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. Tony

    If you think the republicans got creamed in the 2008 election, just wait until 2010!

    February 9, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  2. Liane

    Wasabe kid –

    President Obama and his advisors did not come up with this package. This bill was put together by Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

    I find it terribly disturbing, after the past 8 years of a closed door untrustworthy administration, that our President is out their telling people that THERE ARE NO EARMARKS in this bill LYING TO THEIR FACES! He impressed me last week taking responsibilty for the lack on forsight on the Dascle pick. But lying to people...just disturbing.

    February 9, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  3. JOE KILOZ

    WHEN,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,RONALD,,,,,,,,,,,,,REAGAN,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,TOOK,,,,,,,,,,,,,,OVER,,,,,

    UNEMPLOYMENT,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,WAS,,,,,,,,,,,,HIGHER,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,THAN,,,,,,,,,,NOW,,,

    DOES,,,,,,,,,,,,,,ANYONE,,,,,,,,,,,,,RECALL,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,1,,,,,,,,,,PLUS,,,,,,,,,,TRILLION,,,

    IN,,,,,,,,,,,,,STIMULUS,,,,,,,,,,,,,AT,,,,,,,,,,,,THAT,,,,,,,,,,,,,TIME ? ? ? ?

    HOW,,,,,,,,,,,,,DID,,,,,,,,,,,,REAGAN,,,,,,,,,,,,TURNED,,,,,,,,,,,,,A,,,,,,,,,,WORSE,,,,,

    ECONOMY,,,,,,,,,,,,,THAN,,,,,,,,,,,OUR,,,,,,,,CURRENT,,,,,,,,,ONE ? ? ? ?

    February 9, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  4. Austin

    watcher February 9th, 2009 4:06 pm ET

    I need to point something out to folks who are saying that we are in a recession after 8 years of failed economic policy.; actually, the economy was doing alright up until about two years ago. Think about it, financial crises, like the collapse of Enron or Worldcom, failed to bring things down. Even the attacks of 9/11 couldn't crush the US economy. However two years ago, under a Democratic majority in congress and the senate, things started to unravel. And what was at the root? Policies enacted during the term of Bill Clinton. So who deserves the blame, here folks?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Stop, you are soooooooo wrong for that....HAHAHAHAHAHA.....I honestly laughed when i read that...Rush, is that you ???

    February 9, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  5. Austin

    watcher February 9th, 2009 4:06 pm ET

    I need to point something out to folks who are saying that we are in a recession after 8 years of failed economic policy.; actually, the economy was doing alright up until about two years ago. Think about it, financial crises, like the collapse of Enron or Worldcom, failed to bring things down. Even the attacks of 9/11 couldn't crush the US economy. However two years ago, under a Democratic majority in congress and the senate, things started to unravel. And what was at the root? Policies enacted during the term of Bill Clinton. So who deserves the blame, here folks?

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Stop, you are soooooooo wrong for that....HAHAHAHAHAHA.....I honestly laughed when I read that comment...Rush, is that you ???

    February 9, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  6. sam

    To "Who Cares?": I agree with you 115%. That really makes sense. When you look at it, if this stimulus plan works, the republicans will see their demise,and will be the laughing stock of the universe. God gave them 8 years to make up their mind, look where we are now!!. They are such jealous "girly-men"!!

    February 9, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  7. LIP

    We can't afford to wait, but can we afford to go forward in the direction Obama wants.
    My only problem, other than the Pork is the infrastructure jobs. These seem to be advertised as highway and bridge construction etc.
    Has anyone ever seen anyone other than possibly people that look an awful lot like illegal aliens doing this sort of work. If I am wrong, are these the types of jobs that will employ people laid off at credit card companies, auto dealer manufacturerers etc.? Once these so called jobs are complete, where will we work then, as these types of jobs don't create anything lasting other than the highways and bridges. Jobs cease to exist once they are completed. This is what they discovered after the depression.
    Maybe what Limbaugh suggested isn't such a bad idea. Why let all our money ride on one lottery ticket, let's buy two and see if one works better than the other.

    February 9, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  8. twizz

    change is good! GO OBAMA http://www.morphbots.com

    February 9, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  9. John Sinning

    CNN ran a commentary today about "Cheats". Since the word cheats is defined as deciving. Why didn't CNN include the confessed Tax Cheets of the President's cabinet? For that mater, it would be best if the president would defer to the dictionary before re-defining the words like stimulus. Stumulus is defined as scratching the itch and spending is defined as spending. Therefore, Washington re-defining word meenings to scratch there itch is also deciving or should we use CNN's word "cheaters or just be honest and use the word frauds.

    Elkhart's Jobless Johnny

    February 9, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. tien

    boered1-

    You must be looking for free condoms or work for ACORN if you need this now.

    February 9, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  11. Philvis

    Ok, so we are going to stimulate the economy with more government bureaocracy??? All of a sudden this deficit the dems whined and moaned about doesn't seem to matter. This stimulus is just the first part of the socialistic spending spree this new administration has planned. The sad part is that this along with all the other spending is going to be spun as being a god send to the country and people arent going to realize how bad it is until it is too late.

    February 9, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  12. Gerda Edwards

    watcher @ 4:06 "I need to point something out to folks ..."
    ===============

    BRAVO!!!!!

    Dodd, Frank, Pelosi, Reid, etc. People will eventually wake up - but probably not until after they have another "essential" $4 latte, check the news on their iPhone, before they drive their late-model Prius to get back to their 3-car garage.

    February 9, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  13. Richard

    After Obama bankrupts America, what make you think the democrats will be voted back in. LOL

    February 9, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  14. I witnessed history!

    So cool how he's out there talking to the citizens as if he's still on the campaign trail. The people's president!

    February 9, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  15. A CANUCK

    Why do so many in the media have difficulty putting the title of President in front of Obama's name. For goodness sake ...have some respect.......he surely earned it !!!!!

    February 9, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  16. FreeNLovIt

    To watcher...

    W left office, leaving us, 5 trillion dollars worth of debt. You mean to tell me that these DONKEYS, with a slim majority, were able to spend 5 trillion dollars in 2 years? So all that time, W tried everything possible to SAVE every penny? Have you heard what the investigations revealed about his spending habits with two wars and reckless deregulation of oil companies?

    February 9, 2009 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  17. Ben

    Hey watcher – kind of a stretch to blame our current problems on Clinton and the last two years of a democratic congress ( as if they controlled Bush ). nice try though.

    February 9, 2009 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  18. FreeNLovIt

    The economy, again, needs a SURGE. It's now or never. How has cutting taxes helped innovate AMerica? I think we need to DUMP tons of money on research of science and green engery to move forward.

    February 9, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  19. deedee

    i support your plan, mr. pres. , 100% good luck an Godspeed in turning the economy around,,,,,p.s. i have a job and the only thing i want out of this is your sussess an to tell the repubs. to kiss my fat xxx

    February 9, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  20. Cynthia

    Wow! I really applaud the President for going into what could be a hostile environment to answer questions from angry, and scared people who are confused about what the futrure holds. He could sit up in the white house and have BBQ's everyday and say the hell with the rest of us. I think that it's ridicules for the President to have to go out and campaign to try and get these loser republicans to support him in trying to help the country.

    February 9, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  21. Spencer/Newport News, VA

    You right-wingers just don't seem to get it. Tax cuts are not going to get us out of this mess. The President asked the Republicans for their input and all they've been doing since is bickering. I haven't heard any real suggestions from these guys yet except for more tax breaks for the wealthy . They keep trying to make this their bill. They can beat around the bush all they want and hold this bill up, the American people will do away with the GOP once and for all.

    February 9, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  22. Charlie in Maine

    We really are not all that different are we?

    The Rebublicans believe that govenment is the problem and are puttung in every effort to make it so. Obama and the Democrats believe that govenment can help and they are puttiing in every effort into making it so.

    February 9, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  23. Sista in Seattle

    For those of you with the negative comments, give me a break. You know darn well when that checks come – your not sending it back. Everybody will be a democrat when the checks come rollin – no matter if it's a future bill or not. I don't see the problem – this country will always be in debt, just like any other country. Just like we all have some kind of bill to pay – get over it and be happy.

    I have an idea, why don't everybody get together with their checks and pay off my student loans – I won't stop you!

    February 9, 2009 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  24. Dont blame me

    To - insanity

    YOU need to get YOUR facts straight.

    True enough, it is supposed to be a non partisan organization, BUT the CBO is currently controlled by the democratic party and they are the ones that issued the warning.

    To your 2nd point, true enough it is based on GDP, but they state that the GDP will be ADVERSLEY affected for anywhere from 7 – 10 years in direct relation to this stimulus package.

    It is a HISTORICAL FACT that the average recession only lasts from 5 to 11 months if the MARKET is allowed to correct itself. What this packaged is going to do is to drag this recession on for several years and that is according to the CBO.

    February 9, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  25. Gerda Edwards

    Maggie from Virginia @ 3:56 "According to ABC News… Recent polls show the congressional republican disapproval rating is at a staggering 58%."
    =================

    Maggie - typical liberal misinterpretation of facts. It's 58% disapproval ON THE STIMULUS BILL. You also forgot to mention that the approval rating for the Democrat-led Congress dropped from 14% to 12% last week.

    February 9, 2009 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
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