February 9th, 2009
02:33 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama stumps for stimulus in Indiana: 'We can't afford to wait'

President Obama takes a question in Elkhart, Indiana, Monday where he said doing nothing was not an option.

President Obama takes a question in Elkhart, Indiana, Monday where he said doing nothing was not an option.

ELKHART, Indiana (CNN) - Seeking to rekindle last year's election magic, President Obama traded the beltway for the heartland Monday, hitting the road to make the case for his controversial $800 billion stimulus package in a part of the country particularly hard hit by the economic downturn.

Watch: 'We can't afford to wait,' the Pres. says

Addressing a raucous, campaign-style town hall meeting in Elkhart, Indiana, Obama warned that the road to economic recovery would take years, and that a failure to pass an effective stimulus plan quickly could result in an "economic crisis as deep and as dire as the Great Depression."

The downturn could become a "crisis that at some point we may be unable to reverse," Obama told a packed high school gymnasium. "We can't afford to wait."

Elkhart has seen its unemployment rate triple to more than 15 percent over the past year. The city's jobless rate is roughly double the national average; a number of the nation's top recreational vehicle makers are located in Elkhart, and hundreds of workers at those plants have lost their jobs.

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Filed under: economic stimulus • Indiana • President Obama
soundoff (200 Responses)
  1. Rob

    If anything, Obama's practicing for the job he'll be starting up in 2013 – either used car or vaccuum salesman. I can hear his line now, "If you don't get this vaccuum now, your carpets will NEVER be clean."

    Then all you freak lib kooks will be on here posting, "The Orec upright vaccuum is the vaccuum America needs. Clean, like we need it. Yes we can......"

    America's going down the toilet, and Barrak's pushing the handle.

    February 9, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  2. bernie from maryland

    Its certainly true that the Republicans, led by President Bush, really messed things up by loading us up with 4 trillion of additional debt.

    However, that is not an excuse to add another trillion or two more!!

    If we are simply borrowing to create government jobs, which Democrats seem to want, $150 billion is enough for 3 million jobs for one year, each paying $50,000 . Why not start with that and eliminate all the bells and whistles?

    February 9, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  3. he is NOT the chosen one after all

    this 'change' is what Cuba experienced and it was led by a so called community organizer

    February 9, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  4. Rob

    Being a easily duped Democrat must really be a miserable thing ? Tax cuts for the rich...didn't make a "mess" of the economy ! Morons !!!!!

    February 9, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  5. Ms. Johnson, Pearland,Texas

    Based on the population of America estimated at 301/million including men women and children an 800/billion dollar stimulus package would equate to less than $3,000 per person to get a meaningful job. Let's overreact to this pence while Wallstreet divided 18/billion between 400 people. We are a country of hope, to always pretend that decisions are made based on what will be put on the next generation is overreaching. First of all the next generation is far smarter and I have total confidence in their ability to make a better way for themselves.

    February 9, 2009 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. Nate

    Does anyone else think it is sort of ironic? We are going to borrow a trillion dollars from China and Saudi Arabia, so the economy will get better... So, we can buy more electronics and oil from Asia and the Middle East.

    It's offical, the rest of the world has us by the balls, America is doomed.

    February 9, 2009 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  7. Bill in California

    By all means what this country needs to sustain itself is a welfare system for every business, man, woman and child. I guarantee you the government knows better how to spend your hard earned money better than YOU do. The CHANGE WE NEED is coming out of YOUR wallets and purses.

    February 9, 2009 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Nate

    Does anyone else think it is sort of ironic? We are going to borrow a trillion dollars from China and Saudi Arabia, so the economy will get better... So, we can buy more electronics and oil from Asia and the Middle East.

    It's offical, the rest of the world has us by the sack, America is doomed.

    February 9, 2009 05:41 pm at 5:41 pm |
  9. Ian

    Socialism: Biggest joke ever.

    Yes Capitalism is at the edge of the cliff... looking at socialism way at the bottom.

    February 9, 2009 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
  10. Justfied Cynic

    Of course he goes to one of those blue sucker states.

    February 9, 2009 05:44 pm at 5:44 pm |
  11. thanks, but no thanks

    To Spender!

    your comments about our President flying to make the case to American People are so wrong that even you know it. First of all, the execs of auto industry came to Congress to borrow taxpayer money. l know that it was not a big deal compare to other useless spending the auto industry does, but for the public eyes was stupid (public who does not know math). Second, it was a perfect pic for the senators to show to the public "you see we care about your money". The question l would ask is where was the financial restrain when it counted (the last 8 years), not now when the economy needs investment to recover. The difference is that instead of going shopping as the Repugs asked people to do, invest in the future of the country. Stop being a hypocrite. l bet you had no problem before Obama took the presidency.

    February 9, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  12. John

    Yeah, we don't want to think about spending a trillion dollars...just do it. I mean, there can't possibly be any negative consequences. Just rush in and throw down the bills for some pork!!!!

    February 9, 2009 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. NoMo Bush

    The Rethuglicans got us in this hole and wants to keep us in it. Even most of you white folks can't afford to go to the country clubs where they go. Don't listen to Rush and the rest, they want feed you bull everyday and most of you walk around with your heads down eating it too. Move away from that table and come over to the Great American table where all are welcome.

    February 9, 2009 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  14. Pat F

    Dems control the House, the Senate and the White House – why do you need Republican votes? Oh, right, a figleaf for Democrats.

    Republican Senators, just say NO!

    February 9, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  15. Robin, Tampa Fl

    Wow this is a great change, a president who actually goes directly to the people to hear their concerns! At least he isn't afraid to take his case to the average citizen.

    February 9, 2009 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. Pat F

    Greg in Colorado, YOU read a book. Bush vetoed almost NOTHING in eight years.

    February 9, 2009 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    @ Marc, we are not advocating to do nothing, we aware that this is the same thing the government did in the 1930s that actually made the depression longer.
    What the Government should do is reduce spending, thus lower taxes.

    February 9, 2009 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. DJ in TX

    Can one GOP person please tell me how tax cuts "stimulate" the economy?

    Suspend the capital gains tax? Won't help me as I don't play the markets. How does that help the average American?

    Corporate tax – make it lower. And just how will that help? Companies will stay lay off people. The tax rate isn't going to stop them from laying off people if nobody is buying their products. They'll just pad their bottom line.

    Please explain.

    February 9, 2009 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  19. barack, time for another photo op or teleprompter speech

    I thought he was supposed to be intelligent and yet he is trying to repeat the same mistakes of the past.
    Unless there's a war like there was with FDR, this depression is here for the long term,
    Thanks for nothing barack.

    February 9, 2009 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  20. Anita

    I give CNN a A+. Your coverage is fair not lopeside you report the good and the bad of Obama. On some of the other News stations you would believe their was nothing good about the Prisident.

    I don't watch any other news station now because I want the whole story not just somebody's opinion.

    February 9, 2009 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  21. chat


    I regret voted for him. I was cheated.

    He was soooo soooo good at words, campaigns, yet not good at govern. Look at the way he answered the reporters' questions, it upset me a lot. He didn't seem to have the ability to take the heat at all. I never saw Clinton answered questions so naive.

    He uhhh, ahhh too much.

    February 9, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  22. Jim

    Sniffit February 9th, 2009 3:07 pm ET
    Can't wait to hear him tear the GOP a new one . . . .
    Good place for you to sniffit, Sniffit . . .

    February 9, 2009 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  23. susan

    He is smart and intelligent. He delivered his speeches so well. But he lacks experience so that he has to listen to NANCY BOTOXY AND HARRI REID.

    I knew there was not much change once he nominated ROBERT GATES as his DOS. He failed us who voted for him. He even proved that he has very bad leadership and judgement when 3 of his nominees were TAX CHEATERS. His administration was tinked – no integrity, low moral standards.

    I would not had voted for him if the election was held today. His eloquent words and his poor leadership goes opposite direction. Too bad, too sad for those who voted for him.

    February 9, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  24. Matt

    "Can't afford to wait" is Obama speek for "I am breaking a campaign promise I used to get elected and NOT let the Ameican people see this bill for 5 days prior to it being voted on"

    February 9, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  25. lil

    please give the president a change it can"t get no worse, you did not complaine when President had his stimulus what is wrong with youso call relegion people just give him a chance stop being devils, show that you are true Americans,do,not let the devil stray you come on show the world that we can work together.

    February 9, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
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