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. Two Of AKind -

    Ah! He's finally realised that the American people are intelligent and they believe the Banks and Economic experts when they say the US Econpomy is headed for the cliff.

    Obama should know. He's driving the bus with his foot flat down on the gas pedal!

    June 8, 2012 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  2. Mary

    Bring in a legislation that says tax cuts for Corporations only depending jobs created here in USA. Last time, Bush tax cuts was passed, Corporations took the job cuts, gave themselves big bonuses and sent the jobs to Bangalore and Shanghai.

    It will be nice if someone creates a list like Offshorer's list that list amount of jobs offshored by companies.

    June 8, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  3. Dan

    He should have just said, "Let them eat cake."

    June 8, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. BinFL

    Remember Mitt saying he wasn't worried about the poor because they have a safety net – who really is out of touch? President Obama is well aware of what's going on in the country and anyone with a functioning brain knows what he meant. I, for one, count 27 straight months of job growth a success considering he turned it around from losing 750,000 jobs a month. If the Repub governors haven't eliminated so many public sector jobs the employment rate would be much better.

    June 8, 2012 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    my favorite comment on this site so far what is how obama cost us 7,000,000 jobs.. it is amazing how soon republicans forget that Bush was in office when the whole world went to hell in a handbasket. yes for the most part the private sector is doing very well look at exxonmobil, chase any of the bank, the auto industry and even numbers on retail. the only place we are still losing jobs right now is in the public sector....

    and for the dumb republicans..... to unpaid wars which were never added to the budget pay for only by supplementals, 1 large unpaid tax cuts, and 100 paid prescrition plan.. these items never appeared on the budget until obama entered office.

    June 8, 2012 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  6. Bob

    He only says what he believes. He is anti-success and anti-business so quite naturally he feels the private sector plays no role in recovery. It is all about the government. We don't need the private sector. The government can take care of us all. All businesses need to move out of the US. He is going to give us all a fair shot at getting as much free stuff as he can. Obama forever!

    June 8, 2012 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    If economy is that bad, stocks will go down like 777 points in 2008. Economy is not that bad....in fact we are hiring in my work place.....true.

    June 8, 2012 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  8. rs1201

    That's OK Mr Clueless...you'll be out of a job come November 2012 and maybe then you'll know how "fine" the 23 million unemployed Americans feel...

    June 8, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  9. Matt

    ...After consulting his Teleprompter.

    June 8, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  10. GA3672

    Mr. President I don't think you understand how to grow jobs. Let's look at your proposal.

    You want to raise taxes so you can give money to states so they can hire teachers, Firefighters and police for one year. The next year who pays for this...? You the local taxpayer in more property taxes.

    Really stop meddling around in economics; surely it is not your strong suite.

    June 8, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  11. Two Of AKind -

    Ifone more whingeing Liberal complains about bad Republican ads or negative informationab out the Democrats I will scream!
    The filthy minded perverted Liberals placed an anti Republican ad last week showing SE Cupp with a "male organ" in her mouth – so they need to shut the hell up. If they can't stand the heat they need to stay out of the kitchen

    June 8, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  12. helmetbreaker

    That statement was even a big lie for Obama. Who do you suppose he thought he could fool with that statement? This had to be bigger than all of "Burger King's whoppers! And to be so arrogant that he thinks Republicans can't use it for political purposes. Using on of context or mis-statements for political purposes has been the trademark of his campaign! How dare anyone question the KING!

    June 8, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  13. Alois

    The economy is not doing fine,' Obama clarifies. It's not the problems in Eroupe, it's not the republiicans, it's not congress, It's your failed,idiotic,socialist, policies that are sinking our country. It's been almost four years now and you have proven to be a failure. You need to stop spending all your time traviling the country, campaigning and bumming money for your reinstallment campaign.

    June 8, 2012 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  14. wrm

    Whichever way the wind is blowing, eh chief?

    June 8, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  15. Really?

    @lividgoosdots
    Because even liberal CNN knows that someone needs to try to undo all the damage Obama has done to this country,

    June 8, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  16. Really?

    @Nate W. VA
    The plan is to get this disaster out of the White House before he does any more damage, then business owners will have an incentive to hire.

    June 8, 2012 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  17. Dave

    We have solid proof that Republicans are rooting for the country to fail. In Mitt Romney's words it is "out of touch" NOT to be negative about America. You are disgusting people.

    June 8, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  18. valwayne

    I watched Obama's press conference and nearly fell off the couch when he said "The private sector is doing just fine"! Does nobody show Obama the jobs reports? Does nobody tell him that we have the worst long term UNEMPLOYMENT and the longest period of UNEMPLOYMENT over 8% since the Great Depresssion? Does nobody tell him that we have the lowest percentage of Americans working since 1981? Does he never watch the news or ask to hear what's going on in the country? And he thinks the real problem with the economy is that we aren't borrowing enough money and hiring more Government workers? His plan to solve our problems is to borrow trillions and trillion more dollars and hire millions more people to work in local, state, and Federal Government offices? No wonder Bill Clinton calls him an Amateur, but that's far worse than being an amatuer that's nearly criminal ignorance! Obama is such a total disaster, and the damage he's inflicted is growing by the day!

    June 8, 2012 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  19. Che Harden

    The Main reason for the people wanting the President to fail[Republicans]is that if he is sucessfull there will be another Black man in the WHITE HOUSE,but opens the possibility of a woman being President.Which would end the rule of the old white male.Not that I'm biased towards white men but the evidence is clear.Watch and pay attention.The same people that ran the country in the ground are the ones with all the Idealogy.Karl Rove is the main one.A surplus turned into a deficit,but the current President has put the country in debt.12 trillion surplus turns into a 10 trillion dollar debt let's see that 22 trillion spent in 8 yrs[tax cuts and war] How conservative is that? Make u wonder or think.So the next time you here about the debt think about the math while listening to the mesenger.

    June 8, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  20. edbonfla

    NVDad and others - the question is, how many of those 4.3 million jobs that were created are still actual jobs that people are being paid to work at this time. For example, were they census jobs that went away? Were they summer jobs that have disappeared? Were they infrastrurcture jobs that no longer exist? My bet is, like the definition of "green" jobs, they are being defined and counted in a manner that best suits the President's campaign. Why doesn't the media ask the question, or do some jounalistic work, and find out how many of the 4.3 million really still exist.

    June 8, 2012 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. Coloradan

    I think what Obama meant was that the private sector was doing fine RELATIVE to how it was doing the last time the Republicans held his office, when after eight years of GOP presidential leadership we were left losing 700,000 jobs a month.

    June 8, 2012 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  22. J.V.Hodgson

    Cloud Jumper and others. I think its you who has the brain tumor or more likeky deafness and a cataracts as well. You and Romney come out with generalirities like "he ( Obama) is completely out of touch" or the Romneyism that he "understands business ran Bain etc" and will reduce taxes with no idea how to pay the budget deficit cost thereof except by imposing draconian austerity measures on the poor and middle class which is what is not working in Europe, and heavily criticised by most US economists as doing nothing to create jobs just the opposite i.e increasing unemployment. (11% in the eurozone overall.)
    Out of touch with what works at a federal level and International global economy level are Romney and Rand Paul, and what really gets me is Romney saying he will do X&Y on day one, never mind Congress and the Senate... now who is out of touch with reality??
    You see cloud jumper ( its clear you live in cloud cuckoo land) because you have not given a single correct fact to support "your out of touch" I have knocked some holes in that with just a couple of facts from both sides of the aisle.
    Over to you, your turn but give me facts not sound bites.
    Regards,
    Hodgson.

    June 8, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  23. Greenspam

    Once again, Obama is forced to show respect to white man... shameful.. simply shameful.

    June 8, 2012 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  24. Brian

    Flip flop flip flop
    "evolving" "clarified" = not playing out as intended, better FLIP FLOP
    Because according to libtards changing your mind about anything indicates weakness, unless it is a libtard, of course.

    June 8, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  25. Mikey

    @cloudjumper – You can always tell those who have difficulty forming intelligent arguments, because the quickly resort to insults. How does that shoe fit? Your anger and distain (hatred??) clouds your judgment and renders your input useless.

    June 8, 2012 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
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