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. Jim Bo

    Here is the thing.... The Republicans Job bill reads like this..... 'Repeal Obama Care', 'Make Bush Era Tax Cuts Permanent' or 'Re-write the TAX CODE', 'Eliminate Bad Regulations'.... Maybe you agree maybe you don't.... But of course if you speed billions of dollars somebody will get a job... until the Money runs out.... Maybe if the Last STIMULUS didn't have a bunch of political payoffs in it I may Trust Obama.... But he has lost my trust now... All I see is an attempt at Gotcha, Call You Out, Activist style politics coming from Him.... Not what I was looking for in a TRANSFORMATIONAL PRESIDENT!

    October 6, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. petemg

    We must now convince both Republicans and Democrats to unite since the president is not doing a thing other than creating enemies among the people. Again Obama is the mastermind of mind control.

    October 6, 2011 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  3. Michael A Donegan

    As a Veteran and Union Member, I've seen my fair share of the impossible dreams acts, This proposal after reading it seems to be more for the working class and the companies who hire them. We've been asked to give till it hurts while we watched as others took advantage of our pain, Yes, I know we and our kids have a lot of changes coming but why do we have to be told that this won;t work when the only people not out of work are the Politicians in Washington who are living off our sweat.
    Yes, Tax the wealthy, Tax those who have taken away our homes. There is a Revolution coming and it's not going to be powered by the Wealthy

    October 6, 2011 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. KenK

    Bring the job bill for a vote now. That way we can see who is on what side of the issue and plan for next year's election.
    Mr Obama is overexposed.

    October 6, 2011 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  5. Joe

    You guys have to understand why congress is givng obama a hard time in his proposals, its because of what is written on a fine line, all those hidden agendas inserted on those proposals.
    Instead of encouraging the wealthy and the super rich to open up companies and invest in U.S. companies in turn creates jobs and taxpayers what obama is doing now is taxing more the wealthy as if its their fault because they worked hard and operated their business the right way. Just like Susan said his dead Dad paid already taxes on the money he made. Now he is dead the government takes more now that he is dead.

    October 6, 2011 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  6. T'sah from Virginia

    ►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 | ◄

    Wow – so you want to pay people here in the United States to work for $2 a day???? Now who doesn't have a clue? There are only two classes left in America – RICH and POOR – the middle class is gone!!! I would love to see you live off of $2 a day and at the same time, your BOSS or CEO gets MILLIONS in bonuses!!!! Come on now, you can THINK better than that!!!

    The Republicans always SAY what they want to DO and then don’t do what they say... It's always, "I believe and agree with you yesterday but DON'T when you present it today!! The problem is – President Obama is "presenting" it and that "irks" the RIGHT – especially when the president is RIGHT!!! The RIGHT wants to be in President Obama's position so they can “present” the SAME ideas President Obama is presenting now. Republicans are such hypocritical LOSERS!!!

    By the way – is this “Joe the Plumber?” --- Obama/Biden 2012!

    October 6, 2011 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  7. Sniffit

    "History shows raising taxes never grows the economy. "

    Really? Is that why, after Clinton raised taxes as one of the first things he did in office, he went on to create more jobs than Reagan, Bush 1 and Dubya COMBINED? I guess you sure know your history.

    October 6, 2011 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Actually there is little justification for ANYONE in Congress to vote for his bill. The Dems in the Senate wouldn't even allow it to be brought up to a vote, because there was no Dem support for it. It is a horrendous, and wasteful bill, with dictatorial requirements on employers, that employers will NOT accept.

    The public has no idea of how bad this bill really is, because the liberal media don't really expose what's in it!

    October 6, 2011 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  9. Hmm

    Prior to the 2008 election, Mr. Obama was a U.S. Senator. What efforts did Senator Obama make to relieve or to worsen the comign econmic crisis?

    October 6, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  10. Hmm

    Sorry about typos in 10-06-2011 12:19 pm comment: "coming" "economic"

    October 6, 2011 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  11. Anonymous

    Increase Taxes!!!!! President Obama it is an EMERGENCY and in an emergency situation you have to just do it! Future generations will be thankful to you.

    October 6, 2011 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Joe

    Americans we are the innovators, creators, inventors. This is the reason why we are number one eventhought we are just 260 years old as compared to Europe and the rest of the world. If the government creates a program to support all of the
    future Henry Ford, Bill gates, Steve Jobs, from technology to foods....etc, etc. There are a lot of these people right now all over america who have innovative ideas but no financial support. Isn't this how the american dream and the land of opportunity got started? Started by moms and pops businesses? This is where the economy starts... from moms and pops supported by the american consumers who likes their products...

    October 6, 2011 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  13. Guest

    Raising taxes and increasing the deficit (you know, that thing that has all the investors nervous and is one of the major causes of the economic slowdown in the first place) is not a good way to improve the economy.

    If I thought I could trust the government for one second to take a tax increase and actually apply it to deficit reduction, I'd be willing to listen but this is just more of the same tax and spend that both parties are addicted to.

    The President is trying to pull a Bill Clinton and campaign against a GOP House instead of taking actual steps to produce something that may pass. He WANTS them to vote this down so that he can score political points at our expense.

    October 6, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  14. Bonnie Taulbee

    President Obama is right he can't do anything unless congress lets him. They already made it clear they were not going to do anything until he is gone. And, that he would be a 1 term President. They really did say that, we all heard it. 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. They don't care that our neighbors our losing their homes because they lost their job. And, I have seen this alot here in Preble County, Ohio. President Obama said it would be hard to get us back on track because of all that happened before he was elected. He can't do it alone. Congress you were sent there to help instead of fighting him every step of the way. Either help him or get out of the way. Maybe some of you, Boehner, McConnell, have been there too long. It is obvious that you don't care about The Pesident... and raising taxes will help. Just open your eye and look at what Clinton did. News Media, also, you don't help. We could all do without your opinion!

    October 6, 2011 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  15. bull

    Until companies are penalized for outsourcing our jobs overseas, there will never be an improvement.

    October 6, 2011 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  16. Bermille

    Same tired argument that tax increases mean loss of jobs- that is what republicans will say. I wonder how long it will take for people to realize this is actually wrong?

    October 6, 2011 12:46 pm at 12:46 pm |
  17. bull

    Raise taxes??!! I don't see that as an option. Do you do that with your home budget? Force your boss to give you more money??? No!!!! This goverment has to operate on what it is getting. And that is half a year of my salary and everyone else! There is no more middle class.

    October 6, 2011 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Rachel Tucker

    I'm a student. As a student, I have a lot of the world weighing on my shoulders. If the economy continues to go downhill, I'm not sure where I will be in the next few years. Please, please, pass this Jobs Bill. Those opposed cite their children and wanting their children to have a better, Obama-free future. Well, I am your children. Please pass this bill. Please employ the millions of unemployed or struggling Americans. It's time for real change. People have been complaining about how Obama isn't taking action-well, now he is. I am not only speaking to Republicans- Democrats have to be on this as well. Give up your stubborness, compromise a little, it's time to do something for our country.

    October 6, 2011 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Rich McDaniel wrote:
    The Dems in the Senate wouldn't even allow it to be brought up to a vote, because there was no Dem support for it.
    ------------
    Technicaly, that never happened. McConnell tried to attach it to another bill as an amendment, so that a vote could be taken, which would have allowed them to filibuster and kill two bills at the same time. But, it was a very nice try.

    October 6, 2011 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    bull wrote:
    Raise taxes??!! I don't see that as an option. Do you do that with your home budget? Force your boss to give you more money???
    ------------
    No. I go to my boss and ask him for a pay cut. That always works. He's seems always willing and able to cut my pay.

    October 6, 2011 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  21. Pollopa

    Some here would have us continue to do nothing which means continue the same failures of the last 10 years. It is proven in our history which is easily viewed by a little reseach called Google, that regulation is not stopping business from growing. Consumers of goods is whats stopping us. More people to work means more drive to our economy. Whether you like it or not, Our President is trying to move the needle from do nothing to doing something. 99% wnat us to do something. Looks like he's part of the 99%. Good luck with the 1%'s like Susan who sadly lost her father which I did also, but in my case instead of having to decide if I drive a Chevy or a Porche, we had to decide if we had food on the table or gas to get to work.

    October 6, 2011 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  22. Joe

    I propose to have everyboby that works in the whitehouse (Washington) will get paid based on performance on their job. Just like the CEO's in the private sectors. If the economy shrinks by 10% all their salairies and benefits also shrinks by 10%, likewise if they were able to get job done and the economy went up by 10% also gives them increase of 10%. This will straighten up a lot of workers in washington.

    October 6, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  23. A Repulbican

    I can't wait until obama is otui, we take both senate and the house, and everything good and bad will be on us. If it doesn't work out, which I dobt it will, then we'll be run out as we should be for selling th e lie that all these problems is because obama doesn't understand economics and so forth, and he caused it all, the almost depression, banks failing, major companies bankrupt, yes he caused it all in 2 years. If you believe that, then Mitt is your man. Geez people, let's have some common sense. We pay taxes for congress to do something rather than criticizee the president, DO SOMETHING!!!! Or give me my tax money back that pays for your income, government healthcare and government pension plan thats not good enough for public employees.

    October 6, 2011 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  24. informed voter

    Joe said: "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." So I guess Joe, along with the other righties, think Americans should accept $2 an hour wages. Yup, they want to take the country back, alright, back to the 1800's!

    October 6, 2011 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  25. Guest

    If he wants a tax increase I want a promise that 100% of that increased revenue will be used for deficit reduction and not spent along with even more borrowed dollars.

    October 6, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
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