Obama Clarifies “Private Sector Doing Fine” Comment, While Romney Ignores Owner of Iowa Restaurant Used for Roundtable Meeting

Official photographic portrait of US President...
Obama Clarifies "Private Sector Doing Fine" Comment, While Romney Ignores Owner of Iowa Restaurant Used for Roundtable Meeting (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Friday was another tough day for President Obama, particularly after he said the private sector was fine. The right pounced like a pack of hyenas fighting over a gazelle in the Serengeti, only to have him backtracking faster than Usain Bolt in a 100m dash. There was reminiscent of then-GOP presidential candidate John McCain saying the economy was fine when all hell was breaking loose around him. As I have said before, I am very disappointed that President Obama can’t seem to find his footing in this election cycle, quite the opposite of the 2008 presidential campaign. That hope and change thingy gone, gone, gone. I am also disheartened because Mitt Romney isn’t the person we need in the White House either. Imagine using a restaurant for a roundtable discussion and not having the common decency to speak with the owners of that restaurant? That’s exactly what Mitt Romney did to Dianne Bauer, who said “the Secret Service said they would ask to make sure we got to be introduced and get a picture. I don’t care as much about the picture but at least let me meet the guy who I tore my place up for.”

President Obama blamed everyone else for the economic woes we face than to take some responsibility for his role since he took office during the press conference. He inherited a truck load of sh*t from the previous administration, but now he owns it and has to figure out a way to get people back to work, but as you know, the sole mission of many in the Republican Party is to ensure that he’s a one-term president, and that’s exactly what they are doing by saying “my way or the highway” with Obama. There’s also another facet to Obama’s dilemma — Obama himself. I don’t know if it’s inexperience or naivete, but he doesn’t recognize the power of his office and is relegating himself to always being on the offensive. President Obama, how about you stand up and act like the most powerful man in the world instead of like a Waffler-in-Chief? Here’s an excerpt from the transcript:

Today, we’re fighting back from the deepest economic crisis since the Great Depression.  After losing jobs for 25 months in a row, our businesses have now created jobs for 27 months in a row — 4.3 million new jobs in all.  The fact is job growth in this recovery has been stronger than in the one following the last recession a decade ago.  But the hole we have to fill is much deeper and the global aftershocks are much greater.  That’s why we’ve got to keep on pressing with actions that further strengthen the economy.

Right now, one concern is Europe, which faces a threat of renewed recession as countries deal with a financial crisis.  Obviously this matters to us because Europe is our largest economic trading partner.  If there’s less demand for our products in places like Paris or Madrid it could mean less businesses — or less business for manufacturers in places like Pittsburgh or Milwaukee.

The good news is there is a path out of this challenge.  These decisions are fundamentally in the hands of Europe’s leaders, and fortunately, they understand the seriousness of the situation and the urgent need to act.  I’ve been in frequent contact with them over the past several weeks, and we know that there are specific steps they can take right now to prevent the situation there from getting worse.

In the short term, they’ve got to stabilize their financial system.  And part of that is taking clear action as soon as possible to inject capital into weak banks.  Just as important, leaders can lay out a framework and a vision for a stronger eurozone, including deeper collaboration on budgets and banking policy.  Getting there is going to take some time, but showing the political commitment to share the benefits and responsibilities of a integrated Europe will be a strong step.


Last September, I sent Congress a detailed jobs plan full of the kind of bipartisan ideas that would have put more Americans back to work.  It had broad support from the American people.    It was fully paid for.  If Congress had passed it in full, we’d be on track to have a million more Americans working this year.  The unemployment rate would be lower.  Our economy would be stronger.

Of course, Congress refused to pass this jobs plan in full. They did act on a few parts of the bill — most significantly the payroll tax cut that’s putting more money in every working person’s paycheck right now.  And I appreciate them taking that action.  But they left most of the jobs plan just sitting there. And in light of the headwinds that we’re facing right now, I urge them to reconsider.  Because there’s steps we can take right now to put more people back to work.  They’re not just my ideas; they’re not just Democratic ideas — they’re ideas that independent, nonpartisan economists believe would make a real difference in our economy.

Keep in mind that the private sector has been hiring at a solid pace over the last 27 months.  But one of the biggest weaknesses has been state and local governments, which have laid off 450,000 Americans.  These are teachers and cops and firefighters.  Congress should pass a bill putting them back to work right now, giving help to the states so that those layoffs are not occurring.

In addition, since the housing bubble burst, we’ve got more than a million construction workers out of work.  There’s nothing fiscally responsible about waiting to fix your roof until it caves in.  We’ve got a lot of deferred maintenance in this country.  We could be putting a lot of people back to work rebuilding our roads, our bridges, some of our schools.  There’s work to be done; there are workers to do it.  Let’s put them back to work right now.

The housing market is stabilizing and beginning to come back in many parts of the country.  But there are still millions of responsible homeowners who’ve done everything right but still struggle to make ends meet.  So, as I talked about just a few weeks ago, let’s pass a bill that gives them a chance to save an average of $3,000 a year by refinancing their mortgage and taking advantage of these historically low rates.  That’s something we can do right now.  It would make a difference.

Instead of just talking a good game about job creators, Congress should give the small business owners that actually create most of the new jobs in America a tax break for hiring more workers.

These are ideas that, again, have gotten strong validation from independent, nonpartisan economists.  It would make a difference in our economy.  And there’s no excuse for not passing these ideas.  We know they can work.

Now, if Congress decides, despite all that, that they aren’t going to do anything about this simply because it’s an election year, then they should explain to the American people why.  There’s going to be plenty of time to debate our respective plans for the future.  That’s a debate I’m eager to have.  But right now, people in this town should be focused on doing everything we can to keep our recovery going and keeping our country strong.  And that requires some action on the part of Congress.  So I would urge them to take another look at some of the ideas that have already been put forward.


Q    What about the Republicans saying that you’re blaming the Europeans for the failures of your own policies?

THE PRESIDENT:  The truth of the matter is that, as I said, we’ve created 4.3 million jobs over the last 27 months, over 800,000 just this year alone.  The private sector is doing fine. Where we’re seeing weaknesses in our economy have to do with state and local government — oftentimes, cuts initiated by 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 kind of flexibility as the federal government in dealing with fewer revenues coming in. 

And so, if Republicans want to be helpful, if they really want to move forward and put people back to work, what they should be thinking about is, how do we help state and local governments and how do we help the construction industry.  Because the recipes that they’re promoting are basically the kinds of policies that would add weakness to the economy, would result in further layoffs, would not provide relief in the housing market, and would result, I think most economists estimate, in lower growth and fewer jobs, not more.

So, while the Republicans couldn’t wait to pounce on Obama for his “private sector doing fine” comment, what are their proposals on how to fix the economy and get people back to work? Mitt Romney said we don’t need any more teachers, police officers or fire men. Um, has he looked the the escalating gun violence across this country? Isn’t this the person who said he has “walked the same streets” as the people on Main Street? Surely he would have known that many teachers are faced with growing classrooms and unable to devote adequate time to each student. Surely he would have known that some cities have reduced their police presence due to budget cuts, while criminals run rampant. Mitt Romney keeps saying he understands how to fix things. Really? He wasn’t the “big job creator” he brags about. Just take a look at his record as governor of Massachusetts. Newsflash Mitt, the U.S. isn’t the Winter Olympics. Neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney is the right person to lead this country for obvious reasons, but I will stick with the lesser of two evils for the next four years. Yeah, the thrill has been long gone with Obama, but Mitt Romney doesn’t give me any reason to be excited about his candidacy.

Enhanced by Zemanta
  • [quote]So, while the Republicans couldn’t wait to pounce on Obama for his
    “private sector doing fine” comment, what are their proposals on how to
    fix the economy and get people back to work?[/quote]

    Here is what frustrates me about your analysis Janet.

    You want to make the case that THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT is end all for the American economy.

    Why are you asking about Romney’s alternative strategy but not the fact that in our large cities – the present machines have been in power for many decades after their promises of good jobs, good education, good living.

    By you seeking to make this all about Romney’s plans that he must convince you of while evading the larger set of successes among the progressives – you can only ever sound like so many of the other “Obama Or Die” voices that can’t bring themselves to see how it just might be their choice that had them fail to demand production at the rungs of government closer to where they live instead of agreeing to go for the “King Of The Mountain” for their salvation.

    Janet – do you know of any other president that was not hoped to be made into a “One Term President” by the opposition party?