March 7th, 2009
05:17 PM ET
13 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. Hen from Jacksonville, FL

    Now that we have Bush out of the WH, I feel confident that we will get out of this. We have been though economic snags before and we always got out of them. Keep at it Mr. President. =)

    March 7, 2009 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  2. aware

    Obama isn't Jesus! He is just a politician trying to sell policies Pelosi crafts! Politicians prey on people’s insecurity, and those who treat leaders as if they have some special anointing are the most susceptible to being deceived by them! 🙁

    Any human system will eventually dehumanize the very people it seeks to serve and those it dehumanizes the most are those who think they lead it.

    March 7, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  3. Ryn

    Do ur thing obama!

    March 7, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  4. Lilly Rose

    The President is right. America is strong we she will rebound. It took 8 years to get us to this point so it will not be fixed in 2 months or even six months. It will take time for the jobs being created to domino down to all sectors, and I am willing it will work better than trickle down economics. Workers will be the deciding factor, not rich people who may or may not feel like creating jobs.

    March 7, 2009 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  5. SC

    I did not vote for Obama, but since he is already our "President" he needs our support and respect. We have the power come 2012 to cast our vote for someone else if we don't think he is doing the job. Otherwise I suggest to all the people that think this country is turning socialist to look around your schools, specially your colleges and Universities and see who is teaching and what are they teaching your children! They are called the silent manipulators. On the other hand look at the media as well! Unfortunately they are in danger as well; because with socialism there is no freedom of the press. The governments dictates what you do and must not do! Real socialism does not exist but a dictatorial socialistic government does exist. Look at 90 miles from Florida and you will see what I mean!!!

    March 7, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  6. If you don't like it go back to Europe!

    The GOP needs to deal with their leadership issues before you can talk about anything. Right now you guys are in chaos: Operation Chaos. You have a Black Leader kissing up to a Drug Addicted Leader is is scaring all of the real leaders. Drugs, Fright, Blacks. GOP must mean Ghetto Old Party.

    March 7, 2009 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  7. Uchman

    People should not be afraid

    March 7, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  8. Simmy

    What does Paul Krugman have to say? I trust him more than any of the other speculators. Republicans and their leader, Limbaugh only have sound bites and their Hitler tactics. They have their supporters confused and terrified. When Bush was around they hid the truth. Now that it's exposed, they want to redirect their failures to President Obama. I have news for you. It's not gonna happen.

    You hatefilled, bitter bloggers need to hook up with the "20 Secessionists" and form your own Union. Call it "These United States of Misfits."

    He has a lot on his plate.
    1. He has a party of "NO" using Rove/Limbaugh's Playbook.
    2. He has WALL STREET haters manipulating the market in order
    to keep the country in a state of panic.
    3. He has Blue Dog Democrats with 2 faces.
    4. He has some media worrying about teleprompters.
    5. He has a media reporting mis-information.
    6. He has Black on Black jealousy.
    7. He has McGrinch, the not so much across the aisle man.

    He (President Obama) is doing a great job so far. A job that McCain could never have done. At the rate they your leaders are going, the Republican party will be over the cliff before 2010.

    P.S. When you "20 States Secessionists" run out of money, remember you're on your own. Let your president Limbaugh, Palin, or Coulter-geist, or McOutraged help you. And don't cross over the county lines into our territories. Lol.

    March 7, 2009 07:05 pm at 7:05 pm |
  9. Wisest one of All

    The only thing we have to fear is this racist empty suit that his cult followers elected. Proven Fact!

    March 7, 2009 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  10. George

    For 8 years of the Bush administration proceeded to sell our nation to the Saudis and the mainland Chinese. Dick Cheney stated that "deficits don't matter." We now have a President who is ion office a very short time and the conservatives expect him to rectify problems on the spot. If one looks at historical trends, they will see that our economy is usually stronger during Democratic Presidencies. Please give President Obama some breathing room.

    March 7, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  11. kelly WI

    He can't seem to make it better but he as heck can make it worse.
    The only thing we are getting from this is debt and higher taxes.
    not to mention lost wealth and jobs.

    March 7, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |

    First thing we do is take the check book awayf rom Hillary. Why does every sec of state visilt all these countries and give them a bunch of money. These billions we are giving to these jerk run corporations should have a person attached to the billions and hold them responable for how it is spent and make an immediate report back to congress or some responsible committee, If there can be one formed without crooks running it with his hand out.

    Now we hear that this money will be paid back to the tax payer. Just how will we, the tax poayer receive the money???? Will it be deposited to our checking account?? Will we receive a check in the mail??? "What will be the mechanics of this return???? You know you can't answere this and furthermore it will never happen. Should some of it be paid back it will go to another give away program and we will just keep on paying. Our kids and grand kid and great grand kids will just keep on being taxed and paying.

    Mr. President you are the worse thing this country has ever encoundtered and I don't understand how any one with one ounce of common sense could support you because they will have to pay in the long run or maybe in short run.

    March 7, 2009 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  13. Some common sense

    The most important pillar in the foundation for our economic recovery is restoring hones government oversight over big business. We now know what happens when we turn the private sector loose to freely use their creative genious and that is a very large variety of con games and a looting of the national treasury.

    Once business is very carefully scrutinized the public will quickly regain confidence and the economy will take off. Executive compenstion needs to be carefully monitored as well with executive slary caps on companies who outsource or take any kind of government subsidies. Ths will leave more money to pay common workers who will spend their paycheck and not send it to an off shore bank account.

    March 7, 2009 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  14. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    tHE FUTURE! THANKS TO Bush are economy is crumbling.
    The future in Pakinstan looks bleek we should have let the "General in charge! but no the Republicannot's just had to stick their nose in other peoples business.the general would have kept the extremist at bay.
    Saddam would have kept the extremist at bay but no we made the people who want to kill us stronger. It all smells rather fishy to me it makes me think that the american people have been set up by the Republicans.

    March 7, 2009 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  15. Cheney

    SO?I got mine.You should be very afraid,I might come back in 2012.

    March 7, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  16. Larry

    The Bush administration was like an abusive alcoholic husband that went to the bar after getting his paycheck and blowing all the money every weekend,after 8 years we finally got rid of him,kind of like a divorce.

    Now we have a new man,turns out he's worse than the first guy,the new husband doesn't go to the bar and blow the money,he takes you out to dinner at the finest restaurants,maxis out the charge cards,got a second mortgage on the house,spent all that money,and now the wife finds out he never had a job.

    After two losers the poor woman is bankrupt.Sound familiar?

    March 7, 2009 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. George Fellner

    Can you imagine the mess we would be in if the Republicans had won and we were back with the Bush strategies? OMYGOD.

    March 7, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  18. Rose

    What future?????????

    March 7, 2009 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  19. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    CW is right .! after it is fixed it will be up to the American people to keep the Republicans out of office because if given the power they will doit again. Let's see their idea is Tax breaks for the "Rich" and start war's with any one weak enough to beat.

    March 7, 2009 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  20. A A

    I totally agree with C.W.'s comment.

    And shame on you people below! Whether you like it or not, Obama is our president now, and he's only begun his term. Bush screwed up big time, so it's going to take a long time and a little faith to untangle his mess and get this country to even a remotely better place. Now Obama's just started, and he's done quite a bit to get the ball rolling in a fresh direction. Where's your sense of patriotism, you flaming cowards?

    March 7, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  21. Brian

    What if I don't trust the person talking?

    March 7, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  22. Melissa

    I haven't trusted the banking system in 25 years.
    I bank at the first bank of mayo (burried in the back yard). It's the only way to hang on to what money you have left!!!

    March 7, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  23. Anne

    It's pretty obvious that most of the people commenting on this article are Obama haters who are bitter about the Republican loss. Get over it already! Bush was the one to fear.

    March 7, 2009 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  24. shannon

    Obama talks down the economy every time he talks, he promotes fear the same way George Bush did. I guess the only way our leaders feel they can get the country behind them is to make us scared little sheep. If this is change, I want no part of it.

    March 7, 2009 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  25. Susan

    So now the Conservatives will bash him for being "too optimistic."

    I think he is wise to stick to his beliefs and plow ahead. Republicans from Steele down are terrified that his programs will WORK, thus making them look even more clueless than they do already.

    March 7, 2009 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7