11:30 AM PT: The press conference is over—what did you think?
11:32 AM PT: On tax cuts: Obama was unyielding on the notion that the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy must be decoupled from tax rates on income below $250,000. He said he was open to new ideas on how to generate revenue from the top 2 percent, but was very clear about his support for extending tax rates on income below $250k and allowing the tax cuts on income above $250k to expire.
11:35 AM PT: On immigration reform: President Obama was equally unyielding on the need for immigration reform, and he was very optimistic with its prospects. Chuck Todd on MSNBC said he was confident reform would be signed into law by the middle of the upcoming summer.
11:36 AM PT: MSNBC is replaying the clip of Obama firing back on John McCain and Lindsey Graham for attacking Susan Rice. Graham is already out with a harsh statement slamming the president. The interesting thing is that Graham will be key for getting immigration reform done, but this exchange won't hurt—actually, it will help make that more likely. Why? Because Graham is up in 2014 and is likely to face a challenge from the right. If he can get into a big public fight with the president, it helps him in that primary. In other words, even though Obama's language was tough on Graham, Graham was undoubtedly thrilled to have been criticized.11:39 AM PT: Graham really owes the president a favor for having brought him up in the fashion that he did. Probably boosts his numbers in South Carolina's GOP senate primary by 15 points overnight.