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. Sue

    Only half of the first package has been sent to banks...the rest will be tightly regulated. Obama's package is full of work projects, incentives, and Republican tax cuts that have no effect! The Democratic package was primarily work and stimulus, but Republicans couldn't bear to think Obama would be right, so they are playing devil's advocate...actually, mostly just devil.

    When the country slides into Depression, maybe then Rethugs will wake up, but I doubt it...nothing is EVER their problem or fault. Funny, if they're so wise, and Bush was such a great leader, how did we get here?

    February 9, 2009 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. Shawn-Tx

    I wonder how many people who don't have jobs get on the blogs and criticize the president for wanting to spend so much money. I have a great job right now, but I'm willing to be a year's salary that less than 5% of the people who are marching against this plan have recently lost their jobs.

    February 9, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  3. change in America

    I am so proud of our President Obama is really trying his best to bring our country back together and that why Obama would win my vote 2nd term look at the presdent talking to American people about how he going to fix the economy problems did Bush ever do such no he didnt.

    February 9, 2009 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  4. greed is not good

    Face the music cynics...Bush got us into this mess....let Obama fix it.

    February 9, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  5. Marc

    TCM – 'Tax cut' mantra? And you want to criticize anyone? Specially the President and those who does not abide by it?
    Second, did you ever saw what are the corporate tax rates in Europe (specially France)? Bet you didn't, since you came up with this 'we pay...'.

    February 9, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Standing By My Man

    I love this guy, my President Obama. He's so American. He wants to work with Republicans, even though they are snakes. They want him to fail and consequently, they want Americans to fail. Well we support Barack, and we will back him up 100%.

    I really don't get the GOP and I want them out of Congress or marginal. Maybe 2010 will throw the bums out.

    February 9, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. Amber

    "controversial $800 billion stimulus package"

    Oh, give me a BREAK!!

    It's only "CONTROVERSIAL" because every Republican windbag within a mile of Washington DC was on the Sunday morning talk shows yesterday wailing about this 1% of it or that 1% of it.

    And they say the media has a liberal bias. Yeah right!!

    February 9, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Putin still invading Alaskan airspace between Palin's ears

    So is the reptilian wing of the Republican party going to offer up anything other than their dusty, old, fossilized talking points from the beginning of time through their new token mouthpiece, Michael Steele, or are these bald, old, pot-bellied rich white men with their over-botoxed, under-sexed wives going to pony up something new and different?!

    February 9, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. Josua

    Can somebody please explain to me why the government will not bail us out? Why won't they give the money right to us instead? It has been mentioned in many places, and I am sure the government has heard this idea. But, nobody can explain it to me.

    February 9, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  10. norma wilkinson

    The Republicans put us in this mess, now let's not let them keep us in it. Mr. President...follow your own plan and fight for it. Where do they get off taking shots at what you are trying to do, when they screwed up so badly themselves. How dare they tell anyone else how to run this country.I'm scared and holding my breath to get the USA back to the great country it was and if left up to you I think it can be done.To all of you who critisize these efforts, have YOU got a better idea? Probably not.

    February 9, 2009 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  11. Think People

    Ask you self something.... Say you lost your job and your on unemployment. You have a 2,000 mortgage and your were making 96,000 a year. Now the Repubs give you a tax cuts which would amount to only an extra thousand or two depending if you have kids. So let's say you are getting back 5,000 in taxes. But, you still have your mortgage payments, credit cards, heat, gas, car insurance, possible car note ect ect... How greatly does that 5,000 benefit you. Would you rather have that 96,000 or even 86,000 a year job again? Not to mention healthcare for you and your family. What good will a tax cut do for the millions of people whom have lost their jobs and have lost or will lose their homes? All President Obama and the intelligent people he has working with him is trying to do is put the american people back to work. This is the only way the economy will begin to regain some sort of hope. Remember, Bush already gave these Corps major tax cuts... but guess where the jobs still ended up going in spite of their tax cuts... If you guess overseas.. you are correct!

    February 9, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. One America With Barack

    We are so stupid. I guess 8 years of George Worst President Ever Bush didn't teach us very much. We need to continue to suffer. The Dems and the Rethugs are acting as if John McCain won.

    I don't want tax cuts, I want to try spending for a change. Barack has incorporated both, let's try both and get this country moving again. We are waiting to hear from our president, not Congress. They get in the way, over and over and over again. Allow Barack to lead the country. That's why we picked him. Get out of the way Nancy and Harry and all of you Rethugs.

    February 9, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Sounds like a broken record. Bush inherited a recession and left with a recession. And you waited this long when you had $350 billion dollars at your disposal. Go away! American people took over the reigns while you were on a retreat. We love our independence and will fight to keep it.

    February 9, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  14. Tax cuts work based on last 8 years of growth?

    What's their stimulus proposal? Oh yea, tax cuts. Nice broken record.

    I wonder if we had tax cuts in the last 8 years.......hmmmm maybe if there were tax cuts in place for the past 8 years we would not be in this mess. Because tax cuts create jobs.

    OH NO! My co-worker has informed me that we have had tax cuts in plcace for the last 8 years. But then where are all the jobs.....?

    P.S. Isn't a government job still considered a JOB? Why the stink about making the govt bigger if it's going to put people to work?

    February 9, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  15. Angie in Pa

    I watched the Town hall Meeting President Obama Did great! He Explained His plans.Great seeing a President get out there with the American People instead of Hiding in some Foreign country ( GEORGE BUSH) Keep up the great work President Obama!

    February 9, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  16. Kaye -Jacksonville FL

    Hey – I suggest that every Senator who votes against the package forego any stimulus money for their home state. Why would they accept taxpayer dollars that they believe are not being wisely spent?

    Just repeat after Sarah "Thanks, but no thanks" and the rest of us will be happy to have those dollars pour into our states and begin to fill the monstrous economic holes left by 8 years of George W.

    Yeah – if you don't support it, don't accept the money!

    February 9, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  17. Ray Fisher, Albuquerque, NM

    Stop the debate, It's now or never!!! Let's vote!!!

    February 9, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  18. Juge

    Let's Go President Obama!!! We will drown in our 8 years of mistakes if we don't move fast to stimulate, not only the economy, but the confidence of the people. Get it done!

    February 9, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  19. Baracking Up The Wrong Tree

    I really wish we had had this much hesitation when Paulson came begging for Wall Street money.

    I support my president and Congress better do the same.

    February 9, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  20. WhoCares?

    What really scares the GOP is that this stimulus package WILL WORK.

    Which will make Obama's and the Democrats power increase.

    Why the heck do you think the Republicans are against it? If it was going to fail they would sign on and bury Obama.

    Use your brain and think about WHAT THE REPUBICANS WANT.

    They want Obama to fail and thus are against the bill because it will work.

    February 9, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. norma wilkinson

    Wake up America, some of you say. Wake up and do WHAT? We can do nothing but trust the leaders we have chosen. If this doesn't work, then what can we do? I see you have no answer for that.

    February 9, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  22. Mari

    What I want to know and NOT ONE far-right type has answered my question is:


    The "fiscal-conservatives" keep whining, moaning, criticizing, complaining, but they do not have ANY NEW SOLUTIONS!


    Of course, the far-right would rather see our president and Nation fail!

    AMERICA .........YES WE CAN....... AND YES...... WE WILL......... RETURN TO ..........PROSPERITY!

    February 9, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  23. Bryan

    Bush's $700 Billion was essentially a failure because of a lack of oversight. Obama's plan will have strict oversight on any companies taking tax payer money. Nothing is perfect. It's common sense that if you choose to always wait, you'll always be waiting. This bill is not seeking funds from other countries. It's redistributing funds we are either already getting from other countries, or are putting towards other things. Ramifications of Obama's plan failing are actually quite minimal. This discussion of a 'deficit' is inaccurate. Money only possesses a value that we decide on. If I made a single coin and convinced enough people it was worth a billion US dollars, then that is how much it's worth. In reality, the coin cost me nothing more than time and materials. So we're in debt right? We just need to figure out how to use other means of trade & diplomacy with other countries so that they 'feel' we no longer owe them.

    February 9, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  24. Sniffit

    Even heard of Cheyne-Stokes breathing? Yeah, that's the GOP's death rattle we all hear...

    February 9, 2009 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  25. norb

    Let's see. The Rebublican's had it their way for the past eight years. Under their guidance we are in the worse recession since the Great Depression. They are the LAST people I would think to offer ANY advise as to this stimulus. Their time will come next election. Either get on board or move out of the way.

    February 9, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
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