President Barack Obama admitted Tuesday that his presidency could fail to win to a second term because of economic recovery is occurring slower than voters would like.
“We have made steady progress on these fronts, but we’re not making progress fast enough,” Obama said in an interview on CNN’s The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer in Peosta, Iowa. “I’m going to be accountable.”
Obama went on to acknowledge that a nuanced argument about the causes of the economic crisis are no substitute for real evidence that improvement is taking place, telling Blitzer, “I think people understand that a lot of these problems were decades in the making. People understand that this financial crisis was the worst since the Great Depression. But, ultimately, they say, look, he’s the president, we think he has good intentions, but we’re impatient and we want to see things move faster.”
Explaining the cause of his hesitation to address jobs, Obama pointed to a busy year for unrest and disaster – the Japanese earthquake and nuclear reactor crisis, the Arab Spring, and the overseas debt crisis. Some may recall that the President came under sharp criticism for being slow to react during each of the crises he mentioned as excuses for delay on the economy.
The president also unequivocally denied that the creation of a “Department of Jobs” was part of his fall agenda (Obama told Blitzer, “You know, that is not true”) and jabbed at Texas governor and GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry for comments the Republican made implying that a president who had never served in the military was not viewed well by members of the armed forces.
BLITZER: Rick Perry, the governor of Texas, Republican presidential candidate now, says, the men and women of the United States military want someone who’s worn the uniform. He says he served in the Air Force.
Do you see a comment like that, that he makes, referring to you, as disrespectful to the commander in chief?
OBAMA: You know, Mr. Perry just got into the presidential race. I think that everybody who runs for president, it probably takes them a little bit of time before they start realizing that this isn’t like running for governor or running for senator or running for Congress, and you’ve got to be a little more careful about what you say.
But I’ll cut him some slack. He’s only been at it for a few days now.