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. jonie

    Great Press Conference! Good Job! Way better than Bush ever did. This man appears to really care. I think we should let him try his ideas. No one else has had any ideas that have worked, so give his a shot.

    February 9, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  2. Lyn

    I heard on the news the other night that the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi flies home to her house in California from Washington, D.C. every week in a private jet at the cost of $20,000 each way,( that is someone's gross yearly income, and she spends double that amount every week)!

    That is outrageous. When we are all tightening our belts, struggling to meet mounting bills, and literally living on the streets, and wondering when it will end, we have our Government Officials flying across country at OUR EXPENSE.

    February 9, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  3. faithette Foreman

    If we the "American" people have not learned from our past mistakes- that working against each other especially in a time of crisis- then we can all Kiss our children, our grandchildren and our own future good bye.

    We must work togeather to support the president of the united states . There is no perfect plan- we should work the issues and come togeather to resolve issues by priortorizing – not by simply closing our eyes and ears to the suffering in this country.

    February 9, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  4. Jen

    I would feel sorry for him, actually, if his cluelessness wasn't such a threat to our economic recovery.

    Who in their right mind would think that funneling millions to the federal government to repair statues in federal cemetaries makes sense in a stimulus bill?

    February 9, 2009 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  5. Brad Morrison

    Pres. Obama so far – has proven he can not be trusted in delegating billions of dollars. The last stimulus packaged payed for millions of dollars in bonuses for already high paying executives. No more wasting America's money – unless of course he wants to waste it on me.

    February 9, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  6. Anne E. Summers

    Great press conference; gave answers to excellent questions in full sentences. I don't need 'sound bites'. I need to see how my President thinks out problems. He is trying to make the best of an extremely difficult economic situation. He extended his hand to the Republicans and they are playing the usual politics so they can say then didn't vote for the package so they can win some seats at mid term elections.

    President Obama was civil and mature and I am proud to be an American.

    February 9, 2009 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. Eileen

    Excellent job. It's so refreshing to see and hear a President so informed and conversant on all the current issues. I'm pretty darned proud of my President.

    February 9, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  8. sugie

    Disrespectful blog title. Our Commander in Chief has two wars, Iran, North Korea, Garza, Pakistan, the economy and the Republicans to contend with. Our country needs our Commander in Chief to stand up show leadership and engage the American people with intelligent diaogue with solutions for the economy. The President is not a salesman and should not be undermined as such.

    February 9, 2009 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  9. Janet Livingood

    Did President Obama not vote on the bail out of the banks? I thought he attendted one of the meetings, then did vote for the bank bail out. He is now blaming President Bush for the bill. Were the democrats not the majority?

    I listened intently to his press conference, was very disappointed in his attitude, I was so hoping to hear an America can succeed, instead of all the dread and gloom.

    We Americans who could afford to make a major purchase are holding back. I f the sky is falling, better to save the money in case we are going to have to help feed our friends and neighbors. Maybe just a few positive words would help turn this around.

    February 9, 2009 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  10. Sue

    Let me guess-Dems approve, Repubs won't ever approve of Obama no matter what he does.

    February 9, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  11. Larry Houston Texas

    If this thing happens to pan out where everyone has Jobs, and the economy recovers, believe me, the Rebublicans will never,never,
    never get elected, or re-elected to anything, period. No wonder O'reilly
    at Fox is predicting that in the future, there will be more "blue states"
    and more states going towards the Dems in the future.

    February 9, 2009 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  12. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    I received a copy of the RFP to build the hydrogen economy infrastructure from DOE today now that's a stimulus plan, I've been waiting since the 1960s to witness the arrval of a hydrogen economy.Now we can truly move!!!

    February 9, 2009 10:05 pm at 10:05 pm |
  13. Ronda Smith

    We elected President Obama for change, and it seems like the GOP is blocking our progress every step of the way. What the (GOP) don't understand is they are the reason why American's are suffering. They created this mess with all that excessive spending, greed and down right lack of concern for American people. They (GOP) need to shut their pie hole and start doing the work that they were elected to do! Let our president do the job that we (Americans) elected him to do! I have had enough and all that political posturing must stop people are hurting! The reason why the republicans are dragging their feet is because they are the fat cats and they have a job! They (GOP) must remember the November elections and the results, because we (Americans) do have the power to take their jobs from them. Then they the (GOP) will know just how it feel to be jobless!

    February 9, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  14. Jeff from Jersey

    Give the 54% ALL of the stimulus package and let the other 45% keep their heads in the sand....quicksand.

    February 9, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  15. Canadian for Obama

    Thank God, a President with intelligence!!!!!

    February 9, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  16. Simmy

    The right man for the times in which we live. God bless and keep you Mr. President. All is well.

    February 9, 2009 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. Proud to be an American

    This is how a news conference with the President of the United States of America should go!

    No more "misunderestimating*" the economic situation. Finally we have a leader who is able to talk professionally, directly, and eloquently to the American people about what needs to be done.

    *Apologies to Bush for borrowing his favorite word.

    – Proud to be an American

    February 9, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  18. Proud2bAmerican

    Wow Editor Mark Preston. Why don't you tell us how you really feel? I'm taking it that your guy didn't win the election.

    February 9, 2009 10:19 pm at 10:19 pm |
  19. Jeff from Jersey

    Hey Mark...No job,no home,no healthcare,no education =NO FUTURE!

    February 9, 2009 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |


    February 9, 2009 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  21. Bill

    Great job MR president the american people are behind you.

    February 9, 2009 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  22. gsiofy

    he is a very good salesman , Hope the product he is selling works against doubts

    February 9, 2009 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  23. Not sold

    I'm not okay with paying millions for new port construction, regardless of how the president thinks building those ports is going to improve our economy. I just don't see it.

    I'm still against the stimulus bill as it is in this current size and scope.

    February 9, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  24. Randy Fisher

    This was terrible, Is this the Best we can do? What I hear, is we are going to spend BILLIONS of dollars to upgrade Govenment. and Save goverment jobs. Who are the 4 million jobs we are going to create? And HOW? are We going to help people who can't pay there House payment's, Or, the people like myself. That, Pay, their, Monthly, payments. Just to make living experinces. I understand that , He went to talk to workers that, make products, that are for people, that, buy, recreciational, vehicles, for the public. WoW? We, need to save them? Come on, Is this the best we can do. And Yes, You inherited, this problem. But, didn't you know this when, YOU, ran for the OFFICE? Or, was this a supprise? Duh? Find, and better excusse? You said, CHANGE, IS this the change, BLAME, OR? Are the Democrates, going to make a differance? Or, was this a Joke? We need more than this, We need someone to make a differance, Not, just talk about it.

    February 9, 2009 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  25. 1776

    And what a pleasure it was to hear someone behind that podium that didn't say "uuhhhh..." every other word, or speak in incoherent bursts of ideological drivel.

    I suppose the neocon nazis will find some reasons to tear into it, but clearly we have a guy in the white house that has command of the facts, can speak in complete sentences, and has actually thought about the issues.

    This is indeed change I can believe in.

    February 9, 2009 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
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