July 8th, 2010
01:55 PM ET
12 years ago

Obama: Economy 'headed in the right direction'


President Obama on Thursday toured Smith Electric, an electric company in Kansas City, Missouri, that has been helped by economic stimulus funds. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images)

(CNN) - President Barack Obama said Thursday the U.S. economy is "headed in the right direction," and he challenged Republican critics to work with him to continue making progress instead of trying to obstruct his agenda.

"What is absolutely clear is that we are headed in the right direction - and that the surest way out of this storm is to keep moving forward," Obama told workers at a Kansas City, Missouri, electric vehicle company that had been helped by economic stimulus funds.

"There are some people who argue that we ought to abandon our efforts, and some people who made the political calculation that it's better to just say no to everything than lend a hand," Obama said of congressional Republicans who oppose his policies.

He urged his political opponents to visit Smith Electric Vehicles, which makes batteries for electric trucks, and other businesses across the country to hear how government initiatives such as the stimulus bill and tax credits are creating and saving jobs, particularly in future-growth industries such as clean energy.

"This is how we ensure that America not only recovers, but prospers - that this nation leads the industries of the future," Obama said.

Later, at a fundraiser for Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan, Obama sharpened his criticism of Republicans, saying his GOP opponents continue to push the same economic policies that helped bring the recession that started during the previous administration.

"It's a little odd getting lectures on sobriety from folks who spent like drunken sailors for the last decade," Obama said. At a second event for Carnahan, Obama said Republicans are "peddling that same snake oil that they've been peddling for years."

Repeating previous attacks, Obama singled out a recent comment by House Minority Leader John Boehner of Ohio that the Wall Street reform bill awaiting final congressional approval is akin to using a nuclear weapon to kill "an ant."

Ridiculing Boehner for comparing the financial system collapse that helped launch the recession to an ant, Obama said: "You can imagine a movie: 'The Ant That Ate Our Economy.' That's a big ant."

Boehner has since said he was criticizing the financial regulations reform bill rather than minimizing the scope of the financial system collapse.

Obama, however, said Republicans "continue to defend the status quo that got us into this mess."

Noting that some of his policies, such as the economic stimulus bill, were not widely popular, Obama prompted applause by saying: "Our decision was not to worry about the next election. We worried about the next generation."

Republicans criticize Obama for driving up the federal deficit, which they say hinders economic recovery and threatens future stability. Obama contends that government spending was essential to halting the recession and must continue in the short term until full recovery is assured.

At the same time, the president said, a deficit reduction commission he appointed will devise a long-term strategy for balancing the federal books.

Filed under: Economy • issues • President Obama
soundoff (64 Responses)
  1. seebofubar

    If Democratic stupidity wasn't so dangerous, it would be funny. How can any of you listen to this bafoon spew this garbage and actually fall for it. It's time to get over the fact that he's not Bush and he's black and see him for who he is, a clueless stooge who is in WAY over his head.

    July 8, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  2. Susan in Arkansas

    This is a President who is young enough to believe in the future and understand the enormous changes that are needed for this country to continue to exist. Too many of our citizens today only believe in today and "what can you do for me right now." What a shame.

    July 8, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  3. Ron

    Say what?!?! I just about lost my lunch when I read that Obama ACTUALLY SAID ECONOMY MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION?!?! Let's see, almost 10% unemployment and no positive signs on the horizon (and let's not forget that Obama said if we spend almost a trillion dollars, that's right – with a "T", unemployment won't go above 8%), businesses told their labor costs are increasing (due to Health Care, Medicare and capital gains taxes going up, etc.), government creating hundreds of new agencies that will require excessive government jobs, and so on.

    Obama is duplicating the policies of FDR and let's not forget that FDR EXTENDED the great depression by over 10 years. Not only is the economy NOT getting better but it is spiralling out of control and we are entering what may a significant depression. Businesses hire more workers now? IF YOU OWN A BUSINESS YOU HAVE TO BE CRAZY TO CONSIDER DOING ANY HIRING IN THIS ECONOMIC ENVIRONMENT!! We are going to see an economic callapse not seen since the great depression.

    July 8, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  4. Dave

    Check the job losses in June and the coming storm that economists are seeing already. This is a snowjob. They are trying to continue a fake recovery before they bilk us all again.

    July 8, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Ray E. (Georgia)

    We will see in November. Obama says one thing, the polls say something else. We had about 4.5 percent un employment under Bush and the Republicians. After the Democrats took Congress in 2006, it grew to about 10 percent. But folks, you voted for it so live with the consequences. Maybe someday you will quit voting against yourself ! Just today Wells Fargo announced they are laying off about 3800 people???? That's Progress????

    July 8, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  6. Zach K

    It is heading in the right direction. The stimulus prevented a deep depression, and economic growth is occuring.

    The process is slow, but we must be patient. Undoing the economic downfall will take time. The president still gets a good grade from me.

    July 8, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  7. Big Bob

    There won't be a real recovery, because he wants the US as it is and has been to fail. He can't get the downtrodden to rise, so, after diluting the country with illegals, overspending and hi-taxation, the country will hit bottom. Then we can all start over as equals. That is his sincere hope. Read his books. Why else would he do the things he does against the will of the majority of the people?

    July 8, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  8. Pat F

    "The Right Dirction" for a Socialist, that is.

    July 8, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  9. Mike

    No recovery without jobs – simple as that folks, no recovery without jobs.

    July 8, 2010 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  10. Charlie in Maine

    Okay here are the facts.
    Fact one: George W Bush and his rich friends threw a party to which most average Americans were not invited. Like the bunch of drunken frat boys they ran the economy off the road and into a deep cravass.

    Fact two: Barack Obama- for his first two years or more- is filling the role of Tow-truck Driver in Cheif. It is going to take some time to repair the damage but we are headed iin the right direction.

    We are now about half-way out of the ditch and the GOP has come-to and swears they are ready to start driving again.

    Let's let them sleep it off before we hand them the keys.

    July 8, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  11. Rickster

    No clue....this guy has no clue what's going on. He really needs to go back to community organizing. I have no idea what community organizers do but if he was good at it, it must be pretty simple.

    July 8, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  12. Real Patriot

    It's the truth. Check out any economic indicator and compare it to October 2008. Like how the DOW lost 14.06% in that one month alone, and we lost 240,000 jobs in that same month. Ah, the good old days, right?

    I know some of you are just praying every night that the economy tanks again, but luckily, the rest of America would rather fight our way out of the deep recession than to fight petty political battles.

    July 8, 2010 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  13. Flipper

    President Obama thinks this crappy economy is "headed in the right direction?" Such jaw-dropping stupidity is nothing new from this man who is so out of touch and completely unqualified for the important position that he holds.

    July 8, 2010 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  14. Shari from Madison WI

    Here's another Bashing Obama article, although I don't seem to see the recovery the President says is here, I don't think anyone else can say for sure either way.

    July 8, 2010 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
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