January 16th, 2009
01:26 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama: My 'first job . . . is to put people back to work'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/16/art.obamafactory0116.gi.jpg caption="President-elect Obama toured a factory in Ohio Friday and spoke to its employees about reviving the economy."]
BEDFORD HEIGHTS, Ohio (CNN) - President-elect Barack Obama hit the road to promote his economic stimulus plan Friday, saying that although the country is starting the new year "in the midst of a crisis unlike any that we've seen in our lifetime ... it is not too late to change course - but only if we take dramatic action as soon as possible."

"The way I see it, the first job of my administration is to put people back to work and get our economy working again," he said.

But even if his stimulus plan wins approval, Obama warned, "recovery won't happen overnight. It's likely that, even with these measures, things will get worse before they get better."

He quickly ticked through the basics of his plan, saying that it would "save or create 3 to 4 million jobs in businesses large and small across a wide range of industries - and 90 percent of these jobs will be in the private sector."

"I want to be clear - we're not looking to create just any kind of jobs here," Obama stated. "We're looking to create good jobs that pay well and won't be shipped overseas. Jobs that don't just put people to work in the short term, but position our economy to be on the cutting edge in the long term."

The president-elect reiterated his promises to extend unemployment insurance, expand access to health-care coverage, double the production of renewable energy, and provide a $1,000 tax cut for most working families.

He also pledged to "put nearly 400,000 people to work by repairing our infrastructure," as well as provide greater federal assistance to help states "avoid harmful budget cuts in essential services like police, fire, education and health care."

In December, he noted, the country lost more than half a million jobs, bringing the 2008 total to nearly 2.6 million.

Obama made his remarks at a wind-turbine manufacturing plant near Cleveland. Obama has cited wind-generated power as a key element of his renewable energy plan.

Full story

Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • Economy
soundoff (49 Responses)
  1. Peggy the Moocher

    But you said you would pay my mortgage. You mean I have to go to work and EARN my keep?

    January 16, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  2. obama-mama

    No matter what you Obama bashers say, nothing will change the fact that he is your president too...It's a shame but I do think some of you will need therapy...Just can't get past the fact that your president will be black, African American, Negro......

    January 16, 2009 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  3. Peter

    Ok then, I think this is going to be difficult for you all to believe....The amount of experience is not an issue to squawk over. The question should be will you have the intellectual capacity to do the job and will you be able to admit your wrong and except other points of view. Bush isnt smart at all, Im a kid and my IQ is higher than his. Obama and Clinton both WANT to know about the world and WANT to make sure they make the right decision. LBJ was very unpopular because of Vietnam, but atleast he could admit he was wrong while Bush says "Everything is perfect" If your ashamed of Obama before he is even inaugurated then your what America hates. I was told America is a place where everyone gets a chance. Bush didnt deserve the second chance but if we can elect that moron twice then we can give Obama two terms too. At this point, no matter who becomes president they can say "You gave Bush two terms! Comon people!"

    January 16, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  4. At least Barack will try...

    You haters are pathetic!
    Support a President that actually gives a d@mn about this country as opposed to himself and his own best interests, like our current one.
    Give me ONE example when he did something that for this country...I'd wait but I don't have all day 😐

    January 16, 2009 02:33 pm at 2:33 pm |
  5. Junglista

    What a bunch of nuts on these boards. The guy isn't even in office yet and you are already prediciting failure. Negativity breeds negativity guys – and what are YOU doing to make the country a better place? (besides complaining incessantly that is)

    January 16, 2009 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  6. reds nj

    It's amazing what an effect Obama has had on Americans. My 4 year old grandson recognized his picture on Newsweek. He calls him "Rock Obama". I am looking forward to just new ideas and hope. Something sorely missing for the past 8 years.

    January 16, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  7. AnaB

    Peggy the Moocher: You are an idiot.

    January 16, 2009 02:42 pm at 2:42 pm |
  8. John Galt in Colorado

    WHO IS JOHN GALT? Someone please answer the question before it is too late...........

    January 16, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  9. Seattle Sue

    To all you people criticizing Obama about the economy, are you truly happy with economy after eight years of Bush. I don't think Obama has become President until January 20, 2009.

    January 16, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  10. Julio Warner

    If CNN gave my comment a chance to be read I would ask everyone to give the President Elect a chance before criticizing him.

    Leaders like him like critics because it helps them improve their leadership actions.

    Please Xena give him a chance. He is not the president yet. If after 100 days you don't see the Hope he was preaching then you will welcome everything you will have to say by then.

    He is not the one who sink our economy.

    January 16, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. Veronica

    If he, OUR president fails,then WE fail.Please people stop the negativity.

    January 16, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  12. Leah from FL

    Tim, do you REALLY think a rich dude like McCain has any idea what it is like to be without a job or his multiple houses or 'vette? Come on, man – the true experience with this issue lies with Obama – not fat cat Repubs like McCain. McCain has less experience than Obama on many, many subjects.

    January 16, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  13. Anonymous


    you shouldn't talk about Pres Bush like that. He did his best but was just out of his depth.

    January 16, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Blogging is the legacy I leave behind!

    Griff wrote "It will go down in History as the "Most Embarrased Nation" ever"

    Funny cause that already happened when we had to call our own American Citizens "Refugees".

    Or was the mis-handling of Katrina not enough for you?

    January 16, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  15. Marc

    watcher – He's not Superman, the Messiah or whatever. He's going to be the President of the United States in a few days. As of now there is NO executive order coming from him that has any real power. And when he has the power he won't be able to solve problems like those three you pointed out overnight. Sorry but NO ONE can solve those and all the major problems of the country BEFORE BECOMING THE PRESIDENT! So how come 'he's already failing miserably'?

    January 16, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  16. Pete

    Since markets are as affected by psychology as much as by hard data:

    Nothing will get better if we don't give the new president a chance and have at least some hope that he's got it right. Are all of you people who are calling him a failure before he's even taken office, trying to create a self-fulfilling prophecy just so that you can blame a Democrat for what his predecessors created? I think this is a little more important than partisanship. Complaining's not going to fix anything or change the results of the election. Let's give him a chance.

    January 16, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. HAWK

    Jobs = booming economy 🙂

    January 16, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  18. Linda from Minnesota

    I voted for Obama and I am hoping his policies will bring this country out of this recession. That said, even if he sleeps for the next four years, he will still get more done and be a better president than the current occupant of the white house.

    January 16, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |

    aware-do u have a record for anything other than being stupid?

    January 16, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  20. Dan

    Barack, you are wrong. Government cannot create jobs. Small business and private sector does.We do not need big talk. We have to do what is right.

    January 16, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  21. Griff

    There's a Hole in the System... Then fix it Obama... But I need you're Help.... Sucker!!! You were the Savior.... Where's your God Now????

    January 16, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  22. renee

    I cant believe all the hate and judgement against a man WHO HAS NOT TAKEN OFFICE YET!!!!!!!!! give him a chance my dog could do a better chance than BUSH DID!!!!!!!!

    January 16, 2009 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  23. Tom in Wheaton, Illinois

    What's amazing to me is that people like Griff can actually type. Maybe his mom does it for him.

    January 16, 2009 04:51 pm at 4:51 pm |
  24. Meka


    January 16, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
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