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. The Motley Sage

    OBAMA 2012....period. They gave Bush 8 years to screw the USA up...I'm going to give Obama 8 years to fix it.

    June 8, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  2. Lynda/Minnesota

    Actually, the private sector is doing fine. Record high profits all around.

    The job sector, not so much. Then again. That's to be expected.

    Record high public sector layoffs will do that to an economy. Especially an economy in which the private sector is holding back job growth, not promoting it.

    June 8, 2012 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  3. mommytwice

    the economy will wax and wane, up and down. It always does. I think the GOP and their supporters are too quick to comdemn Obama for every tiny fluctuation.
    Here is what I see:
    I see a man who was elected president fair and square, and within weeks of his swearing in, he was being told the GOP had no other goal in life than to oust him from office. I see a president that was sworn in with wars raging all through the Middle East, an economy that was hemmoraging jobs and money, and no one was interested in stopping any of it. The interest lay in ousting Obama from office. I see a president who took offfice knowing there would be a loooong road to recover from this, and I see a Congres hell-bent on seeing him fail. If the government bodies cannot even TRY to act like they want this country to recover, then it will leak into the population. No one in Congress has ever wanted things to improve, because that would mean Obama had decent ideas that were working. So, they filibutsered, they obstructed, they yelled, they screamed, the ranted about his birth certificate, and on and on. Never, in my witnessing, did they try to be productive and helpful, or show any genuine concern for what was happening. What we heard was about the birth certificate, how religion wasn't a big enough part of politics, and "we want Obama to fail". It has been a sad farce of a Congress, and I for one am ashamed of them. I have never seen such childish, self involved behavior since I stopped teaching elementary school. Is Obama perfect? Of course not. But was he given a fair shot with proper support? Not once from day one.

    June 8, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  4. person of interest

    Tax the rich and give to the poor, because this is the Golden Rule, according President Obama. Those are also his words, not mine. So, I guess he hasn't taxes the Rich enough, yet!!! My words, "Obama's words are NOT the Golden Rule according to the book I read. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Not take from others, and give to others. Rev Wright probably taught Obama his Golden Rule theory, while he was just sitting there for twenty years.

    June 8, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  5. Investment Advisor

    When will these Politicians learn not to make promises they can't keep? More importantly and to the root of the problem, when will voters see through all these lame promises and vote for the candidate that offers up the "tough-love" solutions? Looks like Wisconsin could have started the movement.

    June 8, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  6. Debby

    As a private sector buisness person we are not doing fine lynda/minnesota.

    June 8, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  7. fullclarity

    Let it go, Mmitt, you have your own issues and glass house to worry about, not Obama's.

    June 8, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  8. jim

    W.H. jerk going to help the big union jobs, get them back to work so they can pay dues that go back to Dem. Party. It's over read the news in Wis. San Diego, San Jose. That party had two years with all three branches of Govt. No private sector help, no jobs, just social isseue. Health care, gay this, gay that, pill, womans pay. Now it's come back on them.

    June 8, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  9. John

    We are in the mess we are in expressly and precisely due to Republican philosophy and method. Their philosophy is to get theirs while the getting is good and f everyone else. Their method is obstruct everything, even those things that might serve them in the long run, for the short-term goal of defeating Barack Obama personally. I hope the whole Republican party gets flushed down the toilet come November. I'm an Independent, and that's how I will be voting.

    June 8, 2012 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  10. cali girl

    California Gary, I like your posts too. And hi to Sniffit and Woman in California and Dominican Mama.

    June 8, 2012 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  11. mikle

    He always like bla-bla-bla. President of food stamp and community org. don't now what he is talking about.

    June 8, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  12. Wrong again

    Obozo said "Europe" is our largest trading partner. Canada's trade is larger than all of Europe combined, as per the Department of Commerce website.

    June 8, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  13. New Age Independent

    It's become very clear that Obama has absolutely no clue what to do on the subject of the economy. His talking points only say to blame someone else now. I can't believe I actually voted for the guy. What a mistake that was in hindsight.

    June 8, 2012 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  14. Doug

    How dies Obama claim he has created 4.3 million new jobs when the unemployment rate has never dropped below 8%?

    June 8, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Sitting on $2 trillion in cash. I thing the private sector is doing just fine myself. They need to invest that money back into the economy. NOW!!!

    June 8, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  16. Four and The Door

    tumbleweed
    Private sector ccompanies have made more profit than ever before. Look at the stock market's record levels.
    They are sitting on billions in profit and not hiring.. the Right wants to give them more tax cuts??
    __________________________________________________________________________________________
    You must be Obama's Secretary of Misinformation. Only the largest companies are doing well and this is due in no small part to Obama's philosophical brother Ben Bernanke at the Fed keeping interest rates near zero. Small businesses are not getting the money. They say the idea with low interest rates is to kick start the housing industry even though this is not working. Poor Obama. It's all so complicated. He doesn't understand how to make it work but he is a completely partisan politician so he is incapable of working with republicans to get it going. Voters will pick someone who does understand the dynamics of Economics and how to manage for predictable results.

    Romney 2012 and as many Republican Senators as we can get seated.

    June 8, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  17. Bob B

    OBAMA 2012.....Period is right. People just have to get a lot of Repubs out and some Dems and maybe they can do something besides just butting heads along party lines and get something done. They should think of the good of the country and not their parties.

    June 8, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  18. Squealy

    Too much time is wasted by each political party just waiting for and leaping at those "got'cha moments, while the real work that needs to get done stagnates.

    June 8, 2012 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  19. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    Debby

    As a private sector buisness person we are not doing fine lynda/minnesota.
    -------------------------------
    What do you own? A bodega?

    June 8, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  20. Gary

    This President should only lead the National Clown Assocation . He is not in touch with people whom haven't worked but are very much willing too. Quit campaigning and get you boots on the ground and create jobs. Talk is cheap and for us 60 year old people with a life that still has value leave town NOW.

    June 8, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  21. sure thats what they say

    It is not that the private sector is not doing well, it is that the private sector is not hiring, just keeping profit. That is a sad fact, that only proves that "trickle down economics" is no longer a valid arguement for less taxation on businesses. If we only gave tax reductions to companies hiring, then we would see real growth. We have not given business any incentive to hire workers.

    June 8, 2012 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  22. gearloose

    "The private sector is doing fine."

    Bah! Humbug!
    Private sector hiring would be stronger if this were anything more than a wish.
    This is spin control.

    I'm sick of politicians who aren't willing to say it like it is, for good or bad.

    June 8, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. David Reston, VA

    The economy is bad but the private sector is fine, right Mr. President? For our job's sake Obama must be voted out in November!

    June 8, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  24. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE/ConservaFASCISTS

    At the beginning of this recession/depression, my CEO purchased a Bentley, a 500 SEL Benz & Yukon Denali. I think th eprivate sector is doing just fine. Look at JP Morgan Chase as a prime example. They made a HUGE $200 billion crew up and they still gave Jaime Dimon a $24 million salary. Explain that one to me.

    June 8, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  25. NameDD

    YES Mr Romney, BO IS that out of touch. BO will be the ONLY President in our nations history NOT responsible for ANYTHING! I'm hoping for change in 2012.

    June 8, 2012 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
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