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. TruthHurts

    Every time I think we've seen the limit of Obozo's stupidity, he rares back and strains out another gem of idiocy. Nominal unemployment 8+percent and the economy is doing fine? Maybe if Obummer would try hanging out with some real people for a week, instead of the Hollyweirdos who toss up $30,000 to have dinner with Odumbo, he might have a more accurate understanding of how the rest of us are hurting.

    June 8, 2012 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  2. pitythefuture

    we probably wouldn't have seen execs. compensation rise again last year to an all time high if the private sector weren't doing pretty good huh?

    June 8, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  3. wade

    If Obama was looking inside out while he was looking outside in he would find the other side of his brain trying to run away from the other side of his brain. LOL.
    Obama cries to Michelle : I need a six month holiday, twice a year.

    June 8, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  4. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    The private sector IS doing fine. My company just expanded its office space in Malaysia and is hiring like gangbusters over there. Or was Obama talking about how much my company is hiring in the U.S.?

    June 8, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  5. Sean

    So which is it??? The economy is doing much better or the economy is in trouble and we have to endure a press conference? I mean just last night on Jimmy Fallon, the inspirational and very knowledgeable Chris Rock said that the economy has been improving every month for TWO YEARS!!! I mean if Chris Rock says it, then it must be true... Duh duh dunna dunna duh duh dunna dunna CIRCUS!!!! Give me a break. The economy SUCKS and is going to get worse before it gets better. Regardless of what Hollywood says.

    June 8, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  6. kelo

    Obama's constant travels thru all 57 States have convinced him that we're all doing just fine.

    June 8, 2012 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  7. PorknBeans

    To TumbledBrains,
    Why are there 23m people out of work since obama’s administration took over? A constant showing of greater than 8% unemployment for his entire term. $16 TRILLION in debt! Why is there a resurgence of the depression era soup kitchen (food stamp distribution: never been higher), why has the trend of rising respect for the black person (garnered and strengthened during the Bush years) taken a complete nose-dive? I’ll tell you why, because obama is a fraud, is the real racist, and is ill-equipped and unprepared for the role created by Hollywood and Socialists. Go to any other web forum other than CNN and obama is getting flat-out smeared with “his truth”. It is you that is delusional (God sent, no doubt).

    June 8, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  8. Dan J

    Let's pretend, for one minute, that Obama is right, its not his fault that the economy isn't doing well, and that its congress' fault. OK, so why should we reelect him if he can't do anything with congress now? Is anything going to change with congress for the next four years? Even if the democrats retake the house, that already happened the first two years of his term. Why should we give him four more years if he can't do anything now?

    June 8, 2012 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  9. tstorm92

    How nice of Romney and the Republicans to "pounce" on Obama's words....only to remind voters once again that it was Romney's party, the "Republicans" who single handedly destroyed the American economy to begin with!

    June 8, 2012 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm |
  10. tstorm92

    How nice of Romney and his Republican cronies to once again remind the American voters that it is Romney's party, the "Republicans" who tanked our economy in the first place!!

    June 8, 2012 11:24 pm at 11:24 pm |
  11. X liberal

    Talk tail shift blame when this goes wrong talk talk adopt I, I, I did when this goes right!! this empty suit of a president is a disgrace to the entire world well except rainbow magarita cut and run crowd who adores economic failure

    June 8, 2012 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  12. LIP

    I recall when during one of those public talks Bill Clinton had, he said how many jobs were available and a woman agreed saying she had three of them just to try to survive...took the wind out of his sails. Now we have a President blowing more smoke up our asses and we are supposed to believe him...get real folks and vote him out. What have we got to lose since we are already losing.

    June 8, 2012 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  13. Joe M.

    So he "misspoke". That seems to be the go-to excuse these days for anything you say that gets an unexpectedly negative response afterwards. Typical Obama. Same with Clinton, who had to bend over backwads to make his comments on the Bush tax cuts fit within the stated goals of the Obama administration. Gotta love these Dems, at least they know that they can rely on the media to propagate these ridiculous "misstatements".

    June 8, 2012 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  14. GonzoinHouston

    I'd like to debunk that tired line "the dems had control of both houses for the first two years". It didn't quite work out that way. They had the house, but the senate was another matter. Yes, 60 democrat senators were elected, but it was very rare to get all 60 in the senate at one time, let alone get them to agree. Al Franken's win was held up in countless challenges, all to keep him from taking office. Sens Kennedy and Byrd were in failing health and passed away. Meanwhile, the GOP was filibustering just about everything and maintaining 40 lock-step votes against anything that Obama wanted, whether or not it might help the country. Obama got the TARP bill, the insufficient stimulus bill (that Texas Gov. Perry used to cover a hole in the state budget), and Obamacare. What probably helped the most was the payroll tax cut, but to get it he had to extend the Bush tax cuts for the richest 2%. Most of the God-awful GWB policies that ruined the economy have not been repealed, and our current state is the result.

    June 8, 2012 11:44 pm at 11:44 pm |
  15. Bribarian

    Obama finally told the truth about something /golfclap

    June 8, 2012 11:53 pm at 11:53 pm |
  16. Greg

    We can talk about all of Obamas failures all we want. But do we really want to fantasize that somehow the Republicans are going to come along and save the day? Please!!!!!! Everything that Obama tried to do was met with a Republican stone wall and IF...IF we get a Republican President everything he will try to do will be met with a Democrat stone wall. Why we say? Well, Didn't we ask for a system of checks and balances? A system where one side can't have everything they want? We demanded a system in which the American people are represented, right? THAT is what we have since half the people believe one way and the other half believe in another. They are us! Right? If not then someone explain?
    You can't change people or their ideologies.

    June 9, 2012 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  17. MarthaBentancurt

    We most give Mr.Obama more time in the wihte house......I wil be voting for . as a first time american citicen proud voter . Mr. Bush destroyed our country........nothing is new.......

    June 9, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  18. Marc

    It's time for this Laughing Stock-in Chief to go.

    Go back to Chicago, BAMA, don't forget MOSHele and don't let the door hit you on your way out.

    Mitt 2012!

    June 9, 2012 01:01 am at 1:01 am |
  19. Eyes Wide Open

    Romney calling Obama "out of touch" is a little like when Bush/Cheney questioned John Kerry's military record... Total opposite-think, and ya know what? It works on voters addicted to sound bites.

    June 9, 2012 01:59 am at 1:59 am |
  20. 2020

    We all have the IQ knowing what the President has said, The private sector is doing better than the public sector, period. it is facts. Can the private sector do better, of course. Sweep out the GOP in Congress, the country will be more than half healed. Listening to Beohner and Kanter talked, it make people throw up. All their nonsense. Romney like a woodpicker, yak yak absolute no substance.

    June 9, 2012 02:22 am at 2:22 am |
  21. 2020

    Brain tumer? do you have one? The President will do just fine, don't you worry. He works hard, those who appreciate it, great, those nuts, get lost

    June 9, 2012 02:26 am at 2:26 am |
  22. Elbert

    The economy's doing fine. The economy's not doing fine
    War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength!
    Long live Big Brother Obama!

    June 9, 2012 02:27 am at 2:27 am |
  23. thomas

    You Romney supporters are so stupid. The whole would is going through a economic trial , America is doing better economically then most other countries. I understand your impatience, but I don't understand your ignorants in regards to how we got in this situation in the first place.

    I lost a lot in this rescission . Yet I'm grateful Obama was elected instead of you guy McCain . Vision don't come in a bottle of Geritol !

    Romney is McCain is Bush. . Diversionary , reactionaries who play on fear .

    The US economy cant afford the transition to a new CEO egotistical flip flopper.

    I had to sit through 8 years of Howdy Doody, surly you can sit through 4 more years of Obamainable.

    Oh , I don't know what I said , but I ment what I said !

    June 9, 2012 02:28 am at 2:28 am |
  24. thomas

    @lividgoosdots
    Why is CNN in the tank for Romney?

    A positive theory of the hedging behavior of value-maximizing ... We treat hedging by corporations simply as one part of the firrn's financing !

    June 9, 2012 02:35 am at 2:35 am |
  25. John ( LET there be TRUTH for once)

    People this isn't about politics anymore...this is about SAVING OUR BELOVED COUNTRY...we are headed to a TOTAL DISASTER under OBAMA and his INCOMPETENT ADMINISTRATION....we must do all we can from SAVING OUR SHIP...we are SINKING FAST...but there is still time if we elect the right people moving forward. We need people with real experience in business not FOOLS that haven't a CLUE on how to BUILD JOBS

    June 9, 2012 02:39 am at 2:39 am |
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