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. American girl

    Obama is a menace to our soverienty and our wonderful Nation.....I guess as an American I sound arrogant? He is going to destroy our liberty and rights that so many men and women fought and died for in our great American Past. Keep thinking he's wonderful.......he believes it so we all must believe it? I think not. Hey! OBAMA....STOP APOLOGIZING FOR US !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    April 5, 2009 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  2. Chris

    This is exactly what other Republican should see and as well acknowledge. Not just be totally against the President in everything. This President is not perfect but Republicans need to also acknowledge the very things that he does well and at the same time disagree with him in other areas. Bipartisanship does not mean u have to agree with everything from the other party or your opponent. It means you can compromise and as well have a mutual constructive debate with all ideas and issues towards the middle and try to find a common ground. This president is a lot more in the middle than what most people in the Republican party give him credit for. I just don't undderstand why the majority of Republicans have to be literally negative towards this President in literally everything he does. He is doing us proud in Europe by rallying our european allies. Something that Bush could not even do..obviously because of the lie of going to fight in Irak when in fact they had nothing to do with 9/11 whatsoever. Bush's so-called "Coalition of the Willing" was a grand joke!
    It just feels good to see that President Obama has an approach of listening and being respectful to our allies and therefore this is why most of them now will be on board in helping futher in Afghanistan.
    This is the type of leadership we need...not a cowboy and ignorant attitude like Bush ever was.

    President Obama...continue the good work that you are doing well even just in these few early months! You make all Americans proud.

    April 5, 2009 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  3. Change

    President Obama is an intelligent, intellectual, analytical, articulate (written and spoken word), informed/conversant, charming, handsome and physically fit leader and role model for the world. He is already establishing his legacy as the most competent, effective and inspiring president we have had in decades. Thank God the American people had the common sense to elect him president last year! Thank God the American people are continuing to ignore the wingnut smears and lies aimed at this stellar individual. Did I mention that President Obama is a superb husband, father and son-in-law? Our country is truly blessed!

    April 5, 2009 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  4. amofa

    great job.iam proud you,OBAMA

    April 5, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  5. MD

    Any apologies, Jack? Or are you too Republican to admit your lack of judgment?

    April 5, 2009 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. Brian Thompson

    Nice to hear someone who did not necessarily support him during the elections to say positive things, while also communicating that he does not agree with all Obama's policies.

    That is what I have been talking about all along. We are not all of us going to agree on everything, everyday, but there is a way of communicating that is not divisive, disrupting, and down right partisan and hateful.

    If the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world could get that there is more to America than their skewed Republican vision, that America is more than that tiny little window and speak up and out on all people from all parties, yes that is right, speak out against Republicans, then I think just maybe we as a country can begin to move forward with one goal...

    Make America better, not save the Republican party at all cost.

    April 5, 2009 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. Ben

    Like Welch, I did not vote for Obama, but must give him an A+ for trying to work accross the aisle and doing the US proud in the international arena, where Bush had failed miserably. I do however remain concerned about his economic policies of the unsustainable stimulation and long term debt that is being piled on for the future generation. Whether we pay it in our life time, or our children pay it back in higher taxes, we need to recognize that there is no free lunch. I am happy he has stopped demonizing "greedy and wealthy" American families earning above $250k income, who are the people who will be funding all his initiatives.

    April 5, 2009 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  8. Patti

    This president is new and has alot to learn, however, he seems to know plenty about diplomacy. I am proud that I voted for him and I know, he really cares about this country. This isn't about personalities; its about saving an economy and a country. Lets give him a break! How about that Michelle! You go girl!

    April 5, 2009 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  9. andy

    High marks? lol they must be using the bell curve..so far hes done pretty much what he said he wouldnt, change is more of the same with more talk show appearance?

    April 5, 2009 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  10. independent Jim

    The President's accomplishments in the last week: he tells North Korea, "Naughty, naughty.". G20 resulted in the European goal of regulatory structure prevailing over Obama's goal of a European version of the US stimulus package – in fact, the Europeans probably said "No" to a stimulus because they hope we will continue to bail out AIG, who insures a bunch of their banks. We get no real help from the Europeans on Afghanistan.

    If you think this week was a huge diplomatic success, you might want to drink some more Koolaid.

    April 5, 2009 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  11. andy

    he is a gift to us all thank god for Barak the glorious leader

    April 5, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  12. thetruth

    totally agree with you jack...Its funny though how some people who saw that speech in Strasbourg will only come away thinking that the pres only said America was arrogant, dirrissive, and divissive...people are u even listening?. He also extolled the virtue of Americas greatness as a world leader and super-power. I'm willing to bet that these are the same people who only pull out of context the contreversial things Rev Wright said in his speeches and are unwilling to hear the entire speech for what it is...Just Amazing????

    April 5, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  13. Chipster

    I appreciate Mr. Welch's ability to move forward and I'm sad for those who haven't been able to do that.

    President Obama is very well educated, taught constitutional law for 12 years, served as IL & US Senator, and is well-prepared for presidency. Those of you who like to ridicule the use of teleprompters forget that most public speakers have teleprompters in front of them as an aid. Suggesting that the President cannot speak without one reveals your ignorance, not his. He has proved to be quite capable of communicating whether in a speech or impromptu.

    Since we previously had a President who was incapable of making a complete sentence, even with a teleprompter, you really have no reason to be particular so I can only assume it's bitterness. I hope you grow out of it.

    April 5, 2009 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  14. Mike in NYC

    I'm not sure what Welch's game is - most probably opportunism, a valuable trait for a businessman, plus the fact that GE is a major defense contractor - but the Great One failed miserably in getting foreign troop support for his chapter of the Afghanistan adventure. I guess that doesn't count as a "misstep." It's kind of sad, really, as more and more of the world is tacitly admitting that it's just not worth the casualties and resources.

    BO's "star power" derives largely from the fact that cheering him makes Whites feel good about themselves.

    April 5, 2009 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  15. Fan of Common Sense

    Jack, I used to have so much respect for you.

    April 5, 2009 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  16. Arwa

    President obama he is better any president of american history,but some conservetive they do not like obama period,becouse he is democrat or minority.they forgot america half of population is minorityand half is liberal thanks god.america is immigrant land and always be .

    Thanks mr president.

    Peace and love.

    April 5, 2009 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |
  17. Jack Welch: adulter and king of mis-information

    don't much care for his thoughts

    April 5, 2009 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  18. ME IN FL

    Great job by Pres. Obama, he represented us extremely well in Europe. Now we can all hold our heads high!! What a difference from the past adeministration!!

    April 5, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  19. vernah petersen

    I am glad that someone in this country see the work of our new leader is a plus. I am very happy to see that somehow our own new selected president of the U.S.A. of America is giving the important message throught out the continent not because (he) deserve some applause but he is trying to fix the problem that has been inherited from the beginning of his term. It is our job in this country to work together and put it aside the difference(s).

    Vernah, Lincoln

    April 5, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Deeply, Madly

    Welch is smitten with Obama like two-thirds of the country. People need to look past the veneer and see what this guy is doing to the country. The era of big government is back and we'll be in debt for generations thanks to Obama.

    April 5, 2009 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  21. CHANGE we need

    Okay, boys and girls, we got us a new GOV prorgram, "NO PRESIDENT LEFT BEHIND".

    Wow...BO gets an 'A' for leadership from Welch??? Little Barry is asked to draw a picture and he writes an essay...give him an 'A' for effort and creativity.

    How on God's green Earth does he come up with THAT grade?? This kinda boosts the curve for all future presidents.

    April 5, 2009 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  22. Otto

    There will come a time when those wanting this administration to fail will eat their words!

    The right wing machine has ran out of steam and will be left by the road side for a long time. This is not the administration of Karl Rove and "The Clan" and soon you will see that most nations will respect America because our policies have changed for the better of all people.
    There will always be those who can't see beyong their toes and they are the ones who will find fault but first they should see the faults within themselves.

    April 5, 2009 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  23. German,Irish American

    Sorry Jack, when Obama started calling America arrogant on foreign soil, the rest of his speech is moot. And I suppose a good team of tax cheats fits your opinion of a good team. By the way, is your company, GE, still selling goods to Iran so they can more easily help kill American soldiers in Iraq? Oh wait thats an illegal war, blah, blah, blah.

    April 5, 2009 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. lash larue

    Nice to hear from a Rich Retired Former CEO,who is not affected by any decisions made by Obama,is feeling tingling up his leg.He will not have to check his wallet,his money is already socked away. Who cares what he thinks anyway?

    April 5, 2009 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  25. Camille - Atlanta

    No Mike.

    The world is tacitly admitting that they like President Obama, however former President Bush left such a bad taste in their mouths that it will take more than 2 months for them to fully "TRUST" The United States again.

    President Obama is taking the necessary steps to get us back in good standing with the world.

    Mike in NYC April 5th, 2009 1:01 pm ET

    — but the Great One failed miserably in getting foreign troop support for his chapter of the Afghanistan adventure. I guess that doesn't count as a "misstep." It's kind of sad, really, as more and more of the world is tacitly admitting that it's just not worth the casualties and resources.

    April 5, 2009 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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