June 8th, 2012
03:37 PM ET
2 years ago

'The economy is not doing fine,' Obama clarifies

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama, walking back his assertion at a press conference the "private sector's doing fine," acknowledged Friday that "it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine."

The struggling economy, he clarified, is "why I had the press conference."

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"That's why I spent yesterday, the day before yesterday, this past week, this part month, this past year talking about how we can make this economy stronger," Obama said in the Oval Office. "The economy is not doing fine. There are too many people out of work. The housing market is still weak, there are too many homes underwater."

In the press conference Friday morning, Obama touted job growth in the private sector of the economy, describing the public sector - state and local governments - as the weight dragging the economy.

"The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last two, 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector's doing fine," Obama said. "Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government, oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in."

CNNMoney: Obama to Congress: Do something

Republicans wasted little time on Friday hammering Obama for his remark. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney asked at a campaign event in Utah if the president was "really that out of touch."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (353 Responses)
  1. Dee

    They knew what he meant that's the reason he had the news conference. The GOP is just pouncing on anything they can, they came out looking like children given a new toy and they are very much aware that they have not passed that jobs bill and wants the President out of the White House. They had better be careful that they don't lose this election because the middle class and poor will be coming out in numbers. Polls are not representative of the american people.

    The audience of Mitt Romney is lily white and does not represent all americans. The news media is not helping instead of reporting the news everyone is opinionated and saying what the President should be saying especially Chris Matthews. If they know so much about running this country then they should run for President.

    It is appalling how this President is disrepected you don't have to agree with him but he is due respect. I would hate to see him angry and we saw a little take of this today. If he is out of touch as Romney says then you better not put him in the White House because he will only serve the Billionaires who put him there and the middle class and poor will have to fend for themselves.

    June 8, 2012 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  2. Bruce

    17 million jobs lost. 4.3 million have not been "created." Jobs will not be created until we reach the level where we were and advance beyond that.

    June 8, 2012 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  3. Ed1

    How do you say waffle that's right Obama still doesn't get it. We are not doing fine but the Federal Government is doing just fine with all of their out of control spending and playing the blame game time you step up and admit Obama you are just plain wrong.

    June 8, 2012 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  4. davidfromwi

    Remember Baghdad Bob? (Iraqi minister of Information Muhammad Saeed al-Sahhaf ) when the U.S. troops were at the Baghdad airport and Bob was on Iraqi media saying "They are NOT at airport, the republican guard is in FULL control" and other nonsense comments he made? That's what Obama reminds me of now when he says our economy is getting better and such. In fact just today he said it again, then hours later the credity agencies were like "uhhh no its not, in fact your in risk of losing more credit rating." He just blatantly blurts out untrue nonsense JUST like Baghdad Bob!!

    June 8, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  5. bill

    This guy is clueless.

    June 8, 2012 07:58 pm at 7:58 pm |
  6. Montana Dude

    Romney's full of Mitt.

    June 8, 2012 08:04 pm at 8:04 pm |
  7. embarrassing

    He is so embarrassing.......the ruler of the free world.....the first black president....what a LOSER we have in office. How did he get there? CHANGE, CHANGE, CHANGE.....many wanted change.....well guess what you boobs.......YOU GOT CHANGE!!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA1

    June 8, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  8. Leftcoastrocky

    "After saying President Barack Obama does not care about the private sector, Mitt Romney on Friday dismissed unemployment in the public sector, saying the country does not need more firemen, policemen or teachers."

    Romney - the gift that keeps on giving.

    "Romney/2012–Building a Bridge Back to the Nineteenth Century"

    June 8, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  9. obasucks

    Odumbo at his finest...."walking back" his latest stump speech (at taxpayer expense)....what an idiot...

    June 8, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  10. Butch in the Carolinas

    Soooo, Obama got caught, and now he is eating crow!

    June 8, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  11. voodkokk

    GOPWatcher

    Karl Rove and the republicans must have a boiler room somewhere full of Dittoheads posting on this site-never seen so many hate-filled talking points-Is there anything the president can say or do that dosen't get slamed. One of you idiots even said he'd take George Bush back any day-WOW!-just WOW!-either they don't have a clue about what's going on with the republicans obstructing everything or they're dummer than they sound.
    ------

    Fox News comments are down and they are just venting. A little payback from the dem trolls on Fox.

    June 8, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  12. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @GOPWatcher

    No, the republicans aren't clueless about anything! They know fully well that President Obama has been succeeding in cleaning up the gop's mess,moving the country forward and that's their problem! Its called ENVY and JEALOUSY! Why would anyone say that they'd rather have Bush back when they know fully well what he has done to this country and the world? These racists are so envy and jealousy of the President succeeding in moving the country forward and making so many unprecedented and historic achievements that they will say anything stupid to display their bigotry and hate!

    June 8, 2012 08:20 pm at 8:20 pm |
  13. NotGood

    What's he talking about...didn't he just do four or five or ten fundraisers this week alone? What ever happen to the honest lies in politics? I give-up.!

    June 8, 2012 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  14. obasucks

    Margaret Thatcher once said, "the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money." Odumbo would like to stimulate the economy with more government workers??? Where does he think these new government wages/health care/ and pension dollars will come from....? You got it, those of us who pay taxes to his socialist/dependence agenda. Odumbo, you will soon run out of other people's money.

    June 8, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
  15. Mike S

    It is very obvious that Obama fell upstaged by Bill Clinton's interview on CNBC. So Obama decided he could do one better than Clinton and called for the press conference to show his superior leadership. What happened? Obama showed how out touch he is with the economic problems.

    June 8, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  16. Nunya

    Oh get a clue, there is no 'walking back' in that statement. It was clear what he meant in the first place and he is reiterating *exactly the same thing* he said in the first place. The private sector is doing fine, and the government is cutting back enough to make the overall picture rather weak growth. All in all, one would think it's a Republican's dream situation – the private sector is growing and the government is shrinking...

    And if you want to look at the details of why states are cutting back so much, start looking in the GOP books. In my state, the government has been cutting back and trying to make it through the recession for the last four years. Now that we finally are seeing the light of day and revenues might start to pick up, what happens? That's right, the GOP passes a massive tax cut that is going to cause even more cuts in education and other state expenditures than already had to be done during the severe recession.

    June 8, 2012 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  17. Taxed Citizen

    Now he is telling the truth?

    June 8, 2012 08:29 pm at 8:29 pm |
  18. Bill in VA

    Obama doesn't get it and I don't mean his comment about the private sector doing fine. Government jobs don't create any wealth. He should claim credit for reduction in gov't jobs that are reducing deficits. Yes some are needed. Those that deal with national defense and homeland security are at the top of the list. But if you really want to create private sector jobs, get the EPA and Dept of Energy out of the way. They are part of the problem. If Obama scaled back those departments he would create far jobs than the gov't loses = a win win. But he doesn't think that way. He actually believes the government is the long term solution to everything. He is smart in the academic sense only. No real wisdom.

    June 8, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  19. BinFL

    Give the guy a break – he was saying the jobs created were in the private sector and most jobs lost have been in local and state governments. He knows the economy needs improvement and that's why he is pushing Congress to pass the infrastructure bill and to help strengthen states so they can hire back teachers and public empoyees.

    June 8, 2012 08:32 pm at 8:32 pm |
  20. Jersey Girl

    @BBear1 -
    Have to agree, R-Money is the Gaffe-Meister. It's rather odd because he is also the biggest LIAR in recent history that has run for president! That people would even consider him for presidential material is beyond me. He is clueless when it comes to the average person, squirreling $ away overseas to avoid paying American taxes! Enlarging his home at this time & putting in car elevators, clueless doesn't even begin to cover it....

    June 8, 2012 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  21. maestra730

    Obama has severely damaged this nation, and he could not care less. Fame and power were all he was after from the very beginning, and he got that. So what if he's ruined the American economy? So what if he's weakened our national defense and humiliated us all over the world? He only worries about himself and his next trip or photo op. What a disgrace.

    June 8, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  22. Rick in Phx

    This is absolutely hilarious.... In 2008 Romney was considered a joke by most republican standards. Now he's "The Great Hope".. According to most extimates Romney is worth between 80 to 240 million dollars. As an independant I just have a couple of questions. According to the republican philosophy, give tax cuts to the rich and they will create jobs. EXACTLY how many jobs has Romney been responsible for creating since the economy tanked? And what EXACTLY did Romney do with the money he recieved from the Bush tax cuts? Apparently he and his wife donated it to his campaign. Talk about smoke and mirrors GEEZ ! ! ! If you follow the republican logic. Mitt Romney should at least be responsible for creating at least a few thousand jobs because of the trickle down effect. So with this guys personal wealth he has not created one job but, as president he will create millions and millions of jobs. good luck with that lol.

    June 8, 2012 08:40 pm at 8:40 pm |
  23. Jersey Girl

    @PorknBeans-
    You are mistaken when u say Obama is a "$16T president." Right now the deficit is at 16 trillion, but the president is not responsible for most of that! I believe it was at around 11 trillion when he took office, thanks to Bush's 2 unfunded wars, Bush's Medicare Part D, and Bush's temporary tax cuts, which will go away early next year, primarily for the upper $ ppl. Step away from the FAUX CHANNEL and it's low-information viewer. Thank you.

    June 8, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  24. BinFL

    @MommyTwice – great comments and right on!

    June 8, 2012 08:48 pm at 8:48 pm |
  25. CNNguest001

    Repubs have nothing and they know it. So all they can do is try and pretend that the near depression mess created by 8 years of Bush is somehow Obama's fault. On top of that, they pretend that there is some rule that a president has less than 4 years to patch and fix an absolutely tanked economy. It took 8 years to break the country (thank you R's), and like any other broken mess, it takes a lot longer to put the pieces back together. The (R) kind of thinking is absurd, and they know it. They just want to be voted-in to gain money and power for themselves and their soulless friends. Why would anyone fall for their continued lies, deceit and underlying hatefulness for the real people and purpose of this great country? (R) = Pure EviI

    June 8, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
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