March 7th, 2009
05:17 PM ET
14 years ago

Obama: Don't fear the future

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="President Obama says in a new interview that he's unsure if the economy will rebound this year."]

(CNN) - President Obama can't assure that the economy will bounce back this year, but he says he will "get all the pillars in place for recovery this year."

Obama made the pledge in a 35-minute interview - largely focused on the economy and the war in Afghanistan - with The New York Times aboard Air Force One on Friday, according to a story published Saturday.

"I don't think that people should be fearful about our future," he told the newspaper. "I don't think that people should suddenly mistrust all of our financial institutions."

Conservative opponents have criticized Obama's new administration, saying it has pushed the country toward socialism and that his $787 billion economic stimulus package will do little to revive the struggling economy.

However, during the interview, Obama "exhibited confidence," saying the nation should not fear the future, the Times reported.

"Look, I wish I had the luxury of just dealing with a modest recession or just dealing with health care or just dealing with energy or just dealing with Iraq or just dealing with Afghanistan," Obama said. "I don't have that luxury, and I don't think the American people do, either."

When asked if the United States was winning the war in Afghanistan, where he is sending another 17,000 troops, Obama replied, "No."

He said his administration is reviewing the U.S. policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, with the intention of finding a new strategy in the region. Obama said that reaching out to Sunni militant groups, such as the Taliban, to fight al Qaeda and other terror groups - a tactic employed by Gen. David Petraeus in Iraq - "should be explored."

"If you talk to General Petraeus, I think he would argue that part of the success in Iraq involved reaching out to people that we would consider to be Islamic fundamentalists, but who were willing to work with us because they had been completely alienated by the tactics of Al Qaeda in Iraq," Mr. Obama said.

Filed under: Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (171 Responses)
  1. Obama supporter

    People need to get off this take our country back. President Obama didn't create the mess that is going on now, he is trying to fix it. If people was concerned when num-nuts (Bush) was in office, maybe we wouldn't have this problem. I feel more safe with a person that shoots strait than someone that pumps b__s__ to the American people.

    March 7, 2009 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  2. R- U- AWARE!!!

    @bk March 7th, 2009 5:58 pm ET ........You should fear no Man.....Stop listening the big Fat Pillsbury Dough Rush,Fox news
    and trust in God That goes for you too Amy-Texas Teacher
    Do you guys Honestly think in 2 mos this is President Obama's Fault have the Repubs complaining every day with no solutions
    and Media with their Fear Tactics.... if you spend billons of dollors for 7 years on an unjust War and another war ,tax cuts for the Wealthy
    .....sooner or later it will catch up with you and what is wrong with putting an end to tax Cuts For The Wealthy

    March 7, 2009 09:26 pm at 9:26 pm |

    Don't be mad at "President" Obama. I know it's hard for you really hardcore racist folks to call him that. He is just trying to clean up the mess that W left behind after increasing the wealth of all of his elite friends. If you want to get mad at somebody, get mad at them. At least he is trying to do something. If you are just going to be mad and complain, then you need to direct your anger at the correct source of all of this foolishness. If not, then roll up your sleeves and get busy trying to restore this country after it has been raped by the greedy.

    March 7, 2009 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  4. AnnaBella

    The Republicans would love for us to live in fear. Be afraid, be very afraid. Dumb Idiots.

    March 7, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  5. sandee in Portland

    He had a tough job coming in and will, I'm sure, do the best job he can to get our country back on its feet. I'd like to see all these negative bloggers do any better, but you'd sure think they had the answers when reading their comments. All they do is push the doom and gloom button with no constructive remarks

    March 7, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  6. S Callahan

    You said it all CW...I think most people would agree!

    March 7, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  7. Jadie

    We have only ourselves to blame. We kept our eyes shut way too long. Unfortunately it will take years for President Obama to undo what the Republicans did the last eight years. Hopefully, this has taught us all something....

    March 7, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  8. Zaley

    Republicans put us where we are today, it will take years for us to correct all the corruption that took place.

    March 7, 2009 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  9. Willy Brown

    I'll quit fearing the future once you lose your bid for re election.

    March 7, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    You people don't have anything better to do. Shush!!

    March 7, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  11. Death of America by Obama

    America, what's wrong with you? Don't you know this unfit liar is only blowing smoke up your buuutt.

    March 7, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  12. Death of America by Obama

    This hog must be doing nothing but laying around the white house eating. Look hgow fat he's getting. Maybe he'll have a heart attack.

    March 7, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. Laughing

    Bush had 2,920 days to screw up America and you are whining cause President Obama hasn't fixed it in 50 days?

    Thank God for this President.

    March 7, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  14. Texas Teacher

    AWARE... you are surely an ignorant human being. Pelosi does NOT craft anything for Obama! But you just have to come up with something ignorant rather than say something that makes sense. I suspect YOU are Rush Limbaugh. I thought he was the king of ignorance.... but there are just as many stupid bozos here that are just as stupid as he is! 🙂 Sometimes you just gotta call ignorance ignorance... and sometimes it just goes beyond ignorance to pure stupidity!

    March 7, 2009 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  15. Franky

    You know, Conservatives are a bunch of idiots, they have no idea what this means for them in the long run. I wonder what was called during Bush's term?? And if they wanna go that far, then what do you call it in professional or collegiate sports?? Trust me, I can do them bogus, I'll make em cry like never before...or just show em Rev. Wright, LOL!! Bunch of whiners...

    But anyway, what I wanna know is, who in the world are asking these dumb questions?? I mean, just at some policies and some orders, then that'll explain everything to you. We have complications in this country and you are talking about the future?? Ha!!! I don't know about you but I don't care about people who can't take care of themselves. I mean, I am a conservative, is just not fair, LOL!!

    March 7, 2009 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  16. Rob from Pa

    Just fear a communist/socialist state

    March 7, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  17. JJ

    Psalm 2008-2012

    Obama is my shepherd, I shall not want.
    He leadeth me beside the still factories.
    He restoreth my faith in the Republican party.
    He guideth me in the path of unemployment.
    Yea, though I walk thru the valley of the bread line, I shall not go hungry.

    Obama has anointed my income with taxes.
    My expenses runneth over my income.
    Surely, poverty and hard living will follow me all over the days of his
    From hence forth we will live all the days of our lives in a rented home,
    With an overseas landlord

    But I am glad I am an American, I am glad that I am free.
    But I wish I was a dog and Obama was a tree.

    March 7, 2009 10:06 pm at 10:06 pm |
  18. JJ

    With President Obama in charge of the country. I have a great deal of faith in that he is putting his heart and soul in trying to make things better for us. The GOP lost big in the election 2008.


    I'm sorry, but they lost in "2006" and SINCE then, THAT has been the START and CONTINUATION of this downward spiral...

    March 7, 2009 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  19. liz

    Republicans are so stupid. They still don't understand that the crisis we are in is like Death...It has no name, you can't buy it and it is not for sale!!! In plain English...student Republicans, this crisis has NO NAME. Got it yet? ABCDEF....AND Z.

    March 7, 2009 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  20. A. Darton

    Okay, what are the Republicans answers to these crisis? Do anyone know?Just say NO isn't a answer. If they were in charge what would they be doing? Do anyone know? I hope the people who supported President Obama give him a chance. Don't fall for all this mess coming from the other side, or the media. Remember this, it may get worse before it get better.Bush didn't get us into this mess overnight and we won't get out of it overnight. We have to pray for each other and the President. And keep hope alive. I think the old saying goes like this, the darkest day is just before darn. I remember what President Clinton left for President Bush. Look at what was left for President Obama to have to deal with by President Bush. A crisis which has not been seen before.But I believe we have the right man in charge.

    March 7, 2009 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  21. Jim

    Look – the guy has been in office only a couple of months. Our cyclical economy will recover no matter what he or anyone else does. The recent (and any future) stimilus efforts may make the downturn more shallow or shorter, but who knows? I am just tired of the dogmatic mindless lemmings from both of the major parties who follow their fringe wings – moderates from both parties and independents ought to form their own party for 2012 and clean everyone's clock.

    March 8, 2009 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
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