to help Mexico fight drug cartels

March 24, 2009 |  5:50 pm

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, March 24, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

Finally, a non-economic question.

A reporter with Univision asked President Obama about efforts by the U.S. to combat the growing violence unleashed in Mexico by drug cartels. Does the president consider such violence a threat to U.S. security?

"Let’s focus on what we did today," Obama replied, citing an announcement today by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano. As our colleague Josh Meyer reported earlier today: "The Obama administration this morning unveiled an ambitious multi-agency plan to help Mexico attack the growing problems created by powerful Mexican drug cartels, vowing to send U.S. money, manpower and technology to the southwestern border as soon as possible."

Obama also had praise for Mexican President Felipe Calderon, calling him "courageous" for his efforts to fight the cartels.

-- Steve Padilla

President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference, Tuesday, March 24, 2009, in the East Room of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

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