April 5th, 2009
11:45 AM ET
13 years ago

Welch gives high marks to Obama

(CNN) - He was a supporter of former Republican presidential candidates Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, and John McCain, but former GE CEO Jack Welch said Sunday President Obama deserves high marks for his initial months as commander-in-chief.

In an interview with CNN's John King on State of The Union, Welch said he continues to disagree with many of Obama's policies, but said the new president deserves "an 'A' in terms of leadership.”

"[I] like the way he's expressing a vision, the way he's brought a team together," Welch said. "He's done the vision thing, he's a great communicator and he's got a team-building skill that is really working."

Welch also had high praise for Obama's performance during his trip abroad, calling the president's recent town-hall meeting in Strasbourg, France "masterful."

"He didn't make one misstep - I thought his press conference in Strasbourg was an incredible job. The idea of explaining American exceptionalism in the context of Europe was as masterful a speech as I've ever heard."

Filed under: State of the Union
soundoff (102 Responses)
  1. Denise

    I've never been more proud of our President as I have been of Obama.

    April 5, 2009 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  2. Bill

    It's nice to see someone who presents reasonable opposition to the president. It's OK if you have doubts, or outright disagree with the administrations policies, it doesn't mean that you have to try and find fault with everything he does.

    This is the kind of reasonableness that most Americans want. I for one am tired of those on one side or the other that try and demonize the opposition, or just want to argue ideology. I think the media over reports that side, because the controversy leads to more publicity. I think much of the media deliberately tries to stir up those things as well.

    As an Obama supporter, I applaud Jack Welch's statement. He still expresses serious misgivings about things that the administration is trying to do, but he is respectful and willing to recognize things he does agree with. This is the type of healthy public debate that promotes bipartisanship and actually gets things done.

    April 5, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  3. BusyMom

    Intelligent people can see through the rhetoric and know that we have the best President we could ask for during these difficult times. Whether you disagree with his policies or not (and even those disagreeing cannot seem to come up with any viable alternatives) he is a great leader and has been maintaining excellent communication with Americans and the world. It is wonderful to have a thoughtful and intelligent President representing us. It is sad to see the ugly negativity that comes from the hard right simply because they are no longer in power.

    April 5, 2009 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  4. tired of the lies

    800 million dollar stimulus plan which has only created 25 temporary police jobs as America is losing thousands of jobs per hour. What is Welch smoking? This plan is not creating jobs, it is a failure and dishonest to call it a stimulus bill. My wife lost her job last week, and I do not see any jobs created by this so called "stimulus".

    April 5, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. Rightsaid

    I'm proud of the effort, vision, and hard work on display as well.

    April 5, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. shane

    Am very please with the performance of our president, now if only the (rethuglicans) can get on board.

    April 5, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. barking dogs

    Guess the neocons will call Mr. Welch crazy now.

    April 5, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. Pyao

    When is CNN going to put up any of my posts?
    Great Job Mr. President. Keep it up. Hopefully, the economy will rebound soon.

    April 5, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  9. Maggie

    I couldn't agree with you more Denise. He is a great leader and we are blessed to have him as our president. We are definitely moving to greater heights both at home and abroad. God bless our president.

    April 5, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  10. Anonymous

    President Obama will be known as one the best presidents ever.

    April 5, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  11. The Ratings Game

    I have to agree, that perticular answer (re: exceptionalism) was put into perspective for many who was truly listening. He was exceptional in his representation of American interest but acknowledge that in order to lead effectively we as Americans need to listen as well. What a difference an election make!!!

    April 5, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  12. Brandon (Wilmington, NC)

    Anything beats the last 8 years, but this President...is a GEM! This overseas trip made me smile and feel proud again to see how we reaffirmed our footing in the global eye.

    April 5, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  13. Washingtonian

    At least Mr Welch is honest in saying he doesn't agree with some of Obama's politics, but admires and respects the way he is doing his job. I have never been as proud of a President in my lifetime as I am with Obama.

    April 5, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  14. christopherram

    This is amazing. I'm glad to hear positive remarks about President Obama's character. All politics and policy aside, the man is has an incredible spirit and and outstanding love for America.

    April 5, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  15. Mr. Pragmatic

    Although I agree 100% with his comments, who cares what Jack Welch thinks? He's yesterday's news who is a classic example of an ego-driven personality.

    April 5, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  16. Kyle

    Hmm well since this is a comment from a guy who is deeply in Obama's pocket with cap and trade would say that it is about as worthless as this president

    April 5, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  17. Dan, TX

    Who cares what Welch thinks. His company is going down the drain. He knows little about business and less about politics and leadership. Why would anyone listen to him.

    Any real republican will tell you Obama is a socialist who will destroy our country. I only hope we have a terrorist attack soon that is so horrifying (a nuclear bomb perhaps) that we can impeach Obama.

    We need Dick Cheney and Karl Rove to lead our country back.

    PS. Obviously, no one actually thinks this way and it is sarcasm, but the funny thing is, if you read the above you COULD believe that some crazy person would actually write garbage like that.

    April 5, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. DEM in HI

    Does CNN print only posts by Obama supporters? The news media has gone over the line in their coverage of this trip. Amazing how little coverage was given tot he fact France and Germany said NO to more money being spent on banks, and how the final meeting wording at the end was changed to hide this fact. To the media, just report the facts and leave out the yellow journalism. Enough already!!!!

    April 5, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |

    There are some republicans with a brain!
    We need to support our President.
    This man has stepped up to the plate to be part of the solution instead of part of the problem.
    Good for him!
    Anyone who is negative and disrespects our President is part of the problem with fixing our country!!!!
    I am behind Obama 100%.

    April 5, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  20. lilacs

    The best ambassadors america can have our president and first lady, something that was lacking during the last adminatration.I have always been proud to be an american, but now I am also proud of our leadership. America pat yourselves on the back for getting it right this last election. Job will Done. Thank you MR. President and first lady for being yourselves and showing the world the true america.

    April 5, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  21. Lori

    I am extremely proud of our President and his leadership as well.

    April 5, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  22. Jkay - KCMO

    I wish more Republicans could place their egos aside and join in with Welch's praises for our President. Obama needs support from both parties to unite then overcome these challenging times. If Europe can unite in support of President Obama, why can't the party of "NO" do the same in our country? Their pettiness irks me.

    And yes, I've never been so proud of our country and ever so proud of Obama with the class and intelligence he so gracefully exudes. BTW, after the 2004 election, I'm proud to state I'm an ex-republican. I'll never go back.

    Press on Obama

    April 5, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
  23. nada

    Me too denise, I just wish everyone else would sit back and give this new style a chance. No one ever said it all would be done in his first three months, right? So why is it that we hear all this discontent, but no solutions that will work to at least justify the verbal attacks. Who would've thunk all the die hard Americans aren't so die hard when it comes to our new President. Ashame it is, and ashamed I am. I've said it before, it seems if the republicans get their way, we will be at another civil war, just not with guns and armies this time. Remember united we stand, divided we fall......

    April 5, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  24. chris

    "I thought his press conference in Strasbourg was an incredible job. The idea of explaining American exceptionalism in the context of Europe was as masterful a speech as I've ever heard."

    Mr Welch hit the nail on the head with this statement, yet so little of this is being reported. It is a good thing that other countries have now seen with their own eyes and head with their own ears what we in America have been seeing and hearing since POTUS began his campaign.

    Some say he did not get what he wanted, but just ask the GOP regarding the Stimulus and Budget exactly what he got, while it may not be everything he got about 2/3 of what he wanted at the G20 and more assistance from Europe in Afganistan. Although not more combat troops, what Europe is sending greatly helps with the new stragety

    man I look forward to the next 4 (hopefully 8) years

    April 5, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  25. C W

    I am very thankful we have President Obama – his steadfastness, intelligence and willingness to address challenging issues is inspiring and just what we need right now as a country.

    Keep up the good work, Mr. President, and everyone working to help our country succeed!

    April 5, 2009 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
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