Obama: Fixing economy likely to take 'more than one president'
December 10th, 2011
01:05 PM ET
2 years ago

Obama: Fixing economy likely to take 'more than one president'

(CNN) - President Barack Obama outlined a grim picture for economic recovery, saying in an interview to air Sunday night that it could take years for the nation to reverse what he called structural problems "that have been building for two decades."

"That's going to take time. That's going to take more than a year," Obama tells "60 Minutes" on CBS. "It's going to take more than two years. It's going to take more than one term. It probably takes more than one president."

With continued high unemployment and sluggish economic growth, Obama is widely expected to face a stiff reelection battle in 2012.

And while the unemployment number for November dropped to 8.6%, the lowest since March 2009, the labor market has added less than a third of the 8.8 million jobs lost during the recession. About 13.3 million people remain unemployed, with 43% of them having been out of work for more than six months.

Republican presidential candidates often point to a statement Obama made soon after he took office in 2009, in which he said he expected his administration to steer the country out of the problem by the end of his first term.

"I will be held accountable. I've got four years," Obama said in a TV interview. "A year from now I think people will see that we're starting to make some progress, but there's still going to be some pain out there. If I don't have this done in three years, then there's going to be a one-term proposition."

Asked by CBS this week if he overpromised during his 2008 campaign and at the start of his presidency, Obama said he always expected the bumpy road.

"I didn't overpromise, and I didn't underestimate how tough this was going to be," he said. "I always believed that this was a long-term project. This wasn't a short-term project. And, you know, for individual Americans who are struggling right now, they have every reason to be impatient."


Filed under: 2012 • Economy • President Obama
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. John

    It will tak ea lot more than one president if we keep electing republicans like Bush and this crop of clowns running now on the same failed policies that created these problems. It's going to take more than one Democrat president to fix years of failed right wing idiology!

    December 10, 2011 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  2. David

    This agrees with what Reagan and Bush sr.s top economic advisors said after the 08 crash – when they said it would take about 15 years for full recovery. Shows the imporantance of regulating against too big to fails, and ensuring more too big to fails are not created buy privatizing social security or medicare.

    December 10, 2011 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  3. Annie, Atlanta

    Mr. President, why are you not interested in going after the people who fraudulently caused the global meltdown? And why didn't you insist, when you had both houses of congress, to reinstate Glass-Steagall?

    And a question for congress: Why are you allowing yourselves to benefit from insider information? That should be against the law.

    God, our whole governmental system is rigged. How do we, the people, get it back on track?

    December 10, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  4. crooked bridge

    While I am sure he will be criticized for making this statement, it is realistic in nature. Hanging this economy on one man or one administration is disingenuous at best. Any republican candidate suggesting that they will turn it around in their first term are simply lying, to themselves and certainly others.

    December 10, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  5. Woman In California

    I agree Mr. President and I FULLY intend to give YOU another term to put this country back on the right path. Bush (yes, Bush) was given two full terms to do this damage and the president needs to be given the same. Anyone unwilling to help him should be voted out of office. All he needs is to be given the same fair treatment other presidents were given in the past COMPROMISE would be the first step. IF people are REALLY honest with themselves – and look past their personal differences – what they would see are positive changes and I think he is the man to do it.

    December 10, 2011 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. Ramesh Shrestha

    President, I do understand that you do not own a magic wand to fix this systemic mess. You have done something that will help America a generation or two down the road, which is a great thing. I think you need to do more to elevate the condition of our educational system and better the healthcare system. Nevertheless, now is the time when pain hurts the most and we the people are feeling it every day of our life. When this happens, we question the credibility of the policies of the president, in this case, you. I think you need to do something drastic to help and encourage the private sector to create jobs here in America. We need those manufacturing jobs, we need those customer service jobs, we need those consultation jobs, we need those hi-tech jobs. Will you please do something to bring our jobs back to America? Those are our jobs and it hurts to see someone in another corner of the world do it for us.

    December 10, 2011 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  7. doug

    Obama says it will take more than 1term2 get out of this recession-funny he should say this cuz the recession was way worse under ronald reagan&yet he managed2get the u.s. out of it by creating millions upon millions of jobs b4 his 1st term ended-does obama even realize that this is how reagan1n his re-election landslide by carrying all but1state&d.c. with 525 electoral votes-the most of any prez in u.s. history?

    December 10, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  8. Jilli

    He's absolutely right. There's no quick fix, this is a structural economic problem. Of course, the outright obstruction by the republicans isn't helping matters. In fact, it's working just as they planned, it's slowing the recovery.

    December 10, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  9. tnwoman1948

    This economic "mess" started when President was still a student in college. To expect him or any president to fix it in fours years is ignorance on our part. The manufacturing base of our country has been shipped overseas to take advantage of sweat shop labor in foreign countries whose people are desparately poor and willing to work for any level of wage in any types of conditions. This "mess" will not be fixed unless we are willing to accept a much lower standard of living. I am so glad my working days are over, but I feel for the younger people.

    December 10, 2011 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  10. Sorensen

    Not if he is bright and courageous enough!!

    December 10, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |