TPMDC Morning Roundup

Sarkozy Lays Into The U.S. On Health Care Debate
In a speech at Columbia University, French President Nicolas Sarkozy spoke about the recent American debates on health care — sharply criticizing Americans for a lack of compassion on the issue. “Welcome to the club of states who don’t turn their back on the sick and the poor,” said Sarkozy. He also added: “When we look at the American debate on reforming health care, it’s difficult to believe. The very fact that there should have been such a violent debate simply on the fact that the poorest of Americans should not be left out in the streets without a cent to look after them … is something astonishing to us.”

Obama’s Day Ahead
President Obama and Vice President Biden will receive the presidential daily briefing at 9:30 a.m. ET, and the economic daily briefing at 10 a.m. ET. Obama will sign the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010, at 11:05 a.m. ET, at Northern Virginia Community College. Obama will meet with senior advisers at 12 p.m. ET. He will have lunch with Vice President Biden at 12:20 p.m. ET. Obama and Biden will meet with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at 2:45 p.m. ET, and with French President Nicolas Sarkozy at 3:30 p.m. ET. Obama and Sarkozy will hold a joint press availability at 4:45 p.m. ET. The President and First Lady will host a dinner for President Sarkozy and French First Lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy at 6:30 p.m. ET.Biden’s Day Ahead
Vice President Biden will attend President Obama’s morning briefings. At 11 a.m. ET, he will hold a Recovery Act Implementation Meeting. He will have lunch with Obama at 12:20 p.m. ET. He will meet with Obama and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates at 2:45 p.m. ET, and at 3:30 p.m. ET with Obama and French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

Obama: Tea Party ‘Core Group’ Question His Legitimacy
In an interview with the Today show, President Obama said that the Tea Party movement is built around a “core group” that question whether he is a U.S. citizen and believe that he is a socialist. Obama also said that “there’s still going to be a group at their core that question my legitimacy,” but that he also didn’t want to paint activists “in broad brushes,” and he hopes to win over members who have “mainstream, legitimate concerns.”

NYT: Karzai Seen To Flout Influence Of U.S.
The New York Times reports that Afghan President Hamid Karzai presents a dilemma for the Obama administration: How to influence an ally who is regarded as being unreliable. “He has developed a complete theory of American power,” said an Afghan who attended a recent lunch with Karzai. “He believes that America is trying to dominate the region, and that he is the only one who can stand up to them.”

Hillary Clinton: China To Play Role In Iran Sanctions Push
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that China will play a role in sanctions against Iran. “China is part of the consultative group that has been unified all along the way, which has made it very clear that a nuclear-armed Iran is not acceptable to the international community,” Clinton said in an interview on Canadian television.

Obama Administration May Send U.S.-Russia Arms Control Treaty To Congress By Late April
The Washington Post reports that the Obama administration plans to send the new arms-control treaty with Russia to Congress by the end of April, hoping for ratification by the end of the year. However, several Republican Senators have expressed concern about moving too quickly.