Obama: U.S. economy needs help, Republicans lack ideas

WASHINGTON Fri Jun 8, 2012 3:55pm EDT

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while speaking in the White House Press Briefing Room in Washington, June 8, 2012. REUTERS/Larry Downing

U.S. President Barack Obama pauses while speaking in the White House Press Briefing Room in Washington, June 8, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Larry Downing

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama stressed the U.S. economy is "not doing fine," seeking to clarify his earlier comments about the private sector and accusing his Republican rivals of lacking ideas about how to stoke growth and create jobs.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, Obama said that while corporate profits are strong and companies have been adding jobs, small businesses are having a tough time getting financing and other pockets of the economy need more attention.

He repeated his view, expressed earlier on Friday in a press conference, that budget-pinched state and local governments need help to avoid teacher and police layoffs, and that Congress should help buoy struggling homeowners and construction workers who remain out of work several years after the financial crisis.

"It is absolutely clear that the economy is not doing fine, that's the reason I had a press conference," the Democratic president said, seated next to Filipino President Benigno Aquino.

Republicans in Congress had pounced on his Friday morning comments that the private sector was "doing fine," and Mitt Romney, who is running against Obama for the presidency on November 6, called that statement "an extraordinary miscalculation."

Obama, asked about Romney's response, accused Republicans of lacking ideas of how to help the U.S. economy fully recover.

"What steps are they willing to take right now that are going to make an actual difference? So far, all we have heard are additional tax cuts for the folks who are doing well," he said.

(Reporting By Laura MacInnis; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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Comments (116)
USAPragmatist wrote:
As usual President Obama was pretty much right, the numbers show that private job creation has been relatively strong when compared to the loss of jobs in the areas he mentioned, government, construction and housing. The problem with the GOP/Romney is that while the words they use may ‘rile people up’ 9 times out of 10 the facts do not support their bluster. And this is one of those 9 out of 10 times.

Jun 08, 2012 3:31pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
fred1724 wrote:
Didn’t Reuters hear him say the private sector is doing well, it’s only the governments that are in trouble? Guess they only use their LEFT ear!

Jun 08, 2012 3:54pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Common_Tater wrote:
…and then I woke up.

Jun 08, 2012 3:55pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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