Live blog of President Obama's press conference on jobs
October 6th, 2011
11:00 AM ET
3 years ago

Live blog of President Obama's press conference on jobs

(CNN) - President Barack Obama held a press conference on the economy and jobs Thursday. Read the full live blog below.

12:12 p.m. ET –Obama: My intention is to insist that each part of this, I want an explanation as to why we shouldn't be doing it. I would love nothing more than to see Congress act so aggressively that I can't campaign against them as having done nothing.

12:10 p.m. ET - Obama says a lot of the debt that built up prior to 2008 caused us to live on borrowed time because the underlying foundations weren't as strong as they needed to be.

12:09 p.m. ET - Obama: Europe is not going to be able to export their way out of this problem.

12:07 p.m. ET - President says it is very difficult for dozens of European parliaments to agree on a debt package because their politics are different.

12:05 p.m. ET –Obama: The actions we took after the financial disaster helped to strengthen our economy in ways other countries did not do.

12:04 p.m. ET - Obama: The slowdown that we're seeing is not just happening in the United States, it is happening everywhere.

12:04 p.m. ET - Question: What should European leaders do to resolve debt crisis, and how could it affect the U.S.? Do you feel that the European leaders have been negligent in pushing austerity too soon?

12:03 p.m. ET - Obama says there's no doubt the Pakistani spy agency has some connections with terror groups and we will constantly evaluate our relationship with Pakistan.

12:02 p.m. ET - Obama: It is in Pakistan's interest to have a stable and independent Afghanistan.

12:00 p.m. ET – Obama says Pakistan has been a great partner on a whole range of issues but Pakistan has hedged their bets on Afghanistan by interacting with unsavory characters.

11:59 a.m. ET - President says we have done an outstanding job of going after al Qaeda in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. We would not have been as successful there without the help of Pakistan.

11:56 a.m. ET - Obama: Trade is great as long as everybody's playing by the same rules.

11:54 a.m. ET – President says we've been seeing a remarkable transformation in China over the last few decades...but what is also true is China has been very aggressive at gaming trad to its advantage and the disadvantage of other nations–I've said it publicly and privately to them–one example of that is currency manipulation. It makes our exports from them more expensive and our imports from them cheaper. We've seen slight improvement, slight appreciation, over the last year, but it's not enough.

11:54 a.m. ET - Question from Matt Spetalnick, Reuters: What's your position on the Senate bill to address Chinese currency manipulation? Would you veto it or sign it should it pass? Do you agree with Adm. Mullen's accusation that the Pakistani intelligence agency has used the Haqqani network as a virtual arm, and what if any consequences would you be willing to consider?

11:53 a.m. ET - Obama: I'm also dealing with a Republican leader who says his only job is to beat me–not help get jobs for the American people–but to beat me...and he's been saying that for some time now.

11:53 a.m. ET - Obama: So far Republicans haven't been responsive–not only to me–but also to public opinion.

11:51 a.m. ET – Obama says the people Republicans want to protect, the millionaires and billionaires, would do better if middle class folks could get some more money in their pockets.

11:49 a.m. ET - Obama: If Congress does something I can't run against a do-nothing Congress.

11:49 a.m. ET - Obama gives a "homework assignment": Ask Republicans what their plan is and have it assessed by the same independent economists that have assessed our jobs plan.

11:47 a.m. ET - Obama: The response from Republicans has been no. And they haven't given a reason why.

11:45 a.m. ET –Obama: I am always open to negotiations, what is also true is they need to do something. I think it is very clear that if members of Congress come in and say we want to build infrastructure, here's what we want to do...I am ready, eager to work with them. But that's not what we're hearing. What we're hearing is their big ideas, the ones that make sense, are ones we're already doing.

11:45 a.m. ET - Question from Bill Plante, CBS News: Are you negotiating with Congress or simply campaigning against them?

11:44 a.m. ET - Obama says there will always be a debate about what will be successful and Department of Energy based their decisions on what would make sense. For every success there might be one that doesn't work out as well.

11:40 a.m. ET - Obama says what's been true historically is that businesses that rely on new technologies–it's going to take awhile before they get takeoff. There are a lot of up-front investments that have to be made...clean energy companies are competing against traditional energy companies and traditional energy is cheaper but it's running out and causes pollution. And other countries are subsidizing these companies much more aggressively than we are, partly because they're projecting (how important they will be in the future).

11:40 a.m. ET - Question from David Nakamura, Washington Post: Why has the green industry been so slow to respond to the assistance your administration has provided?

11:38 a.m. ET - President says that's why we need a consumer watchdog.

11:37 a.m. ET–Obama: I was trying to make a broader point which is that people have been using financial regulation as an excuse to charge customers more. They have that right, but it's not necessarily a fair practice.

11:37 a.m. ET - Question from Hans Nichols, Bloomberg News: How do you plan on stopping banks from implementing new fees and do you believe your administration has a right to dictate how much profit corporations make?

11:36 a.m. ET –Obama: I'm not going to cave to the competition when they're heavily subsidizing these companies.

11:32 a.m. ET – On Solyndra: We've got to dominate cutting edge technologies and manufacturing. Part of what's happening is other countries are putting enormous subsidies in these companies to get them started overseas. We knew from the start the loan guarantee program was going to involve some risk. The overall portfolio has been successful. There are going to be some companies that did not work out. Solyndra was one of them...but I have confidence the decision were made based on what would be good for the American economy and getting people back to work.

11:32 a.m. ET - Obama: I've got complete confidence in our ability to find out who made that decision and why it was made.

11:31 a.m. ET
- Obama: Prosecutions aren't my job, that's the attorney general's job.

11:28 a.m. ET - Obama says one of the biggest problems is a lot of that stuff wasn't exactly illegal but it was immoral and that's why we needed to pass Dodd-Frank. The financial sector is always looking for ways to make money, that's their job...if there's a loophole to be found they'll take advantage of it.

11:28 a.m. ET - Question from Jake Tapper, ABC News: You administration hasn't been very aggressive in prosecuting Wall St. executives for malfeasance, why is that? In light of the Fast and Furious and Solyndra scandals, are you worried at all how your administration is reacting?

11:26 a.m. ET– Obama: That does not make sense to the American people and they are frustrated by it. I'm going to be fighting every step of the way (to make sure agency is successful).

11:25 a.m. ET - President discusses vote on Richard Cordray to head Consumer Protection Financial Bureau and resistance on the part of Republicans to confirm him.

11:22 a.m. ET
– Obama: It's giving voice to a more broadbased frustration at how our financial system works.

11:21 a.m. ET– Obama: I've heard of it, I've seen it on television. I think it expresses the frustration that the American people feel...you're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight methods to keep (financial meltdown) from happening again.

11:21 a.m. ET–Question from Jackie Calmes, New York Times: Are you following the Occupy Wall St. movement that began in New York City has spread to other cities and what are your reactions to it?

11:21 a.m. ET - Obama: Even ideas that used to be supported by Republicans, if I propose them, suddenly they're against them.

11:20 a.m. ET
- President says this is a good opportunity for Americans to see that Congress has the ability to come together and act. There may be skepticism that he personally can persuade Republicans, but that's why he needs the American people to put the pressure on them.

11:19 a.m. ET– Obama: We can afford this bill without affecting our deficit. Our proposal is paid for, so that can't be the excuse.

11:16 a.m. ET - President says Americans are receptive to the jobs bill but frustrated with Congress.

11:15 a.m. ET– Obama says there's going to be more work to do to make tax system fair and explains "Buffett" rule.


11:15 a.m. ET
– Obama: We put forward what we thought was a solid effort to pay for the jobs bill.

11:15 a.m. ET - Question from NBC's Chuck Todd: Do you support Sen. Reid's proposal for a Millionaire's surtax? During the debt ceiling debate you asked the American people to call members of Congress and switchboards got jammed. This time there's not the same reaction. Are you worried about your own powers of persuasion?

11:13 a.m. ET–Obama: If we don't take action we could end up having more significant problems than we have right now. Some of it is simple math

11:12 a.m. ET – Obama: We have to take action that is big enough to meet the moment.

11:11 a.m. ET - Obama: If Republicans are opposed to this bill they need to explain why they're opposed and what would they do? I haven't heard them offer a plan that would offer a similar impact and that's what we need right now.

11:10 a.m. ET - Obama says The greatest source of unemployment has been layoffs.

11:09 a.m. ET - Obama says he's taken the case to the American people in the past few weeks.

11:08 a.m. ET - Obama: What we've seen is games playing, a preference to score political points rather than actually get something done (for the past two years). Our doors are open.

11:07 a.m. ET – Question from Ben Feller, Associated Press: Do you agree with Ben Bernanke that the economic recovery is close to faltering? And wouldn't it be more productive to work with Republicans on a bill that could pass?

11:06 a.m. ET– Obama: With respect to the economy, there is no doubt that growth has slowed. He cites Japanese tsunami and Arab spring, calls debt ceiling debacle "completely unnecessary game playing."

11:05 a.m. ET– Obama: We've got a responsibility to the people who sent us here.

11:04 a.m. ET – Obama: The proposals in this bill are not just random investments, they are steps we need to take if we want this economy to last.

11:02 a.m. ET– Obama: It has funding to prevent more people from losing their jobs.

11:02 a.m. ET– Obama: This tax break would encourage small businesses to hire more

11:00 a.m. ET - Obama: People need jobs right now.

11:00a.m. ET– President Barack Obama: If we don't act, there will be fewer jobs, there will be weaker growth...if we look to next week, any Senator that looks at voting against the jobs bill needs to explain why.

10:59 a.m. ET– President enters East Room.


Filed under: Economy • Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Chris Meier

    How could anyone be opposed to this on political grounds? Isn't the republican opposition to this act evidence of how much they are in the pocket of corporate america?

    October 6, 2011 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  2. Bill

    President Obama asks "If Republicans are opposed to this bill they need to explain why they're opposed and what would they do?" That is a very valid question, but if Democrats are in favor of the bill they need to explain why the Senate has done nothing since reading the bill on September 14th.

    October 6, 2011 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  3. Susan

    In 2003 my father died in an accident. He was a successful banker in small towns in Oklahoma. When he died the governement took half his net worth. Well into the millions. That money was already taxed when he made it, then taxed again when he died. The business was left to the family, and now, not only is the business taxed on income. We are taxed on when we get the income. We are also taxed a fee because of the "bigger financial" people who screwed up. But what really chaps me now is that. O'Bama wants to tax us even more. When is enough, enough.... Why does he not see that if he conitinues to tax the rich who by all means create the jobs for these people. The "rich" will not be able to hire said people he is talking about. If he is going to continue taxing the rich, then get rid of inheritance tax... My father did not work his but off, for all of it to go the governent. He did this for a legacy for his children and grandchildren and so on. Enough is Enough!! Tell me this...why is it every rich person is penalized for doing well? To be completely honest , I would not have a problem with the taxes how they are, if and only if those taxes don't go to the whole government. Let the taxed money stay in each state where money is earned.....

    October 6, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  4. Meagan

    Come on Congress! We need the jobs bill to be passed! In a few years I'm going to be graduating as a early childhood educator and if you don't pass this bill I will not very likely to be able to find a job in my chosen field despite the fact that I will be college educated and ready to make a difference in the lives of children. People like me need your help!

    October 6, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  5. Monica Miller

    President Obama is right he can't do anything unless congress lets him. Maybe we should start thinking about the relection of our senators and congress men and women. Why should we relect them if they don't want to do anything for the American people.

    October 6, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  6. Kate

    Watching the press conference. The President just doesn't get it...

    October 6, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  7. micah

    Ask about #occupywallstreet! Do your country a favour and ask him!

    October 6, 2011 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  8. Hmm

    Mr. Obama has no credibility on economic issues. Mr. Obama's basic belief: government control of all assets – private or public. Mr. Obama's basic strategy: tax until government has control of all private and public assets.

    October 6, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  9. Tim Croake

    Ask Mr President what happened to Elizabeth Warren as Consumer Watchdog

    October 6, 2011 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  10. Meagan

    Come on Congress! We need the jobs bill passed! In a few years I'm going to be graduating as an early childhood educator. If you don't pass this bill I will not be very likely able to find a job in my chosen field despite the fact that I will be college educated and ready to make a difference in the lives of children. People like me need your help!

    October 6, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  11. MTATL

    To the GOP – If the President is so wrong. Then tell us what have you accomplished that makes you so right? What actual things have you done in Congress to actually improve the country? The President has got the preventing the banking and the auto industries from collapsing. I am in my first home because of his programs in his win column. What examples do you have in your win column a $260,000 squirrel preserve in Kentucky, $200,000 video game in Tennessee and $3,100,000 to the Chattahoochee River National Rec. Area here in Georgia. I really would like to know what has the GOP and extremists in Congress actually accomplished that is even worthy of praise.

    October 6, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  12. AlexL

    If you actually read the legislation it has absolutely no chance of changing a thing. This President has no prior executive experience, and does not grasp economic markets or the difficulties of running a business. If he wanted to prod hiring, much more bang for the buck targeting businesses with under 50 employess, which are responsible for 75% of new hires.

    October 6, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Brad Bazzett

    President Obama, you have claimed you are trying to work with Republicans, who have publicly committed to not passing any bills which increase taxes and fail to reduce spending, yet your American Jobs bill increases taxes and does not reduce spending. How does this constitute working with Republicans? Did you even attempt to craft a bill which would work within the the framework of what they have publicly committed to do or are you guilty of the same political grandstanding you accuse Republicans of?

    October 6, 2011 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  14. Joe

    Obama have no clue!!! The reason why we are sending jobs to china its because of labor rate. U.S. cost $10 an hour in china it cost $2 a day. The rest of the reasons are secondary.

    October 6, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  15. glm

    As usual, Obama passes blame on and doesn't say anything. I can't stand listening to him.

    October 6, 2011 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  16. Hmm

    Most effective cost-cutting measure: Reject Mr. Obama 2012

    October 6, 2011 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  17. Kathy

    Sure would like to see Obama give a press conference on jobs without his teleprompter. Now that would be priceless.

    October 6, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  18. ghags17

    ask Obama, why is a government funded company like Solyndra fails but companies in the same industry that are publicly owned strives with success

    October 6, 2011 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
  19. A True Centrist

    Again...stop playing political games Mr President. Yes, the Republicans in the House will not vote for this bill. But be HONEST for once with the American people, admit you don't have the votes from the Democrats in the Senate either. Then explain why neither side of the aisle likes your bill and why you feel they are wrong.

    Typical politician...I thought we voted for better.

    October 6, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  20. Bryan

    Educate yourselves a little and stop listening to these liars. The Republicans in the Senate have tried to bring this bill up for a up or down vote and Harry Reid and the rest of the Democrats refuse to even let it come up for a vote. This is Harry Reid's excuse for blocking the vote:

    "Reid insisted that the president’s demand that Congress vote on the bill “now” did not necessarily mean all other legislative activities had to come to a halt. Reid also renewed an earlier pledge to bring the bill up for a procedural vote this month.

    “Right away is a relative term,” Reid said. "[I] sponsored it, I am the one who brought it to the floor. We need to move to this right away ... I have said I will bring it to the floor this work period.”

    October 6, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  21. ghags17

    ask Obama hwy is he calling his job bill not by what it actually is another STIMULUS package and why won't Reid and the rest of the DEMS support it the way it is in the Senate

    October 6, 2011 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  22. Sniffit

    "In fact Reid opposed a vote on the issue, playing it off as a stunt."

    Because it was a stunt, plain and simple. McConnell tried to attach it to an entirely unrelated bill dealing with China's manipulation of its currency, which was coming up for a vote. Doing it that way would have prevented any debate or amendment of the jobs proposal, which is standard practice for anything the POTUS hands Congress. Then, when Reid offered to give McConnell a vote on the jobs proposal that was entirely separate, but would allow debate and amendment on it (again, which is standard procedure and allows Conrgess to make what it considers a better bill), McConnell refused that offer. McConnell was doing nothing but playing games, trying to simultaneously force a vote on what Obama proposed while tying it to something else so that it would sink both bills. It's nothing but a game to him and the rest of the GOP.

    October 6, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  23. wbn

    Remember, Obama's press conference is only one side of this issue; study both sides. History shows raising taxes never grows the economy. Obama's continuing blasts at "big business," Wall Street, the oil companies, etc. continue to prevent investors from having faith in stocks in those arenas. He simply tripled our national debt (by give-aways that did no good), and now he wants to tax us out of it. Lots of Repubs and a number of Dems (along with polls of the American people) say "No" to the new taxes in Obama's bill that will further cripple investments and, thus, the economy.

    October 6, 2011 11:51 am at 11:51 am |
  24. bull

    Listening to Mr. Obama's excuses and ramblings have made me dumber from hearing it.

    October 6, 2011 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  25. Larry in Houston

    I'm a democrat – but don't always vote that way – But I believe Obama is a one term president, period. The people have spoken, when they voted for a republican congress. Obama just as well "kick back" for the next 13 months, and go into a "lame duck" mode. If I were him, I would take advantage of the perks of the white house, such as : having a porterhouse and Margaritas every night for supper, and whatever else the chefs at the white house could cater to me, in addition to any other perks that I could receive for the next 12 or 13 months.

    October 6, 2011 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
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