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. SaveRMiddle

    Let's discuss the new wages of these new jobs! Transparent he ain't.

    June 8, 2012 05:19 pm at 5:19 pm |
  2. tumbleweed

    Weiners and Franks, "housing will go back up, the stock market will rise"
    What the he## do you think is happening right now under the current POTUS. Stock market is doing extremely well as are many private sector businesses. Just because they are not hiring doesn't mean they are not doing very well under thei POTUS. Wake up and smell something other than beans and franks. Republicans are to blame for most of that debt chuckelhead.

    June 8, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  3. Max Brooks from Florida

    If you want to create jobs in the private sector, legalize the industrial growth of hemp. Currently, America is the largest importer of hemp in the world by a staggering margin and it mostly comes from China. Its perfectly legal to own hemp and to build and sell products made with hemp in America but its illegal to actually grow hemp here. How stupid is that?

    There are tens of thousands of uses for hemp, including FUEL.

    (This is a bipartisan solution as well considering it would create tons of jobs without increasing the size of the government.)

    June 8, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  4. SaveRMiddle

    Mr President:

    The homes aren't underwater. The homeowners are.

    June 8, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  5. cali girl

    Delusion, I guess you are just sad because you don't have the love. It will be alright though, just keep telling yourself that.

    June 8, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. independent

    It is clear what he meant. The GOP is just playing politics. Much todo about nothing in this story. More important is which Republican on the Intelligence Committee is leaking top secret information in order to discredit the Administration during an election year. If it is a Republican, he should be hung for jeopardizing lives for political purposes. If is it someone else, let the punishment fit the crime.

    June 8, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  7. poopmeister

    Is everyone having amnesia? Lets compare the amount of jobs being lost when he arrived into office versus the amount of jobs currently being created....yes the private sector is doing alright because there are still monthly gains but no it's not in the condition that it needs to be. Gains are still always better than losses! Suck it up people, it wouldn't of been any better if McCain was in office.

    June 8, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  8. What Would Bill Clinton Do?

    At least Romney has a "stellar" business background who "meets the qualifications" to be the President and is wise enough to realize the bush tax cuts "must be extended". Why does Clinton who created 20 million jobs like Romney so much? He knows Obama is/was/will be always clueless

    Hope and Blame
    Obama 2012

    June 8, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  9. GOPWatcher

    Karl Rove and the republicans must have a boiler room somewhere full of Dittoheads posting on this site-never seen so many hate-filled talking points-Is there anything the president can say or do that dosen't get slamed. One of you idiots even said he'd take George Bush back any day-WOW!-just WOW!-either they don't have a clue about what's going on with the republicans obstructing everything or they're dummer than they sound. The republicans are driving this country down the toilet as hard as they can and blaming President Obama for all they are causing. How did the economy get this way? George Bush inherited a surplus of revenue from Clinton and squandered it on two wars off the budget, the tax cuts that gave millions to the top 2% and a drug plan for seniors off the books and employment that was killing 750,000 jobs a month. And a republican party that said from day one their goal was to make President Obama a one term president. The republicans have more and louder voices shouting hate filled garbage 24/7 and have the rest of the media terrified to say anything or they'll be branded "Liberal"-they are afraid to speak the truth and sometimes parrot what Fox News passes off as Fair and Balanced. I am sick of it and wish the middle class would stand up to the politicians who are destroying this country.

    June 8, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  10. Steve

    President Clinton has already said this week, "we are in a recession". President Clinton did more in his first four years to balance the budget and work with Republicans than Obama has all his entire adult life.

    June 8, 2012 05:36 pm at 5:36 pm |
  11. a disgrace

    obama's disgrace of a presidency is over!

    June 8, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  12. lividgoosdots

    Why is CNN in the tank for Romney?

    June 8, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  13. Nate W. VA

    I will be straight and to the point. Lets go with the idea that all of Obama's policies have failed and have not created any progress with the economy. So that leaves us with Romney. Before I decide to vote for Romney I sure would like to hear his plans. I have been watching his statements closely. I have heard many general ideas but no real plans. I would be prepared to vote for Romney. However, I have yet to hear a plan or policy that is new or has not been tried in the past. I would like it explained why he would be better as a president. I don't want to hear the same stuff about Romney understands business and how to make profits. This is a country... the United States of America. What new ideas or policies is he going to bring to the table as POTUS? Please provide me with some that are not blatantly general and actually make sense. This is a chance to sway this voter.

    June 8, 2012 05:43 pm at 5:43 pm |
  14. NVDad

    I'd like to see a breakdown of all 4.3. million jobs. I am pretty sure a good number of those jobs were in the public sector, and we are now paying for them. Many of them were also part of the so called "shovel ready" type, and now that those projects are over, the jobs are gone.

    June 8, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  15. cloudjumper

    'nuff said, in his own words. He is completely out of touch with what's going on, but that's to be expected from someone who's never had first inkling of knowledge on how a household, much less a national budget works. How many of you libtards are willing to let me pare away a brain tumor that's affecting your motor skills????

    June 8, 2012 05:49 pm at 5:49 pm |
  16. Joe

    I guess Obama's nobel peace prize (for doing nothing) helped him figure that out.

    June 8, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  17. josh gonzalez

    Compared to how the GOP left it four years ago the economy is fine.

    June 8, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  18. Independent4sure

    It really seems that democrats are speaking out of their a-s-s- and having to walk back everything they say. At least Clinton spoke the truth before he had to walk back what he had said. Obama, well, it depends on how the wind is blowing today.

    June 8, 2012 05:54 pm at 5:54 pm |
  19. dd

    I think the people would appreciate the news media being honest about Obama. He has PROVEN to be COMPLETE FAILURE as a leader. He has polarized the country like it has never been before. It is time to put this corrupt Chicago Democrat in jail with the corrupt Illinois governors that trained him.

    June 8, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  20. Norman

    Alas, I believe poor Barak is taking 'foot in mouth' lessons from Joe Biden...

    June 8, 2012 05:56 pm at 5:56 pm |
  21. Jim

    Listening to his press briefing was just entertainment hearing how pathetic this loser POtUS is! "My White House", "private sector is doing fiiiiinnnneee! We just need more government spending to save some govt jobs (stimulus)". What an out of touch leftist whacko loser. His goose is cooked!

    June 8, 2012 05:57 pm at 5:57 pm |
  22. Norman

    Shows you how well a career as a community organizer prepares you for the Presidency. C'mon Mitt!!

    June 8, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  23. RFB

    He still doesn't get it. Small business is the private sector, Dodo. So is housing. The only reason Republicans haven't signed on to any of your bills is because you're trying to pay for them by tax increases that penalize small business. Why won't you negotiate with Republicans? There are 20 or more House-passed bills in the Senate awaiting Harry Reid's action. Not to mention a budget for the first time in three years. You're done, buddy. Out in November.

    June 8, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  24. Serious?

    Hey GOPWatcher....lets see PROOF of all these bill that the GOP blocked!!!! You are full of you know what!!!!

    June 8, 2012 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  25. Tr1Xen

    @lividgoosdots LMAO. You CAN'T be serious!!! The Commie News Network is NOT "in the tank" for Romney. It's just that when there's nothing great to say about Obama, well.... there's nothing great to say! WHAT has this president accomplished over the last 3 1/2 years in office? NOTHING!!! Don't give me that line, "Well, he got bin Laden." Obama didn't "get" bin Laden. A decade of painstaking investigation and intelligence led us to bin Laden. Obama just gave the order to make the final move after Bush already stacked the deck in his favor.

    Obama has been a sorry excuse for a president and it's time for a new one!

    June 8, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
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