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. kman02

    The President is correct in his assertion. The economy is fine. We have record profits abound...they just aren't hiring unless they absolutely have to to maintain productivity. The 'sky is falling' House leadership and TP fre$ks don't like it and will do NOTHING to strenthen it. The LAST thing they want is to do something good for the economy. What a bunch of do-noth$ing, treason$ous lia$rs.

    June 8, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  2. g

    looks rove and the koch,s are paying overtime this week

    June 8, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  3. libs_r_evil

    Typical liberal tactic, repeat something over and over again until the people believe it. If you say something so far out of whack that the liberal media actually comes at you, then you just "clarify" your remarks. CLARIFY??? When you state exactly the opposite a few hours later, and you have to do that many times over on all kinds of different issues, then it is obvious you are a COMPULSIVE LIAR!!! Even stupid people are catching on nobama! We are ALL tired of our supposed leaders MISLEADING us! What ever happened to character, honor, morals, integrity??? Unfortunately, these traits disappeared from Washington DC many years ago. These politicians don't care about any of us, they only care about THEMSELVES! Thats why most of them go to Washington worth a little bit, but after one term in office are worth MILLIONS! TERM LIMITS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 8, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  4. nurseteacher

    As far as I am concerned, the president is doing fine! In my family we are all working and we have a very large family! Yes many people are out of work and need jobs, but the president is doing so much better than the previous president in spite of a Rebublican Congress (the stupid rule in the senate requires 60 members to get anything done) doing nothing to help move the country along and voting on really silly things. Let Congress work together and raise taxes on the upper 1% of the population so they can pay their fair share. Yes, I know a lot do not pay federal income taxes, but they pay more than their share on other taxes and they have none of the fancy deductions of the Romney or other rich groups. I believe we who make over $250,000 should pay more and I am in that group with all of my many jobs. I do pay 30% or more as my income is mostly visible and I can not send it to the Cayman Islands for hiding.

    June 8, 2012 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. W-T-F

    Well it’s official, Obama says; “the private sector is doing just fine” Not surprising since he has never worked a day in the private sector in his life.

    June 8, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  6. Evan

    Let's home Romney wins in Nov. I can't believe Obama is complaining that government isn't getting enough revenue. As you can see, after 2 years of astronomical govt spending, he still wants to spen more. And you know none of this money would go to pay down the debt. It would be redistributed to lazy people who are looking for free handouts. that's the presidents MO. Check out Europe Mr President, where govt spending exceeds 50% of GDP in many countries. We really need to vote him out so he doesn't do any more damage to America by pushing socialist policies. Giving money to people who don't want to work hard for it is a self fulfilling prophecy to go bankrupt.

    June 8, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  7. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    "I don't care about the poor" ~ Mitt R...

    June 8, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  8. David Otteson

    I get what Obama is saying here. There is growth ! It's not the end of a bad ecomony, but it is growth. The jobs are not comming in as fast because many buisnesses are holding on to large sums of cash & not putting it back into the economy for various reasons, mostly fear of europe and the political climate in washington. Confidence in America is lacking because this is an election year and congress is doing nothing to help. A balanced solution is what is needed and has already been proposed by president. Ending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, cutting back on defence spending, trimming waste from goverment spending as well as using those savings investing in programs that will increase job production. As far as this BS. He's so out of touch stuff, This is more of the same republican smear and lies that they try to beat people over the head with.

    June 8, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  9. Silence DoGood

    Politifacts has Obama breaking about 70 of his wild array of not-yet-complete list of 500 from the 2008 campaign. I voted for him but like a growing group of disappointed liberals, he is starting to sound one of those school preppy kids that throws a lot of words at a situation.

    June 8, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  10. aaron

    Oh, please. The Repubs caused the economic meltdown by looting the country along with their croonies. Then, they harrass Obama every step of the way as he tries to get some jobs going. He ain't much, but he's better than the corrupt thieving Repubs who caused the collapse and are trying to keep the status quo so their rich buddies can get even richer. Biggest mistake that Obama made was not bringing the thieves up on charges in 2009 when he had the chance. The same thieves have been sitting in Congress and attempting with glee to keep on stealing.

    June 8, 2012 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  11. ronin48

    "The private sector's doing fine." Amazing. Does anyone need more proof that this man is completely out of touch with what is going on in the country he is allegedly leading? Not only does he not know anything about how the economy operates; he doesn't even know how to determine whether that economy is succeeding or failing. Here's a hint: 8.2% unemployment; millions out of work; massive foreclosures; and crushing government debt - those are all indications that things are decidely NOT fine. But don't worry, Barry, you'll be learning all about unemployment on Jan. 20, 2013.

    June 8, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  12. Marty

    No more Obama!

    June 8, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  13. ciabella23

    Stocks: Best week of 2012
    By Ben Rooney @CNNMoneyInvest June 8, 2012: 4:52 PM ET

    Hard to disagree with him - when the Stocks show Best week of 2012......

    Now, if the Republicans (and Fox News) complaining, maybe they ought to ask Business why they are not hiring, if they are having such a good year....

    June 8, 2012 06:32 pm at 6:32 pm |
  14. Aaronc

    Obama said the economy is NOT doing fine, because republicans SABOTAGED it. They rejected any kind of stimulus to jumpstart the economy, and when they couldn't stop a stimulus bill they made sure it was too small to fix the problem. The fact is that the economy recovered from recession under stimulus spending, but it would have done far better if the stimulus had been bigger and if republicans hadn't rejected stimulus funds given to them. They can't complain about the slowness of the economy when they rejected billions of dollars that would have been spent to create jobs and get businesses going.
    Of course, Mitt Romney was in the business of buying up working businesses, maxing out their corporate credit cards, selling off all their assets, cutting worker wages, and forcing them into bankruptcy. It was bad for the companies he bought, but great for his wallet. Just wait until he tries to do that to the United States.

    June 8, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  15. Nardfather

    Don't know why he even back tracked. They cherry picked one sentence from a larger point he was making..of course the media just lets this happen and runs with the cherry picked comment because most of them are no talent hacks looking for web click through points so they can keep their job. God forbid they did some actually reporting.

    June 8, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  16. Woman In California

    No worries Mr. President.
    So what IF Willard and his Bush advisors think they have something here? Really? You can counter this with so many other stupid off-the-wall remarks Willard makes EVERYDAY. Enjoy your weekend Mr. Pres. because tomorrow (trust me) Willard will say or do something so outrageous that this will be FORGOTTEN.

    Obama 2012 for ALL Americans and not just the rich ones.

    June 8, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  17. Meki60

    Hey Pres, there you are, have not heard any silliness from you in a long time. How's the mother-in-law, is she still living in the WH rent free. got any new stimulus plans yet or is the Treasury safe for a while longer?

    June 8, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  18. Meki60

    Obama is a charlatan and that is more evident every day

    June 8, 2012 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  19. chas

    POTUS must have been shaking in his boots knowing that the CNN Truth Squad would be coming after him.

    Can't wait to see all of their pinocchio's. They have probably recovered from being overworked on the Repub primaries

    June 8, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  20. marat

    UNBELIEVABLE!!! Obama has Finally noticed that the economy is the pits and ACTUALLY states it publicly. Gee, Barack, you are only a few years late for one thing...and what about the ton of speeches you have been spewing for ages and ages, ALWAYS putting a Positive Spin on what a Saviour You Are to America. Mah fellow 'mericans, y'all got SUCKERED once. Before you play the game of vilifying Republicans/Conservatives, think twice before pulling the lever. Do you really want to sent this "community organizer" back to the White House for another 4 years? And if so, let us all know his great achievements. Or even modest ones....

    June 8, 2012 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  21. Paul

    Obama Administration is a nightmare rolled up in a disaster. Obama is not a President and does not have the skills to run a shoe store. This dude needs to be taking out of office and place someone that REALLY knows how to run a large organization.

    Romney 2012!

    June 8, 2012 06:47 pm at 6:47 pm |
  22. Liz the First

    The public sector job losses are what is keeping unemployment high. the repugs are trying to destroy any meaningful government by starving it to death with all the tax cuts. when taxes are at a reasonable level, we don't have to make the drastic cuts happening now. when we get people who hate government OUT of government, our whole country will benefit, public and private sectors. and hey, 'couldjumper,' Jesus was a 'libtard!' chew on that for a while!

    June 8, 2012 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. southernwonder

    i don't get this part that if your house is underwater, so you have a right to foreclose it and all would be forgiven. A house is an asset; it may appreciate or depreciate like the stock market. No asset come with a warranty that it will appreciate. In fact, most assets lose value with time. that's the reason for depreciation deduction from tax returns. it is quite possible that a house that has lost value today might regain its value months later. an owner is not going to see any difference because this is just a paper loss. actually, the owner might be able to enjoy a lower property tax if his house value goes down temporarily.

    June 8, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  24. wade

    Sure after everyone and their brother called him insane then he retracts what he said. He felt the political hammer banging down on his unused head.

    June 8, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
  25. Please Grow Up

    If the congressional (house) republicans would compromise and pass some of the jobs bills we could stop worrying about how broken the government is. Their childishness demeans our government.

    June 8, 2012 06:56 pm at 6:56 pm |
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