Live blog of President Obama's press conference on jobs
October 6th, 2011
11:00 AM ET
11 years ago

Live blog of President Obama's press conference on jobs

(CNN) - President Barack Obama held a press conference on the economy and jobs Thursday. Read the full live blog below.

12:12 p.m. ET –Obama: My intention is to insist that each part of this, I want an explanation as to why we shouldn't be doing it. I would love nothing more than to see Congress act so aggressively that I can't campaign against them as having done nothing.

12:10 p.m. ET - Obama says a lot of the debt that built up prior to 2008 caused us to live on borrowed time because the underlying foundations weren't as strong as they needed to be.

12:09 p.m. ET - Obama: Europe is not going to be able to export their way out of this problem.

12:07 p.m. ET - President says it is very difficult for dozens of European parliaments to agree on a debt package because their politics are different.

12:05 p.m. ET –Obama: The actions we took after the financial disaster helped to strengthen our economy in ways other countries did not do.

12:04 p.m. ET - Obama: The slowdown that we're seeing is not just happening in the United States, it is happening everywhere.

12:04 p.m. ET - Question: What should European leaders do to resolve debt crisis, and how could it affect the U.S.? Do you feel that the European leaders have been negligent in pushing austerity too soon?

12:03 p.m. ET - Obama says there's no doubt the Pakistani spy agency has some connections with terror groups and we will constantly evaluate our relationship with Pakistan.

12:02 p.m. ET - Obama: It is in Pakistan's interest to have a stable and independent Afghanistan.

12:00 p.m. ET - Obama says Pakistan has been a great partner on a whole range of issues but Pakistan has hedged their bets on Afghanistan by interacting with unsavory characters.

11:59 a.m. ET - President says we have done an outstanding job of going after al Qaeda in the border region between Pakistan and Afghanistan. We would not have been as successful there without the help of Pakistan.

11:56 a.m. ET - Obama: Trade is great as long as everybody's playing by the same rules.

11:54 a.m. ET - President says we've been seeing a remarkable transformation in China over the last few decades...but what is also true is China has been very aggressive at gaming trad to its advantage and the disadvantage of other nations–I've said it publicly and privately to them–one example of that is currency manipulation. It makes our exports from them more expensive and our imports from them cheaper. We've seen slight improvement, slight appreciation, over the last year, but it's not enough.

11:54 a.m. ET - Question from Matt Spetalnick, Reuters: What's your position on the Senate bill to address Chinese currency manipulation? Would you veto it or sign it should it pass? Do you agree with Adm. Mullen's accusation that the Pakistani intelligence agency has used the Haqqani network as a virtual arm, and what if any consequences would you be willing to consider?

11:53 a.m. ET - Obama: I'm also dealing with a Republican leader who says his only job is to beat me–not help get jobs for the American people–but to beat me...and he's been saying that for some time now.

11:53 a.m. ET - Obama: So far Republicans haven't been responsive–not only to me–but also to public opinion.

11:51 a.m. ET - Obama says the people Republicans want to protect, the millionaires and billionaires, would do better if middle class folks could get some more money in their pockets.

11:49 a.m. ET - Obama: If Congress does something I can't run against a do-nothing Congress.

11:49 a.m. ET - Obama gives a "homework assignment": Ask Republicans what their plan is and have it assessed by the same independent economists that have assessed our jobs plan.

11:47 a.m. ET - Obama: The response from Republicans has been no. And they haven't given a reason why.

11:45 a.m. ET –Obama: I am always open to negotiations, what is also true is they need to do something. I think it is very clear that if members of Congress come in and say we want to build infrastructure, here's what we want to do...I am ready, eager to work with them. But that's not what we're hearing. What we're hearing is their big ideas, the ones that make sense, are ones we're already doing.

11:45 a.m. ET - Question from Bill Plante, CBS News: Are you negotiating with Congress or simply campaigning against them?

11:44 a.m. ET - Obama says there will always be a debate about what will be successful and Department of Energy based their decisions on what would make sense. For every success there might be one that doesn't work out as well.

11:40 a.m. ET - Obama says what's been true historically is that businesses that rely on new technologies–it's going to take awhile before they get takeoff. There are a lot of up-front investments that have to be made...clean energy companies are competing against traditional energy companies and traditional energy is cheaper but it's running out and causes pollution. And other countries are subsidizing these companies much more aggressively than we are, partly because they're projecting (how important they will be in the future).

11:40 a.m. ET - Question from David Nakamura, Washington Post: Why has the green industry been so slow to respond to the assistance your administration has provided?

11:38 a.m. ET - President says that's why we need a consumer watchdog.

11:37 a.m. ET–Obama: I was trying to make a broader point which is that people have been using financial regulation as an excuse to charge customers more. They have that right, but it's not necessarily a fair practice.

11:37 a.m. ET - Question from Hans Nichols, Bloomberg News: How do you plan on stopping banks from implementing new fees and do you believe your administration has a right to dictate how much profit corporations make?

11:36 a.m. ET –Obama: I'm not going to cave to the competition when they're heavily subsidizing these companies.

11:32 a.m. ET - On Solyndra: We've got to dominate cutting edge technologies and manufacturing. Part of what's happening is other countries are putting enormous subsidies in these companies to get them started overseas. We knew from the start the loan guarantee program was going to involve some risk. The overall portfolio has been successful. There are going to be some companies that did not work out. Solyndra was one of them...but I have confidence the decision were made based on what would be good for the American economy and getting people back to work.

11:32 a.m. ET - Obama: I've got complete confidence in our ability to find out who made that decision and why it was made.

11:31 a.m. ET
- Obama: Prosecutions aren't my job, that's the attorney general's job.

11:28 a.m. ET - Obama says one of the biggest problems is a lot of that stuff wasn't exactly illegal but it was immoral and that's why we needed to pass Dodd-Frank. The financial sector is always looking for ways to make money, that's their job...if there's a loophole to be found they'll take advantage of it.

11:28 a.m. ET - Question from Jake Tapper, ABC News: You administration hasn't been very aggressive in prosecuting Wall St. executives for malfeasance, why is that? In light of the Fast and Furious and Solyndra scandals, are you worried at all how your administration is reacting?

11:26 a.m. ET- Obama: That does not make sense to the American people and they are frustrated by it. I'm going to be fighting every step of the way (to make sure agency is successful).

11:25 a.m. ET - President discusses vote on Richard Cordray to head Consumer Protection Financial Bureau and resistance on the part of Republicans to confirm him.

11:22 a.m. ET
- Obama: It's giving voice to a more broadbased frustration at how our financial system works.

11:21 a.m. ET- Obama: I've heard of it, I've seen it on television. I think it expresses the frustration that the American people're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight methods to keep (financial meltdown) from happening again.

11:21 a.m. ET–Question from Jackie Calmes, New York Times: Are you following the Occupy Wall St. movement that began in New York City has spread to other cities and what are your reactions to it?

11:21 a.m. ET - Obama: Even ideas that used to be supported by Republicans, if I propose them, suddenly they're against them.

11:20 a.m. ET
- President says this is a good opportunity for Americans to see that Congress has the ability to come together and act. There may be skepticism that he personally can persuade Republicans, but that's why he needs the American people to put the pressure on them.

11:19 a.m. ET- Obama: We can afford this bill without affecting our deficit. Our proposal is paid for, so that can't be the excuse.

11:16 a.m. ET - President says Americans are receptive to the jobs bill but frustrated with Congress.

11:15 a.m. ET- Obama says there's going to be more work to do to make tax system fair and explains "Buffett" rule.

11:15 a.m. ET
- Obama: We put forward what we thought was a solid effort to pay for the jobs bill.

11:15 a.m. ET - Question from NBC's Chuck Todd: Do you support Sen. Reid's proposal for a Millionaire's surtax? During the debt ceiling debate you asked the American people to call members of Congress and switchboards got jammed. This time there's not the same reaction. Are you worried about your own powers of persuasion?

11:13 a.m. ET–Obama: If we don't take action we could end up having more significant problems than we have right now. Some of it is simple math

11:12 a.m. ET - Obama: We have to take action that is big enough to meet the moment.

11:11 a.m. ET - Obama: If Republicans are opposed to this bill they need to explain why they're opposed and what would they do? I haven't heard them offer a plan that would offer a similar impact and that's what we need right now.

11:10 a.m. ET - Obama says The greatest source of unemployment has been layoffs.

11:09 a.m. ET - Obama says he's taken the case to the American people in the past few weeks.

11:08 a.m. ET - Obama: What we've seen is games playing, a preference to score political points rather than actually get something done (for the past two years). Our doors are open.

11:07 a.m. ET - Question from Ben Feller, Associated Press: Do you agree with Ben Bernanke that the economic recovery is close to faltering? And wouldn't it be more productive to work with Republicans on a bill that could pass?

11:06 a.m. ET- Obama: With respect to the economy, there is no doubt that growth has slowed. He cites Japanese tsunami and Arab spring, calls debt ceiling debacle "completely unnecessary game playing."

11:05 a.m. ET- Obama: We've got a responsibility to the people who sent us here.

11:04 a.m. ET - Obama: The proposals in this bill are not just random investments, they are steps we need to take if we want this economy to last.

11:02 a.m. ET- Obama: It has funding to prevent more people from losing their jobs.

11:02 a.m. ET- Obama: This tax break would encourage small businesses to hire more

11:00 a.m. ET - Obama: People need jobs right now.

11:00a.m. ET- President Barack Obama: If we don't act, there will be fewer jobs, there will be weaker growth...if we look to next week, any Senator that looks at voting against the jobs bill needs to explain why.

10:59 a.m. ET- President enters East Room.

Filed under: Economy • Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (59 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    Hmm asked:
    Prior to the 2008 election, Mr. Obama was a U.S. Senator. What efforts did Senator Obama make to relieve or to worsen the comign econmic crisis?
    He did nothing to relieve or worsen it while he was in the Senate. The crisis was already crashing towards us before he ever set foot in the US Senate. The mortgage crisis started in 2006, and sent the country into recession in 2007.

    The Bush administration tax cut and deregulated to their heart's content between 2001 and 2007. Wall St boomed, while the middle class watched US manufacturing jobs decline from 19 million to 11 million over that same period. We have lost even more manufacturing jobs during the Great Recession. That is part of what drove the mortgage crisis.

    The Bush administration hid the job losses from the public because tax loopholes allowed corporations to count those foreign manufacturing jobs as part of their US totals. That means they were able to deduct foreign taxes off of their US obligations thanks to the Bush tax code policy changes. Sweet!

    October 6, 2011 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  2. Lucia La Rosa Ames

    Obama is misleading at best, if not a plan lier when he says that his job law proposal has been approved by "Independent economists" as the way to create new jobs. On the contrary independent economists have said that it would not be more than a temporary fix – just the one he needs to get relected. His "job plan" does not address the roots of the problems we have and it WILL NOT create new jobs or boost economic demand. This is what the "Independent economists have said. I wonder why nobody asked him how many jobs, if any, his proposal would actually create.

    October 6, 2011 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  3. Joe


    Obama have no clue!!! The reason why we are sending jobs to china its because of labor rate. U.S. cost $10 an hour in china it cost $2 a day. The rest of the reasons are secondary.

    October 6, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |

    This comment that I have is not meant for the americans to get paid $2 a day like china. I am pointing out about Obama's speech why american companies are sending jobs to china. He giving some other reasons why, This tells me that Obama either does'nt have a clue or in complete denial of reality. It is a fact that america won't be able to compete with the labor rate in china. But Americans are innovators, inventors, creators... these are our strength and we have to focus on these not on our weaknesses. When americans produces (invents) good products people all over the world buys like apple, microsoft, ford, mac donald, etc, etc. U.S. government should support mom and pop businesses that have good ideas that could be potentially big.
    I own my business here in America for 28 years and produces american made products and proud of it.

    October 6, 2011 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Democrat Class Warfare - Destroying the economy, destroying the country

    Technicaly, that never happened. McConnell tried to attach it to another bill as an amendment, so that a vote could be taken, which would have allowed them to filibuster and kill two bills at the same time. But, it was a very nice try.
    What total BS. Harry Reid could bring this up for a vote and not allow any amendments but the fact of the matter is that there are too many Democrats that do NOT support it and IT WILL FAIL. This is all pure political BS by the Democrats and Obama. They constructed a disaster of a bill that they know the Republicans will not vote for then blame them for not voting for it, EVEN THOUGH THEY WON'T EVEN BRING IT TO A VOTE.

    Bottonline is it is a SAVE OBAMA'S JOB BIlLL and nothing more. Just he can say he is doing something, even though that something is wasting nearly a half trillion dollars we don't have.

    These incompetent Democrats and Obama MUST GO in 2012 or the country is royally scaroood!

    October 6, 2011 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Len

    In the 2010 midterm elections, the American people allowed the Tea Party and the GOP to make us beleive they would create jobs. Please look at what has happened since Jan. 2011 when they took control......GOP states have cut jobs, cut spending and will not help the middle class and poor. They have not created one job....they have only cut. Please do not let your prejudice cloud your thinking......The GOP's game plan form the begiinning was to make sure this president failed from day one...they have no ideas only ways to get reelected.....President Obama's job plan is a good plan....The GOP has none....and why would you vote for people that take oaths not to help the country. The millionaires and billionaires are NOT JOB CREATORS......They didnot create jobs after 11 years of the BUSH TAX CUTS......Wake up, please.

    October 6, 2011 02:27 pm at 2:27 pm |
  6. Hammerer

    Now obama wants the repubs to debate his plan. As with all his the other grand ideas he dismissed their reasons as unreasonable. Why should they waste their time now, he will only say that his plan is another can't miss deal, that their reasons are political.
    The truth is that every idea that obama has forced through congress has been disaster.
    I know that some would argue that, but if they can name one idea that worked for the good of America I will apologize.

    October 6, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  7. Peggy - Tx

    re: Susan , who stated:

    "But what really chaps me now is that. O'Bama wants to tax us even more. When is enough, enough.... Why does he not see that if he conitinues to tax the rich who by all means create the jobs for these people.”

    Dear Susan, first of all I do not believe your story, but lets assume that you did indeed inherit a large sum of money as you said you did and now all you have to do is sit around all day and occasionally blog, while you let your huge sum of many make money for you and that it makes an income for you that exceeds 1 million a year while you pay only capital gains on that money . Well I think that you need to pay more in capital gains as you are simply making money off the backs of hard working Americans and you need to pay your fair share for the highways, for public education and for the security you enjoy.

    The ubber-rich do not create jobs, except maybe in areas of domestic help or for luxury goods. True that, for a short time, they can squeeze their business to encourage lay-offs and slow down investments to punish a president that wants help the middle class have a fair brake. If you had any business sense and clearly you do not – being a trust fund baby and all – you would know that demand drives job creation, not the ubber-wealthy.

    October 6, 2011 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  8. BinFL

    If the Repubs are so set against the President's job bill then why don't they just pass it and let if fail on it's own...after all, wouldn't that be better for their election. So what's up Repubs – why not pass it? Could it be that you know most of what's in the bill are policies you would normally endorse but since the President you want out of the White House is the one putting it forth you have to object to it, right? Why not offer to meet with the President and come up with a bill that both parties believe is in the best interest of the country...oh, that's right, it's election season!! Are system is very broken and it is more than discouraging to watch the "kids" in Congress battle with each other and with this President. There is no more sanity, common sense or decency. Also, all of you complaining about taxes being raised...are there really that many of you that are milionaires and if you want to live in a country with no taxes for government services please go live on a remote island somewhere.

    October 6, 2011 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  9. Larry L

    The logic of the President's plan is crystal clear and on target. Those who vote against this are so in the pocket of the wealthy they are unable to govern the remaining 99% of America. Republicans need to listen to the American people and not the right-wing radicals.

    October 6, 2011 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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