June 8th, 2012
03:37 PM ET
10 years ago

'The economy is not doing fine,' Obama clarifies

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama, walking back his assertion at a press conference the "private sector's doing fine," acknowledged Friday that "it is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine."

The struggling economy, he clarified, is "why I had the press conference."

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"That's why I spent yesterday, the day before yesterday, this past week, this part month, this past year talking about how we can make this economy stronger," Obama said in the Oval Office. "The economy is not doing fine. There are too many people out of work. The housing market is still weak, there are too many homes underwater."

In the press conference Friday morning, Obama touted job growth in the private sector of the economy, describing the public sector - state and local governments - as the weight dragging the economy.

"The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we created 4.3 million jobs over the last two, 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone. The private sector's doing fine," Obama said. "Where we're seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government, oftentimes cuts initiated by, you know, governors or mayors who are not getting the kind of help that they have in the past from the federal government and who don't have the same flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in."

CNNMoney: Obama to Congress: Do something

Republicans wasted little time on Friday hammering Obama for his remark. GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney asked at a campaign event in Utah if the president was "really that out of touch."

Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (353 Responses)
  1. Mr. Obusiness man

    "Record corporate profits" He says... Corporate profits.... sheesh I thought I slipped him enough dough to not say something like that. He's going to give us away!

    June 9, 2012 03:23 am at 3:23 am |
  2. Jackie

    It's hilarious how little people know about economics in this country. Theres a reason the rest of the world supports the Keynesian economic theory that Obama embraces (much like the more developed nations in the world). Don't worry America, your entrepreneurship will be appreciated regardless

    June 9, 2012 03:33 am at 3:33 am |
  3. drjem

    Fact is fact.....SERIOUSLY, obama is the WORST POTUS we have ever had. Including Jimmy Carter. How can any sane person not see how terrible obama is?????

    June 9, 2012 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  4. JimfromBham

    Comments like these by the President will not sit well with the independent voters in the swing states. If they get riled up against him, Romney will win. BTW – most of them don't bother posting on these blogs, and they certainly are not "in the tank" for either side at this point. If the President and his advisers keep shooting themselves in the foot, however, don't expect a 2 term President.

    June 9, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  5. Gurgyl

    It becoming hate filled society...retaliate! Nonsense in democracy. Under God we are all one–be it White, black, Chinese Americans or Indian Americans or Hispanic Americans... Stocks are not doomed meant Economy is fine...greedy not hiring because they want to pull down "this president", I still say yes on Obama12. Period.

    June 9, 2012 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  6. Jerry

    I think clueless/divisive Mr. Obama has been partying and hitting the spiked Kool Aid way too much. He doesn't have a clue on ANY of the issues affecting our beloved country. The claim of 4.3 million jobs is probably bogus and more of his and his administration's smoke and mirrors. And if that happens to be incredibly correct, each job has cost the American taxpayers over $200,000 per job.

    Now, do these idiotic expenditures make sense?! I think not!!!

    America, stand up for what's right and be unafraid.

    June 9, 2012 06:53 am at 6:53 am |
  7. theAntiELVIS

    If George Bush's presidency had been "over" every time he said something stupid he never would have gotten through the oath of office.

    This will be forgotten as soon as Romney says something dumber.

    June 9, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  8. Donkey Party

    The private sector is sitting on 2 TRILLION dollars. Yeah, they're really hurting. Right-wing fools.

    June 9, 2012 06:56 am at 6:56 am |
  9. Mat

    hm ... I thought get the economy first, then the local govs will be "fine" ... mr. O thinks we help govs first ????? it's backwards ... and with his theory of "saved" jobs pretending they are "new" ,,, hebe ... say No 2 O ...

    June 9, 2012 07:11 am at 7:11 am |
  10. charles bowen

    Liars and Loosers are all that the republicants can put on the Ballot... Open Your Baby Blues america this Republican Obstructiomist Garbage is the reason there are no jobs and if these clowns win the election your jobs will be lost and you will have voted for your on Financial Ruin.... Charles Bowen Solomon

    June 9, 2012 07:18 am at 7:18 am |
  11. Name common sense

    This is a prime example why we don't need a Amature running the White House. Obama don't have a clue his cabinet don't have a clue because there all out of touch with reality. Socialist are always waiting for someone else to work so they can take there money and you ask why Obama don't know how to create jobs. Wake up, and smell the hope and change and welcome to your Presidents idea of job creation Liberals. You got what you asked for in 2008 now will you have the guts to vote this Amature out of office this Novemeber?

    June 9, 2012 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  12. mambert

    Out of touch is mr roomey (romney) that firmly believe that Joseph smith was a prophet of god,and black people having the mark of eve on the face. This is not only out of touch in universal study of religion, but also indicate discrimination mentality;an ilegal factor that violate equal protection clause. America cannot afford a President with that kind of convictions,if so, America is not true.

    June 9, 2012 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  13. EbolaZaire

    Two observations come to mind. Firstly, Obama is just saying what is true to him. He really believes government should be the primary employer and control most of the economy. It is not surprising then that his most ardent supporters are union government workers. All he did was affirm to his base that creating and protecting government jobs remains his priority. After all, voters that value free enterprise have abandoned him in droves. The second question to ask is why is it that negative Obama news seldom appears on the front page of CNN news, even under the "Pollitics" heading?

    June 9, 2012 07:28 am at 7:28 am |
  14. Ryan

    Why are we not addressing the real problem with the economy? We continue to blame the private sector. Why are there no real government solutions? Stimuli and tax benefits are not real solutions. They are bandaids.

    Why do world governments refuse to take control of their economies? Runaway inflation is killing everyone, and the only way to fix our debt in the current system is to borrow more money and tax more heavily.

    Why does no one look at removing central/national banking systems run by the private sector as the problem? If the US Treasury resumes its role as the governing authority for our money supply, inflation will no longer be an issue, taxes will not be needed and we will once again have legitimate, authoritative control over our money supply.

    June 9, 2012 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  15. RS, CA

    Obama looks more and more like a deer in the headlight. Poor man. Time to retire. He deserves it! Right now!

    June 9, 2012 07:45 am at 7:45 am |
  16. Dave

    Oh, this makes me feel so much better. Not!

    June 9, 2012 07:53 am at 7:53 am |
  17. clarke

    Well for me, I think they are all out of touch, and that includes both parties. 98% of us can't keep are own families happy, how is one person to keep millions happy. I think all of society is out of touch, we don't do much to help except wait for someone else to fix it. We are all a lazy group, waiting for someone to bring us our dinner.

    June 9, 2012 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  18. liberal disease

    so what is it this week Barry? when you have celebrities throwing money at you at ritzy dinners at multi -million dollar mansions the private sector looks good...

    June 9, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  19. mambert

    OBAMA did not fail on anything,the economy is much better that when Bushift left power. For republicans in reality the OBAMA's failure is not to have blue or green eyes,or nose of cuchillo.

    June 9, 2012 08:03 am at 8:03 am |
  20. Sue

    As someone said on another site.......Obama forgot that he was making statements at a press conference, not feeding his BS to those attending one of his $45,000/plate Hollywood fundraisers.....Ooopsies.....Unfortunately Obama, what you said is on video-for many to see/hear for 5 months until the election!! The first week of June was a very bad week for Obama.....And, it appears that the second week of June is turning out to be a very bad week for Obama as well. Did Obama give this press conference without his preloaded, memorized, teleprompter statements? This makes me even more excited for the debates to start--Obama versus Romney--when Obama will have to answer questions and defend his 3-1/2 year record without his preloaded, memorized, teleprompter responses. The voters are waking up-and this is not good for Obama!! Romney and the superpacs need to keep running ads in all of the states-making voters aware of the "real" Obama, and what he and his policies are doing to destroy our economy/country. Obama WILL be vetted this time!!!

    June 9, 2012 08:18 am at 8:18 am |
  21. Dave from Georgia

    It reminds me something some years back.... where were GOP when Bush said "the economy is doing very well..."? I am now seeing GOP howl when Obama mistakenly said "the economy is doing fine...". What a strange. It is showing this country is too divided.

    June 9, 2012 08:22 am at 8:22 am |
  22. madmaninthemiddle

    @NVD the 4.3 million jobs is a "net" gain. If a job ends, it is subtracted. The Public Sector jobs have had a net loss, so that has also lowered the total. That's the point Obama was trying to make when he stuck his foot in his mouth.

    June 9, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |
  23. billyboy

    What I meant to say was.........how many times have we heard that from the Blamer and Chief? Won't fool me again!

    June 9, 2012 08:26 am at 8:26 am |
  24. cobra129

    And really, how would a community organizer have the slightest clue about a capitalist economy and what makes it tick......absolutely nothing.

    June 9, 2012 08:45 am at 8:45 am |
  25. Living in the REAL world

    'The economy is not doing fine,'
    The frightening part is that this buffoon actually believes this. He has such disdain for the private sector and business that he is perfectly comfortable with a new norm of 8-9% unemployment. His jobs bill specifically target UNION government workers (police, fire fighters, teachers). Even MORE frightening is the possibility of 4 more years of this imbecile in the Whitehouse. Our time is running out America. 8 years of Obama will be a LOST DECADE that this country may never recover from. Obama and the rest of the incompetents in his administration (Holder, Chu, Napolitano) must be removed if this country is to ever have a chance.

    June 9, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
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