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. Peace Out!!

    @Dan, TX April 5th, 2009 12:31 pm ET***I am proud of President Obama ....You should pay attention to Gov Perry better known as Bush the 2ND***
    @Anonymous April 5th, 2009 12:24 pm ET
    President Obama will be known as one the best presidents ever.****I AGREE!!!!

    April 5, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  2. Juan Suero

    Go Gladiator Obama!!! What we do in life echoes in eternity

    April 5, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  3. Peace

    Welch is very civilised. Where there is the truth, just say as it is. I wish his fellow Republicans can follow his example. Bravo Welch!

    April 5, 2009 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  4. arithmetic is liberal

    Why is Obama refusing to accept banks repayment of TARP money?

    That's OUR money he is refusing to take back? Why?

    April 5, 2009 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  5. phillyutah

    Talk about completely in over his head and unqualified. I'd rather have the world hate our president than laugh at him as they are now because of obama's obvious ignorance re the real world. They don't even know common protocol. He's an embarrassment, never even had a real job. You can't possibly understand the real world when you live in an ill-founded utopia. Every time I see the guy I throw up in my mouth. Welch won't tell the truth because he's scared to, it would probably be a hate crime.

    April 5, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  6. Dee

    The Repugs are so jealous of our new President! He made us proud in Europe. Did you see the crowds? He is defnitely setting a new tone in the world. It will pay dividends to all of us in the future. Finally, a repug sees that Obama is doing a great job! Mitt Romney tried to tell them that EVERYTHING about Obama can't be wrong or bad. Maybe they are starting to listen.

    April 5, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  7. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    It's past time for Americans to move ahead and rise above ignorance and hate that is none constructive. Whether we are Democrats or Republicans, the rest of the world doesn't care, they are looking at us to lead, follow or get out of the way.

    April 5, 2009 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  8. 60's survivor

    close our mouths and open our eyes and ears we all may learn something! glad to see Obama doing well under the circumstances.....

    April 5, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  9. Santa Maria

    Of course a former CEO would love to see how millions and billions is going to help poor people like him survive the mess they made.

    April 5, 2009 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  10. Maggie

    Wonder what he wants from Obama?

    April 5, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  11. regina harris

    President Obama has done what has needed to be done years ago. He has re-established working relationships with some of our allies. He has shown great leadership here in America and abroad. He is being respected by other world leaders and is very comfortable bridging the gaps or tearing down gigantic walls created by George Bush and company.

    I am profoundly surprised at some of the statements made by George Wills. Is he still asleep? Is he depicting what I used to hear people talk about during the Gingrich era when they referred to them as "angry white male" politicians? He was quite angry today (Sunday morning) while appearing on the show hosted by George Stephanoulos (hope I spelled that correctly). WOW! his display of anger was interesting, I would love to hear more from this angry fellow as he shares his feelings regarding President Obama's current status on the world stage. I am resigned to believe that whatever our President does, it will be an area of contention for some people.

    My humble and heartfelt advice to the group that desires to see the President fail and thinks he has made "huge" mistakes is this: "GET OVER IT and GET ON BOARD." Pres. Obama is our President and he gets to make the decisions according to his ideologies and style.
    He acted with style, class and diplomacy. A combination we've not seen in a long time.

    April 5, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  12. sensi johnson

    Jack Welsh praise of president Obama's performance on CNN is an indication of this man's desire to want to see his country move forward in a far more patriotic manner than most others(chenny) we've heard from in recent time. I applaud Mr. Welch for his candid and unselfish approach to the issues overall.

    April 5, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  13. bk

    All Welsh is saying is that Obama can read a teleprompter very well. Oh yea and he should have said the only other thing he has done is spend our money. Talk and spend money thats it! 600,000 jobs lost a month and all that money has done nothing for the working people.

    April 5, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  14. Mike in VA

    as a CEo he wants to keep his job. kissing up

    April 5, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  15. Marty, Grand Rapids

    We need more conservative/liberal dialog like this. People marginalize their analysis by saying someone is all bad or all good when in reality they are some shade of gray. Bottom line is any overseas trip where the US is not seen as an evil empire is a good one and needed to build back our credibility.

    April 5, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  16. bk

    Obama gave GE millions. Oh what a suprise that Welsh thinks Obama is inspiring.

    April 5, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. Ethel from Florida

    Great job, Mr. President !

    April 5, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  18. Jeff

    I'm watching less of this program. Something about it just doesn't sit well with me, not sure if it's the format, host, visuals, or questions. All I know is that I probably won't be watching anymore.

    April 5, 2009 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  19. S Callahan

    Mr. Welch may want to go back to Schenectady and put his good skills back to use...they are losing way too many jobs.

    April 5, 2009 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  20. Mike

    I agree. Obama's leadership and his articulation of America's values, needs from, and expectations of, our allies was great. The respect with which the United States is held in the world went up significantly this week. I think we have the opportunity to really move our agenda forward on the world stage and get increasing support and collaboration from the world community.

    April 5, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  21. edisto

    It is so refreshing to have President that is willing to have an intelligent dialogue with anyone willing to try and improve the world we live in. Keep on listening and working to solve the mess you and we inherited from the past non-listening President.

    April 5, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. Patty

    Sorry Jack, when Obama started calling America arrogant on foreign soil, the rest of his speech is moot.

    As an American I agree we are arrogant. We think we are the best in the world and say so. Foreign countries have been saying this for years. Why do you think we are called ugly americans? maybe with a president who is willing to admit to it and not do the "my way or the highway" bit we will get a little more favorable viewing once again.

    Just a thought

    April 5, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. virginia nielsen

    Now I'm REALLY proud of been an american !!! OBAMA 2012 !!!!

    April 5, 2009 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. FreeNLovIT

    I support him, but I dont support some of his policies. My loyalty is to God not to Obie.

    April 5, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  25. stillsupportspresident

    Mike in NYC said [BO's "star power" derives largely from the fact that cheering him makes Whites feel good about themselves.]

    That is true. I have always known that about White people...that occurs in everything though. The need to feel that they are "good people" and the spirit of "oneupmanship" defines that culture, but every culture has flaws.

    However, regardless of what a supporter's intentions are, Obama is working hard, he is an intellectual, very emotionally aware, has a very healthy ego and seems to be able to bring out the best in many people. Many people I know were never patriotic before because they felt excluded from this country...not just because the leadership has to have similar skin, but the idea that what minorities do, think, and believe matters to someone is a big deal. I think Obama is a star because he doesn't try to be. It is important to him to be a good leader, and since he has done well as the most primary form of leadership, a good husband, father and provider, he can use his intelligence, emotional awareness and cognitive abilities to further expand on being a true good leader for our country...being a part of the people to lead the people. Even one of his biggest Black critics Tavis Smiley says that you have to love the people to lead the people. I believe Obama loves the people. We love him and our Country in return.

    April 5, 2009 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
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