June 8th, 2012
03:37 PM ET
3 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. Independent Voter

    If everyone could cote these republican out of the office our country can create more jobs. Obama have a great plan for jobs but the republican congress is stoping him for doing anything to help the country,

    June 9, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  2. John Galt

    This is why we need Gary Johnson as our next president. He will improve the economy better than either Mitt or Obama.

    June 9, 2012 08:54 am at 8:54 am |
  3. McBob79

    This guy is a complete bozo! No teleprompter and he'll say anything. But this is one of those moments where a politician says exactly what he believes even when most know it's not true. Mr. Obama has disdain for the private sector and in his mind it's doing well enough. He believes that the government should play a larger role in people's lives and the public sector is not getting enough money... that's why his so-called jobs bill seeks to borrow more money to pay for public sector work. The guy is economically clueless.

    June 9, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  4. Jonathan Collins

    Having seen Obama at work yesterday, I wonder if he has sheltered himself with Hollywood too long or if he is suffering a mental breakdown. How else do you explain him actually thinking the US economy is well? As time goes by and it becomes more obvious that he will go down to defeat, I expect his behavior to be more and more confusing. The Emperor has no clothes. In the past the Obama supporters might have bought his delusions, but no more. Not to worry folks because three years from now even his talk show will be cancelled.

    June 9, 2012 08:57 am at 8:57 am |
  5. Malory Archer

    Private industry IS doing fine. They're sitting on boatloads of $$$ and not hiring new workers and it has nothing to do with excessive taxes and regulations. They're not hiring because Americans aren't buying their goods/services because businesses aren't hiring, and those of us still lucky enough to have jobs have seen our wages stagnate and in some cases fall off sharply, not because of excessive taxes and regulations, but because employers know they have us over a barrel.

    June 9, 2012 09:08 am at 9:08 am |
  6. Malory Archer

    Jeb Bush said this week that the republican party has moved far too much to the right for him. Why isn't CNN covering that little tidbit?

    June 9, 2012 09:09 am at 9:09 am |
  7. josh

    No kiddin obama.

    June 9, 2012 09:22 am at 9:22 am |
  8. theduke

    Obama's understanding of how the economy works is bizarre. His reasoning is circular. The public sector is doing badly he says because they don't have any money, but the private sector is doing fine. What he doesn't understand is that the public sector doesn't have any money because the "private sector" is not doing well. When the "private sector" is doing well, revenues to governments at all levels increase. Unfortunately, then governments go on spending sprees in a lot of places (especially here in California), which makes them even more strapped for cash when the economy contracts.

    It's the economy, Barack. The economy IS the private sector and it's not doing very well.

    June 9, 2012 09:28 am at 9:28 am |
  9. isnrblog

    Here's the story from the ground in Central Florida. I'm retired, I retired at 55 because I sold several businesses. but my wife is not and now unemployed. All her siblings, all college grads are unemployed. My son is doing OK, my daughter moved to the midwest after she lost her job (college grad) and took a 30% paycut. My nephew graduated from college last week and we talked about job prospects. In a word, hopeless. He is an engineer. There should be a demand for his skill.

    I could go on and on, but from what I see up close and personal, the private sector and the public sector are not hiring at a rate I would brag about if I was Obama. The real national figures show the private sector to be floundering. There are bright spots but it's not enough.

    We are in real trouble and Obama does nothing of substance.

    June 9, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  10. sonny1973

    The real number is about net jobs, if you have 380K signing up for new unemployment and 68k getting jobs it equals net loss, of course most of the liberal college degree types concentrated on Soviet studies instead of math

    June 9, 2012 09:36 am at 9:36 am |
  11. Mazzata

    I voted for the guy and won't do so again. Romney? You HAVE to be kidding; he's an empty suit. Who's left? Write in Mickey Mouse. Makes as much sense as either of the others.

    June 9, 2012 09:45 am at 9:45 am |
  12. T'sah From Virginia

    ►'The economy is not doing fine,' Obama clarifies◄
    But yet R-Money will try to use it in between all of his LIES
    And when the American people calls him out letting him know he's NOT the cream of the crop
    He IGNORES what he is hearing and compulsively continues to LIE and FLIP-FLOP!!

    Wake up America – All the Republicans have is trying to OVERPLAY little "slip-ups" that is NOT going to be remember in November anyway!!!

    Obama 2012 – The Only Trusted Way Forward!!

    June 9, 2012 09:50 am at 9:50 am |
  13. kgt

    Well, at least Obama's got one thing right. The problem with the economy isn't in the private sector, it's with the public sector. The massive size of the public sector and the massive deficit spending to support it is dragging down the entire economy.

    June 9, 2012 09:51 am at 9:51 am |
  14. BADGUY

    Obama was pretty clear: The Private sector is hiring, it should be better, but it's STILL hiring. The Public Sector IS NOT. Republican governors are throwing people out of state government jobs as fast as they can to keep the overall, unemployment rates up! The Republican "spin machine" is overheating!

    June 9, 2012 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  15. Rick

    And the moon is made of cheese, Bigfoot is real along with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny. Obama fell down the rabbit hole a long time ago and his fantasy has become his reality. Time to close the book on this failure of a President!

    June 9, 2012 09:59 am at 9:59 am |
  16. BADGUY

    Romney will provide jobs, alright. Carrying big stones to the top of his Pyramid in Salt Lake City. Why would ANYONE believe a 1%er's going to get them a job? He works for the top 1%..ONLY!

    June 9, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  17. oscar disabled vet.

    We need a stimulus plan for the working people and we dont need to give the banks anymore money they havent kept thier end of the bargain they have spent millions of the stimulus that they recieved from the taxpayers to lobby congress to make it harder for the working class to get ahead. People need to wake up they are using our own money against us thats the truth and we can all say our thoughts on these boards but what will make change is if everyone on here calls thier congressman or rep. us or them.

    June 9, 2012 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  18. BADGUY

    If you're in the bottom 80%, Romney, his 1%'ers, the Republicans and ALL their minions hold you in CONTEMPT. Why would you believe they're going to go to bat for you in finding more jobs or even fixing the economy? The Rich are doing FINE.... thank you very much! Don't look to THEM for any help!

    June 9, 2012 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  19. oscar disabled vet.

    Go back 2008 financial melt down Bush Jr walks out of a meeting between top officials everyone is arguing pointing fingers he gets up an leaves at the meeting Obama, Mccain, Boehner Pelosi, Ried and treasury Poulson.next meeting between bank CEO's and Poulson he gives 5 top banks between 12 and 15 billion dollars of taxpayer money to loan as credit to give to people for a car, a house or anything..to make it easier to apply for credit.What did they do? nothing they gave each other bonus's nothing for us.

    June 9, 2012 10:26 am at 10:26 am |
  20. gg

    looks the wall street boys and girls -want the crash and burn policies back–easy money

    June 9, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  21. JP

    A majority of corporations are sitting of stock pile of cash, neither investing back in USA, nor standing up to social obligations of their employees. To tax these 1% of people, back to what these people were paying a decade ago, 39%, is very very modest. Those who oppose this tax increase on doctors, business houses and high net worth individuals are pocketing big political contributions to delay this tax increase until they are in power. It is also needless to say that government spends too much on things that do not matter. Monuments of Washington DC are like palaces of Saddam hussein, in context of money appropriated for making them better, when the democracy of US is not working for people.

    June 9, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  22. sonnie3

    The Private Sector doing just fine??? Boy is our potus out of touch with reality. This guy is loseing it. Time to put him out to pasture.

    June 9, 2012 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  23. Name willardbullock

    Obama need get out of presdient 2012

    June 9, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  24. g

    give the republicans a war –they need one

    June 9, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  25. Tony

    The private sector is doing better than the overall economy. The economy has replaced all private sector jobs that had been lost since Obama became president. Most of the job losses came in the first six months of Obama's presidency, when the economy was in a free fall. Blaming the job losses on Obama is like blaming G.W. Bush for not stopping 9/11 eight months into his presidency.

    June 9, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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