February 9th, 2009
08:24 PM ET
9 years ago

Salesman-in-chief makes his case for the stimulus plan

Obama is holding his first prime time news conference.

Obama is holding his first prime time news conference.

WASHINGTON (CNN) –- Tax cuts for the middle class. An extension of unemployment benefits and healthcare coverage for people “who have lost their jobs.” And a pledge to “do whatever it takes to put this country back to work.”

President Obama used his first prime-time news conference Monday to sell Americans on his economic recovery plan as well as pressure Congress to act quickly and approve it so that money can start pumping into the ailing economy.

Watch: The stimulus plan is not perfect, says Obama

Obama employed perhaps one of the most powerful tools in his arsenal –- the White House bully pulpit. Every major broadcast and cable outlet carried his opening remarks and the news conference.

The president has a lot of work ahead of him as he tries to convince Americans that this proposal is the appropriate jolt the economy needs. A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation Poll released just hours earlier showed that 54 percent of Americans support the stimulus bill that passed the Senate, while 45 percent oppose it.

Filed under: Obama press conference
soundoff (113 Responses)
  1. REG in AZ

    It is extremely obvious that once again, as they were behind Bush-Cheney, the main body of the Republican Party is unified in strongly and stubbornly being only political and in completely ignoring their responsibility to the people. As they play the role of obstructionists in trying to fault and block every Obama offering, with the hope of positioning themselves for the 2010 and 2012 elections, they literally are willing to let the country and the American people sink deeper into the pits. They give lip service to bipartisanship, ignore Obama’s efforts to include them and then keep their whole focus on playing politics and their self-indulgence no matter what the cost is to the country. Hopefully the people will see it for what it is and it will then backfire on them. We really can’t take more of their arrogant antics and their irresponsible concentration on their private agenda.

    February 9, 2009 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  2. I'm just sayin...

    Sellsman-in-Chief...not really. Like he said, they could just not do nothing and watch us all go belly up! Then you all might not be here to keep us updated. Oh that would be so...so sad!

    February 9, 2009 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  3. Eisener

    Well. You call him a sales man. I call him our president. And a very impressive one who understands the art of being in disagreement and difference with grace and wisdom.

    I am convinced.. sold.. whatever phrase is appropriate.

    I only wish we could have heard this before the Senate ever got to take a dime out of the stimulus package.

    February 9, 2009 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  4. Matt

    Criticizing the Administration for not knowing exactly how long it's going to take to pull out of this downturn or for not knowing exactly how many jobs the stimulus package will create is a little like criticizing someone for not knowing exactly what the score of the Superbowl will be before it is played. Let' s try to use our brains here...even if the stimulus package was designed in an inefficient way, spending $800 billion is going to create demand for goods and services. The people who provide them will be workers. Work means jobs. Furthermore, although it is debatable what produces the most bang for the buck, there are some good studies which suggest aid to states and to the poor (those who really must spend any money they get), has the greatest stimulative effect. Sorry for all the folks out there who keep flogging the dead horse of tax cuts for the wealthy. Guess what, we tried that already–it was called the Bush Administration and no one in his right mind can argue that it was not a miserable failure.

    February 10, 2009 12:08 am at 12:08 am |
  5. Steve in Las Vegas,NV

    After BUSHCO, I think a lot of people are a bit skeptical. So many lies and deception and fraud for the last 8 years it's no wonder he's using the bully pulpit.

    February 10, 2009 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  6. sety

    I will like to advise the President Obama to give money to the states where the Senators and Governors feel the stimulus is necessary. Those Senators and Governors who feel is not necessary should be left out.

    I am very proud of President Obama. Excellent press conference today. Mr. President you did excellent.

    February 10, 2009 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  7. Listening to America

    Good job Mr.President!

    You are listening to the American people more than what any other President has done.

    We stand by you. You are a thoughtful President and we are confident in your decisions and stay by you 100%

    February 10, 2009 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  8. Desmond Sequeira

    Great salesman!

    February 10, 2009 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  9. Deb

    Obama wants to complain about Bush' trillion dollar deficit after 8 years of fighting a two-front war against terrorism, not to mention dealing with the devastation of Katrina...
    Now Obama wants to DOUBLE that deficit in the first month of office!!??

    February 10, 2009 12:28 am at 12:28 am |
  10. Reality

    Alternate headline:

    Snakeoil salesman is only able to convince 54% of the furthest left wing Americans out there that snakeoil works. The kind of people who have no problem with a man guilty of tax evasion being the head of the IRS or those huge tax breaks going to Hollywood film directors and other DNC clients.

    Intelligent people are not convinced.

    February 10, 2009 12:30 am at 12:30 am |
  11. Jeff Spangler, Arlington, VA

    "Whatever it takes" is uncomfortably close for me to Eldridge Cleaver's "by any means necessary". I remain of the minority view that even if the federal government is the spender of last resort in a deep slump, it is better long-term policy to let jobs and credit and profits take the hits now and weed out the weak for a natural and stable private sector recovery instead of a jobless one. There is gross excess in our consumer-driven economy and now is a great time to revisit why we ever needed all this junk to start with.

    February 10, 2009 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  12. The Truth

    He's a salesman alright....a snakeoil salesman.

    February 10, 2009 12:50 am at 12:50 am |
  13. S. Burns

    I watched the press conference and was impressed by Obama's straight-forwardness in answering questions. What a change from a Bush press conference.

    February 10, 2009 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
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