Obama Press Conference: The Private Sector Is 'Doing Just Fine'
With the nation's economy continuing to falter and even dissatisfied liberals threatening note to vote in November, President Obama took to the bully pulpit and made a statement on the economy at the White House.
The president wore a dark suit with a blue tie and a flag lapel pin -- he had stopped wearing flag pins in public in the years after 9-11. Obama opened claiming that this recovery has been stronger than recoveries from previous recessions. From there he segued into a discussion of the threat of another recession, and blamed the economic environment in Europe for that threat, echoing last year's attempts to blame the Japanese tsunami and the Arab uprisings for preventing a "recovery summer" in the United States. Obama called on Europe to act to stabilize their financial system, and to strengthen the eurozone by collaborating on national budgets. President Obama also called on the EU to promote economic growth and job creation.
President Obama then blamed Congress for not passing his "jobs plan," blaming them for stubborn unemployment. He urged Congress to pass his plan in full, a plan that calls for another round of massive government stimulus spending, which would again increase the deficit and national debt. The president claimed that his jobs plan has garnered bipartisan and non-partisan support, and called on Congress to explain why it will not pass his plan.
After about five minutes, the president took questions from the press. Obama called for press questions from a list of pre-selected reporters, a strong hint that the questions themselves had been pre-arranged with members of the mainstream media.
The first question asked what role is the EU "debt crisis" playing in the U.S. economy. President Obama answered that it isn't just a debt crisis, that Greece has "spent more than they're bringing in, and they've got problems." Under Obama the U.S. has piled up $5 trillion in debt in three years. He said some EU countries were running surpluses and they're in trouble, too. The president said Spain and Italy have embarked on "smart" reforms, citing changes to tax collection and labor markets, but not Spain's cutting back on its massive "green" energy campaign that has been shown to destroy jobs.