Barbour gets tough on Obama
March 14th, 2011
01:42 PM ET
12 years ago

Barbour gets tough on Obama

(CNN) - In what could be the beginnings of a presidential stump speech, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour took a swipe at President Obama's economic policies Monday during a speech to the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Speaking in the president's hometown, Barbour painted a bleak picture of the economy despite recent clamor from many Democrats in Washington that conditions are improving.

"The professional economists tell us the recession is over," Barbour said. "That's hard to see on Main Street, and I don't hear anybody celebrating. In the Heartland, this doesn't feel much like a recovery. The simple fact is, our economy isn't performing anywhere near its potential."

Barbour, likely to enter the presidential race in a matter of weeks, appeared to tailor his speech directly to members of the Tea Party movement where concerns about the deficit and federal spending are the overwhelming concern.

Barbour noted GDP growth for the last quarter of 2010 was at an underwhelming 2.8 percent, median home prices are at the same level they were seven years ago, and economic growth as a whole is falling far short than necessary to find jobs for the 7 million Americans who have joined the ranks of unemployment since the recession began.

"It's time we asked ourselves: Why is this recovery so flat?" said Barbour. "In my view, it's not a failure of business or a failure of free enterprise – it's a failure of government policy.

"The policies embraced by this White House show little understanding of how our economy actually works," he said. "They seem to have no trust in business. No sense of how entrepreneurs build new companies. No insight into how small businesses create jobs."

Barbour has said he will decide on a presidential bid this spring.

Filed under: Haley Barbour
soundoff (78 Responses)
  1. Sesiente

    Lets ask Barbour where the GDP, home sales, and where the economy was when they had control of the house and a republican President was in power. I am sure he will say he does not recall. Lets ask him where Mississippi's economy has been since he has taken office. I am sure he will not recall those stats for his entire time in office. Including yesterday.

    March 14, 2011 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  2. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    I can't believe that it is solely the fault of governement that the economy hasn't picked up. The business community hasn't bothered to take risks. That is one of the major reasons why it hasn't started hiring people again. They have money; they're just not doing anything with it.

    March 14, 2011 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  3. dctwmt

    That fat redneck is an idiot. First of all, you can't force companies to hire people. Second, many large companies are sitting on PILES of cash, afraid to do anything with it. Third, the repubs are trying to sabotage everything, as Mr. Palladin said above. (Palidin has just 1 L, by the way)

    March 14, 2011 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
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