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He said his lawyers are working on the leftover court filing that hit them when he took office and that eventually they will find ways to make sure redactions are not so “blunt.”

“There are going to be cases in which national security interests are genuinely at stake and that you can’t litigate without revealing covert activities or classified information that would genuinely compromise our safety,” he said, adding that in some cases, the administration will want additional tools “so that a judge in chambers can review information without it being in open court.”

Mr. Obama also had prominent praise for his predecessor, saying George W. Bush’s efforts to stockpile vaccines against the bird flu in 2005 will pay off now as the country prepares to battle the swine flu, noting that the last administration created good infrastructure that is aiding the response.

Mr. Obama portrayed his first 100 days as “a good start” and said the time allowed him to “clear away the wreckage of this recession.”

Warning as he often has of more tough days ahead, Mr. Obama said his aim has been to lay a “new foundation” and offered another pitch for his budget that cleared both chambers of Congress Wednesday.

“I am proud of what we have achieved, but I am not content,” Mr. Obama said. “I am pleased with our progress, but I am not satisfied.”

Mr. Obama deflected a question about criticism of his planned graduation speech at Catholic university Notre Dame over his pro-choice views. Instead, he noted that his administration has formed a teen pregnancy task force to try to curb the newly rising rates of young women getting pregnant. He said although he wants to cut the number of abortions, he remains pro-choice.

He added that the Freedom of Choice Act, which would eliminate federal, state and local restrictions on abortions, is “not my highest legislative priority.” Instead, he wants to “tamp down some of the anger” over the issue by bringing both pro-life and pro-choice groups together.

He also said that although he will start the process of trying to get an immigration bill done this year, he won’t control the timing. He said his focus for now is on trying to secure the border and improve enforcement against employers who hire illegal immigrants, adopting language very similar to Mr. Bush’s after his own efforts to pass an immigration bill failed in 2007.

Republicans used the 100-day mark to argue that Mr. Obama’s legacy is red ink.

“President Obama has had a record-breaking 100 days in office,” said Rep. John Shade, Arizona Republican. “Unfortunately, he’s broken all the wrong records spending, taxing and borrowing more money in less time then ever before.”

The 100-day point came as the Commerce Department announced the nation’s gross domestic product, the measure of the economy, fell by an annual rate of 6.1 percent in the first quarter of this year.

It was Mr. Obama’s third press conference of his young administration, and each of them came in prime time.

And for the second time, he coupled the evening affair with a town hall earlier in the day to take questions from average Americans.

Speaking at a high school in the St. Louis suburb of Arnold, Mo., the president fielded questions that ranged from how he plans to make his administration more environmentally friendly to how he would assure worried workers that they will still have Social Security and pension funds when they retire.

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