February 15th, 2009
10:00 AM ET
9 years ago

'Things have not yet bottomed out,' Obama aide says


Watch John King's interview with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

(CNN) – While the White House basks in passage of the $787 billion stimulus package intended to jump start the nation’s sagging economy, a senior aide to President Obama is also sounding a note of caution about the immediate impact of the legislation.

“The President is focused on making sure that, that money gets out the door very quickly,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.

“Certainly the number of jobs that we’ve lost over just the last three months shows you that the economy is actually getting worse right now, not getting better. So I think it’s safe to say that things have not yet bottomed out. They are probably going to get worse before they improve.”

Gibbs also said the new president would continue his efforts to reach out to Republicans even though the massive stimulus bill received no GOP support in the House and only three Republican votes in the Senate.

“What you saw from this president is an unprecedented effort to reach out to Republicans,” Gibbs said. “You had the President drive up to Capitol Hill to meet with Republicans where they work. I think that was certainly unprecedented. This president has always worked in a bipartisan fashion. He will continue to reach out to Republicans. We hope that Republicans will decide they want to reach back.”

soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    The economy cannot bottom out till jobs are created and cash begins to flow once again. Credit is empty and works only as a blowout patch for a very short time. Cash is king!!!

    February 15, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  2. Carol

    It will be interesting to see if they Republicans will ever "reach back". So far we have had a high number of Republicans, including John McCain labeling Obama a failure. It angers me with how these people can take an already insecure, hurting nation and continue to play on their fears and vulnerabilities (remember 9/11?). What is wrong with these people?

    February 15, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  3. Dayahka

    Nowhere in the Constitution is there any mention of political parties. The whole notion of a president belonging to a party is, frankly, unconstitutional. Upon election, all presidents should resign from the party that supported their candidacy–and rule as a president of the entire country. Bipartisanship or multi-partisanship should be the standard behavior of all presidents.

    February 15, 2009 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  4. Survivor

    Yes we know that – this isn't going to be an easy fix and hopefully folks are tightening their seat belts and "belts in general" thte country has been in the wrong direction for a considerable amount of time.

    I really hope for everyone's sakes that the stimulous and bank "bail-outs" are at least enough to slow the recession down to a managable monster.

    I certainly hope that both sides of the aisle will actually stop the chest pounding and get serious about what needs to be done for the American People and keep it transparent so we can understand it all.

    I wish peoples noses would grow like Pinnochio so we could see measurably who was actually telling the truth or not!

    February 15, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  5. READY99

    Sorry-but for the REPUBLICAN PARTY to reach out to work with the DEMOCRATS will never happen. These old conservative folks cant come into the 21 century. they only believe their ideas are the right way. That's why this country is in the shape it is today. Bipartisan is a foreign word to them. It would be nice if they leave this country if they cant be part of the solution to solve this country economics problems!!

    February 15, 2009 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Peter E

    Okay, so maybe I will grant one thing to the Obama camp. They did reach out more to the other side in the past few weeks than Bush did during his entire presidency... even if it was only a symbolic gesture with no intention to compromise from either side. That's still a step above Bush's immediate attacks and fear-mongering against the other side even before the legislation was formally introduced to Congress, and Democrats' knee-jerk response even before hearing what Bush has to say.
    Step by step, we may yet get there. But we're starting from the bottom of the pit. This won't happen overnight.

    February 15, 2009 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  7. Had It

    He'll keep trying, and the Greedy Obstructionist Party will keep turning their back, stomping their feet, throwing stuff on the floor, and whining.

    February 15, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |

    John King is this what you expected from Obama... Remember you and three others covered this guy before the election and could not find anything wrong wih what he said or who was backing him.You even slanted your views on him.

    February 15, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |

    We will hit rock bottom with his bad spending bill unless obama keeps raiding the Treasury and mortgaging the future of our children.

    February 15, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |

    John King the most untrusted name on cnn You and three others
    are washed up reporters. The reporters who can not publish the truth

    February 15, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  11. lady in the know

    I guess if you call him reminding the Republicans that HE and the Democrats won the election and in other words, they NEED to bow and do as HE says, than he was indeed bipartisan. I just don't see how threatening the other party can even remotely be called bipartisan. And ""reaching out" is certainly is not unprecedented. Many, many other Presidents have done it before and will again. I am really so sick and tired of people thinking that his man is some kind of God and he is going to save us all. I don't really call having an extra 13 dollars in a paycheck "stimulus". And there is nothing for the older generation except for a huge 250 dollar one time payment. WOW. And the jobs...what happens when all the roads and schools and bridges are fixed? There is a reason he hasn't mentioned manufacturing jobs-THERE ARE NONE! We need sustainable jobs in manufacturing. Jobs that will be here years from now for our kids. Oops. The unions will have the country in their pockets in a year or so under this adminstration and more jobs will be going overseas for cheaper labor. And that's thanks to Clinton. Obama really, really did a great job brainwashing people into thinking that their mortgages and bills were going to be paid and they didn't have to worry anymore. That point was made again when the guy in the audience in Florida want him to tell McDonald's to give him a raise. Get real. And that was a nice touch with the lady crying in the audience. People need to get a grip, he isn't a God, he can't wave his hands and make us all independently wealthy. He can't make all our problems go away. He is just a man who had nothing to do with the stimulus package. The Congress did it, not him. Just like in Chicago, he'll put his name on it and take credit for it. That's good. When it flops, he can take credit for that, too. No Repbulicans to blame then.

    February 15, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    We truly need a holiday for two years stopping all immigration and imports to provide America an opportunity to restructure and reemerge as the economic power of old. As our nation has become fragmented in our ability to enforce our laws, ensure integrity in our support systems, secure our economic infrastructure which in turn provides support for the world's economies it is imperative that America repairs ourselves first so we can help the world economy in time. We are merely spinning our wheels by attempting to recover while supporting all other economies.

    February 15, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. nclaw441

    I will not yet accuse the President of being overly partisan, at least not in regard to the pork bill. However, the democrats in congress, especially the house of representatives, were PURELY partisan. The only extent to which they were bi-partisan was in their request for GOP votes for a bill that the house GOP members were absolutely and completely excluded from participating in. In the senate it was not much better. President Obama did at least meet with Republicans, but they were offered no real participation in the drafting or even negoatiation of this bill. The President should have controlled his congress better than this. It is not fair to blame the GOP for not voting for a bill that they were so disrespected on.

    And for those who say (wrongly, I believe) that President Bush and the GOP did the same thing, I respond: Wasn't Obama supposed to be about change? Other than his party, what real change have we seen so far?

    February 15, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  14. S Callahan

    God help us all!

    February 15, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  15. Dan, TX

    The republicans wanted to modify the bill. It might have changed another 10% and would have been ready for the president's signature in August or September after full debate. After 4 million more jobs were lost, they would be satified that the bill was the best it could be. Of course, by then it would be too late to do much good, so it would be better not to have one at all.

    February 15, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. John

    The republicans have dug America a hole that needs a drastic jolt of infusion that shouldn't surprise even the GOP, since they're the cause. Any Democrat that step to the side of Bush's claims that AL Qaeda was in Iraq was thrown into the McCarthy machine and branded as unpatriotic, anti-American. This is what you did to America GOP. Your the irresponsible ones who sold us out with propaganda that is nothing less than shameful, and unpatriotic. Your fired you bums....

    February 15, 2009 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  17. JJ in NY


    February 15, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  18. Joe

    If the stimulus package was so urgent – why didnt the messiah sign it over the weekend? What a joke – he is on his way to failure!!

    February 15, 2009 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. John McCain

    Don't blame me. I voted for the other guy.

    February 15, 2009 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  20. bob z.

    if the stimulas is create jobs they could do better with afew laws. like stopping all immigration and canceling all work visas until unemployment goes down to 4% secure the border and enforce illegal immigration laws.

    February 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  21. Matt in MN

    "“The President is focused on making sure that, that money gets out the door very quickly,” White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union."

    Is that why the bulk of the spending projects with regards to infastructure, within the "stimulus package" won't actually be funded until 2010 or 2011?

    So much for Change, same old politics as usual game being played within Washington. Say one thing, do the other. It'll never actually change.

    February 15, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  22. Tricia

    What money!!! Are we just printing up 787 Billion dollars for this bail out! I truly believe our economy would turn around if the media and our newly elected "we need change" president would just come out with some positive comments. The media can create a climate of panic or paradise.

    February 15, 2009 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  23. Albo58

    Pure political gibberish! President Obama and his cronies should be most embarassed about the way this spending bill was flushed through the system! He and his cronies need to know that things have a way of coming around so they may want to adjust accordingly.

    February 15, 2009 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  24. Obama - NOPE

    No, things have not bottomed out yet. Pelosi and Reid have much more damage to do to the country, and Obama's teleprompter is all fired up and pre-scripted to make the sales pitch.

    February 15, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  25. WhoisRight

    Reaching out by JUST the President is not reaching out. He's the leader why can he not get House and Senate leaders to reach out too. It's a sham

    February 15, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
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