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. Catzie

    obama stated today..."private sector's doing fine" ...Well that didn't stick to the wall did it?

    June 8, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  2. Dustie

    Obama...backtracking.... or just fabricating once the data does not support his assertions. I cannot believe him, and I reluctantly am voting Republican for the first time in my life. My vote is against Obama, more than for Romney, but I do believe that Romney will be a better president, much, much better.
    Obama must believe that we Americans are STUPID. He said from the podium yesterday at 11:01 a.m. that the "private sector is doing fine"...today he acknowledges that it isn't and that the reason that he called the conference was to talk about that... and we are supposed to believe that? Do we believe what he said yesterday, or what he says today? Pathetic.

    June 8, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  3. Puma Girl

    Duh !! Someone finally felt sorry for Obama and clued him in. "
    Hey, folks, sorry, I mis-spoke, the economy is really not doing fine... er, ya. er where is my teleprompter at"

    TALK ABOUT OBAMA BEING OUT OF TOUCH !! (YES, GEORGE CLOONEY, JUST PLAIN OLE OBAMA TO ME)

    WHERE ARE THE JOBS ???????

    June 8, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  4. yeahright

    I love when a flaming Liberal tries to act like an independent lol. If you like the thought of killing the unborn, allowing a guy to have 8 wives, a man for a wife, a cow for a wife (why should we stop him, he was born with those urges) then we know where your vote is going............. I want to fix our economy!!!! Obama had his chance, not getting my vote again :( I will vote out Romney in 4 if he doesn't step up!!!!!!!! No more politics!!!!!!!

    June 8, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. crazy idiots

    DId someone say that CNN was in the tank for Romney?? :) :) :) HAVE YOU BEEN CHECKING CNN???????? Every article is pro choice or pro LGBT when the topics are mentioned. When they mention religion they mention some fruitcake pastor with 3 people in the congregation that said something stupid! EVERYONE know which way this site leans............ Is there anyone in the middle? Honest reporting? I can't find them if they are (Fox-right, CNN,MSNBC,YAHOO-LEFT)

    June 8, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  6. dreamer96

    The GOP block everything Obama has tried to do about creating Jobs..The JOB Creators have had ten years of huge tax cuts to create jobs, and have failed..but the GOP is still playing that game...and after the GOP have worked so hard to destroy America they .then blame the jobs problem on Obama...Vote out every member of Congress that signed Grover NOquist's pledge of Mass Destruction...

    June 8, 2012 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  7. Dino

    Why is it that George W. Bush's could make 100s of inarticulate slip ups over 8 years that were not taken seriously but when Obama makes one the Republicans jump all over him like overweight grade school children picking on a handicapped person?

    You can tell how embarrassed Republicans are about how "out of touch" filthy rich Romney is to the middle class for them to pounce on Obama with the same phrase. No this was a not a turning point in the Obama campaign, it was not major mistake, it was just a flub that is being magnified by the GOP and media.

    June 8, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  8. CD

    Thats funny. I thought Mr. Obozo was out campaigning this week, not working on the economy.

    June 8, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  9. Sagebrush Shorty

    Lost in Space.

    June 8, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  10. Sanity

    In the wake of a recession that began roughly seven weeks after President Bush took office, America experienced six years of uninterrupted economic growth and a record 52 straight months of job creation that produced more than 8 million new jobs. During the Bush presidency, the unemployment rate averaged 5.3 percent. We saw labor-productivity gains that averaged 2.5 percent annually — a rate that exceeds the averages of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. Real after-tax income per capita increased by more than 11 percent. And from 2000 to 2007, real GDP grew by more than 17 percent, a gain of nearly $2.1 trillion.

    June 8, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  11. Spike2014

    Sure would be nice if Hillary had won–we wouldn't be in this huge Obama mess. The only alternative now is Romney. Like it or not. Obama has to be voted out of office and the do-nothing senate as well...

    June 8, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  12. jose

    With all this corporate campaigning it would be kind of ironic if CNN was squeezed out of the news after the election (being that they have low ratings). "citizens united" wants to pick winners and losers and I'm pretty sure they want the most extreme voices being heard. I'm not saying you should line up with those views but wouldn't Turner Broadcasting also be marginalized?

    June 8, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  13. Randy

    Obumbles is spending too muchtime in Hollywood and with his rich friends. He has lost touch with the middle class. He wants to hire more public service employees, but forgot about the truck drivers, plumbers, carpenters, laborers, and private sector people. Sounds a lot like Greece. Everyone works for the Gubmint.

    June 8, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  14. TV

    "My poll numbers are doing fine!"

    ..."Oh wait...It's absolutely clear that my poll numbers are NOT doing fine..."

    June 8, 2012 07:33 pm at 7:33 pm |
  15. not in WI

    You elected a puppet. What did you expect?

    June 8, 2012 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  16. beevee

    It is glaringly obvious that the GOP is hell bent on making president Obama a one term president by any means. They will use even the tiniest slips of the president's statments to tarnish him. Unless the president and his supporters are extremely carful in what they say the crooks on the side can put him in an awkward situation and paint him as weak on economy which the gullible public will believe. I urge the president and his supporters to use utmost caution in what they say. In my view the economy is doing slightly better now than when he took office and is showing signs of upswing barring a few down swings along the way. It could have been worse under the GOP leadership.

    June 8, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  17. Chipster

    @NVDad – As it turns out, you have it completely backward. During President Obama's term, Public sector jobs have decreased by 636,000 while Private sector jobs increased by 4.3 million. In the last 3 months of Bush's term alone, we lost more than 2 million private sector jobs; 3,78 million in the entire last year (2008). By March 2010, private sector jobs were finally in positive numbers. You may want to check the facts and rethink your position.

    June 8, 2012 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  18. Ron

    It's incredible how easily Bill Clinton makes Barak Obama look like an ignorant amateur. The man is helpless without a teleprompter.

    June 8, 2012 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  19. Guest

    All the people who don't have jobs and all the people on food stamps don't want to hear another lie. We are not doing fine. Fixing our problem will be painful-we might as well bite the bullet and balance the budget.

    June 8, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  20. fred astaire

    still a on the job learning experience, huh?

    June 8, 2012 07:45 pm at 7:45 pm |
  21. BIG

    95% of the people in this country have no clue how the economy works including many senators and congressman.
    We don't need jobs we have at least 100-200 trillion dollars of things we need to do. We have 15-20 million people
    who are willing to get up everyday to be productive, creative and whatever else they need to do to satisfy their needs
    and wants. Our funding mechanism is broken. we will never borrow enough or tax ourselves enough to do the things
    we need to do. The economists and politicians need to stop telling us all the things we can't do and start working on a system that will accommodate the growth potential of this country!

    June 8, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  22. rminwa

    "Was blind, but now I see" – I truly hope & believe liberal Democrats will one day say.

    June 8, 2012 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  23. ramble3144

    Shows what happens when you spin everything. He deserves it. And there's no one to fire this time!

    June 8, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  24. Philip

    The republicans have the money and the jobs. African Americans appear to face a dilemma.

    If they support Obams, the rich will not hire them. If they don't support Obama, they will still not hire them!

    What to do?

    June 8, 2012 07:48 pm at 7:48 pm |
  25. Puma Girl

    I guess blaming Bush is so old news – now it is blame the Congress.
    Lets all wring our hands and say together "Congress, do something Kumbaya".
    When does this administration take responsibility? I guess to take responsibility, one has to be responsible..
    so forget that one.

    June 8, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
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