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. aliou

    If obstructionists where not at work taking the president away from the work we mandated him to do, we wouldn't need him on the road.

    Let the republicans shut the hell up. they don't have any alternative. If so Why didn't they give it to Bush?

    Or they were too busy filling their pockets with no bid contracts and ruining our economy.

    Republicans are struggling for significance. They want to pull a bag over our eyes as they did in 2004.

    A wiser voter.

    February 9, 2009 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  2. Lone Ranger

    President Obama is wrong on the last Eight years causing the current recession. This recession was caused by the sub-prime mortgage crisis, which is a direct cause of prior government intervention by long ago democratic congresses putting into place regulations that forced banks to have to make these risky loans, because they believe home ownership is a right instead of a thing that is earned through hardwork and saving money and people who could not afford the mortgages were given mortagages by banks because fannie mae and freddy mac told them they had no choice and both of these orginizations were created under democratic controlled congresses. unfortunately, a republican contrlled congress of the mid and late 90's were unable to get these regulations stopped because of a socialist like Clinton and lost there nerve after that during the Bush years when they had an opportunity to try and get that turned around, Now we have a socialist/marxist like Obama that is going to spend us into oblivion which in the end is going to hurt the economy even more because nobody is going to be able to save money under this new so-called stimulus plan, which will do nothing to stimulate the economy.

    February 9, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    More wasteful spending!!!!

    February 9, 2009 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  4. Proud Democrat who is against this Stimulus

    Before we give out any more money we should have something in WRITING that ensures this won't be a repeat of the bank bail out.

    This is OUR MONEY and since WE will be paying for it we deserve ALL the details before any more of out money is committed to any Stimulus Bill.

    By the way all this complaining by President Obama about the Bush Administration is starting to make him sound like he is only President of the Democrats and not the Republicans and Independents.!

    Additionally the OBAMA administration is making the same mistakes the BUSH administration made by spending like a bunch of impulsive teenagers.

    So get a grip, get a plan, provide us with the details and stop THROWING OUR MONEY OUT THE WINDOW.

    We will support a stimulus if it is the right one!

    February 9, 2009 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  5. justin lathery

    how can obama continue to preach bipartisanship and at the same time continue to blame republicans for everything! Democrats have been the majority in congress for more than two years! So much for bipartisanship, it's the same crap all over again! Hell, Bush was more optimistic than Obama!

    February 9, 2009 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Obama doesn't get it!!!!!

    February 9, 2009 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. green texan

    I've never heard someone talk so much, and not say anything. Can the guy speak without a teleprompter in front of him? Ridiculous.

    February 9, 2009 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  8. J.P.

    Snake oil salesmen often have to put in overtime working the crowds for willing suckers.

    February 9, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  9. S Callahan

    Truth be told, he did pretty good.

    He looks tired though...a word of advice to President Obama...if you need a good nights sleep..read Psalm 91 before you rest your head..You'll sleep like a baby.

    February 9, 2009 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  10. Steve

    It's been three weeks and this guy looks weak. If the porkulus bill is not perfect then why is he promoting it. What a disaster. CNN wake up!

    February 9, 2009 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  11. tahu from the mid-west

    good job Mr. President

    February 9, 2009 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  12. Raymond McKinley

    Finally, I felt that someone gets it. Obama explained that he understood how the cycle of our econemy works. I realy don't need to have a anylist explain any further. He told me what I needed to hear.

    February 9, 2009 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  13. MD

    Why not give the "stimumlus money" to the American people instead of the very institutions that caused this economic mess in the first place? By giving money to the people, we would then pay off our debt giving it back to the banks. This will free up the people's ability to spend money and thus stimulate the economy.

    February 9, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  14. SkippyStone

    Obama said that he was the eternal optimist? HA!
    This is the same guy that has talked Armageddon for the last days, weeks, months?

    February 9, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  15. robyncaffrey keyser west virginia

    yes we can

    February 9, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. Tammy

    I think it is a little funny that Obama wants to blame everything on the Republicans even though the democrates have had the control for a long time.... He kinda sounds like a whinny child because he is not getting his own way... I understand that we are in a bad place and something needs to happen to help the country but he needs to learn that talking about the republicans like they are idots is not going to make them see his side of things. He can't bully people into agreeing with him. He is a typical Democrate that does not think any body should have a opinon that is different than theirs. And if they do they are wrong... He is very closed minded..... This should be interesting.....

    February 9, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  17. Marva L. Dowdin

    We, the people backed the President, so why won't Congress? Let them lose their jobs, their homes, their businesses, their self esteem, and everything else in between. They will go home to warm beds and a hot meal, while parking their long black shiny cars. We will keep notes on how each one voted on this important bill.

    February 9, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  18. Jake

    Sorry boss, it just doesn't ad up.

    February 9, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  19. Obama missed the mark

    Obama made a few faux pas tonight

    1 – This stimulus bill was not bi partisan
    2 – He said there were no earmarks in the bill, which in DC Speak means there were no individual names next to expenditures. Of course not – the spending was done by committee behind closed doors – but who do you think hung all that pork on the Christmas Tree – Santa Claus?
    3 – He mentioned Japan's lost decade of the 90's but he misrepresented what happened. Japan quadrupled its debt trying to spend its way out of their recession, but it did not work.
    4 – He stumbled on Afghanistan. That will be Obama's Vietnam -- that will be his foreign policy downfall.
    5 – Republicans and Democrats have a fundamental disagreement on spending vs tax breaks. Many economists around rthe country believe that spending and growing government is not the answer. According to over 200 leading economists, to improve the economy, policymakers should focus on reforms that remove impediments to work, saving, investment, and production. Lower tax rates and a reduction in the burden of government are the best ways of using fiscal policy to boost growth.

    February 9, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  20. Sherry

    I stand by the man I voted for. I don't know how much more can be said to people so they will understand. There is hope with change and it does come with collisions, which makes better decisions for the future of our country. I stand by Pres. Obama. We all need to step back and take a deep breath and allow the President the room he needs. Isn't that what we elected him for?

    February 9, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  21. J.P.

    If the government would get out of the business of trying to be all things to all people, it would cost a hell of a lot less to run.

    Result: a hell of a lot less being paid in to the government in the form of taxes.

    Ultimate result: a hell of a lot more money invested in the private sector, for business expansion and job creation.

    Jobs and prosperity come ONLY from the private sector, not the government, and by the private sector I mean investors... usually very wealthy investors. I've never once been offered a job by a poor man, been hired for a job by a poor man nor ever had a poor man sign my paycheck, have you?

    February 9, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  22. Terry Marvin

    Monday, February 9, 2009–8:14 pm CST

    I watched President Obama's Prime Time News Conference.
    He is still trying to sell his Economic Stimulas Plan. But the Republicans are still trying to bully him.
    You Republicans get busy and let Obama get his plan working.


    Terry M

    February 9, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  23. jonie

    The man is trying which is more than the republicans do. Give him the money!

    February 9, 2009 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  24. pam lind

    We FINALLY have a president that tells the truth and answers questions in full and does not beat around to bush. Its time we do things different since the other party made the mess, WE NEED THE CHANGE.
    THANKS BE TO GOD WE HAVE IT NOW. Maybe we can finally hold our heads up high with pride.


    February 9, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  25. Texas Teacher

    He made his case.... and he is totally right... let the republicans get on the wagon or get left at the gate! Which is exactly what they deserve! What a joy to listen to a president that sounds like a President!!!!! I am so proud of the man we have elected! 🙂 He will get the job done... if anyone can!

    February 9, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
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