Obama: Not worrying about re-election prospects now

WASHINGTON Fri Jul 8, 2011 6:27pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives to deliver a statement about the monthly jobs report in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington July 8, 2011. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives to deliver a statement about the monthly jobs report in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington July 8, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama said on Friday that he is not worrying about his re-election prospects in 2012 at this juncture and is focusing on the U.S. economy.

Obama made the comment to WTVD television in Raleigh, North Carolina, one of a series of interviews he conducted with regional media outlets on a day the U.S. jobless rate ticked up to 9.2 percent in June.

Obama won North Carolina in 2008 and it is likely to be a battleground state in next year's presidential election.

"I don't worry about my re-election prospects right now. I've got a year before I'm gonna be in the middle of campaign season," he said.

Obama defended his handling of the U.S. economy and said he wakes up every day thinking about what additional ideas could be put in place to help spur job growth.

"We've made progress over the last 15 months. We've created more than two million jobs in the private sector alone. and as a consequence of the steps we took, we saved or created three million jobs," he said.

Obama spoke separately to Seattle's KING television and answered a question that the reporter said was given to her by an Alaska Airlines passenger who wrote it on a napkin.

The questioner wanted to know whether, when he deals with his Republican opponents, "are you altogether too reasonable?"

Some Democrats believe Obama has been too accommodating to Republicans on some issues. Those worries have grown as the White House seeks to negotiate a debt and deficit deal with Republicans that may include slowing the growth of popular entitlement programs.

Chuckling, Obama said he has sought to tamp down the political polarization of recent years.

"Are there times where I say, 'Boy, these folks are driving me nuts?' Absolutely."

"Are there times where I think that they are just trying to score some political points instead of solving problems? Absolutely."

He said his job is not to be "goaded into a food fight."

"There are times where I'm pulling my hair out. You notice it's gotten much grayer than it was," he said.

(Reporting by Caren Bohan and Steve Holland in Washington and Kevin Gray in Miami. Editing by Christopher Wilson)

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Comments (4)
hudsmack wrote:
I wouldn’t worry about it either. No sense in worrying over something that is never going to happen.

Jul 08, 2011 8:28pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Wisdomwithage wrote:
If you believe that I have some Oceanfront property I’ll sell you real cheap.

Look, this guy has been in campaign mode for most of the 3 years he’s been in office. He’s got a slick tongue, and knows how to play his audience. It’s just unfortunate that nowhere in his credentials or “work” experience has he ever, ever run even a lemonade stand. Yet here he is lecturing successful business people on how they should run their companies.

This guy needs to get a life!

Jul 08, 2011 8:51pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
wigglwagon wrote:
It is truly amazing that our over educated, over advised, self absorbed political and business leaders do not have a clue as to what drives economic prosperity. America went broke in the 20′s because our business leaders were too greedy to pay their workers a living wage. Consequently, business did not have enough customers for America to truly prosper. In the 30′s, Congress woke up and started enacting labor laws and immigration laws that protected workers and allowed them to demand a fair share of the profits. After that, with a well paid work force with money to spend, business and America prospered.
For the last 30-40 years, business has been using illegal immigration and free trade and deregulation to drive down wages and circumvent those same labor laws such as minimum wage, workers’ comp, etc. Consequently, with low wage customers, business does not thrive. America does not thrive. Now we have 30 million people looking for work and our government does not have enough income to pay the bills.

When America was at the height of it’s prosperity, nearly 40% of the workforce was union. Today, business and jealous workers have gotten it their way and only about 6% of the workforce is union. It is really simple. With those smaller pay checks, businesses have fewer customers and consequently, fewer employees. Henry Ford knew exactly how to make his products sell. You have to pay employees enough so they can double as customers. Why did the Democratic Party quit supporting the blue collar workers?

Jul 08, 2011 8:58pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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