February 9th, 2009
09:31 PM ET

Evening Buzz: Selling the Stimulus

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/02/09/obama.news.conference/art.obama.presser.pool.jpg caption="Barack Obama holds his first prime time news conference Monday."]

Maureen Miller
AC360° Writer

Just moments ago, Pres. Barack Obama wrapped up his first prime-time presidential news conference. The most popular topic was the economy.   Mr. Obama is trying to sell the stimulus plan.  He says "the time to act is now" and  he warns "failure to act will only deepen crisis."

We'll be playing the highlights from the Q-and-A session at the White House.

How do you think Pres. Obama did tonight? Do you agree with his plan to fix the economy? Scroll down to share your thoughts.

The final Senate vote on the stimulus plan is expected tomorrow. It looks as if the Democrats have enough support from the GOP to get it approved.  But it won't be a done deal. Then both the Senate and House will have to work out the differences in each of their bills and come up with one plan.

Tonight we'll break down what's in each plan.  See what's at stake for you and your family.

We're also following some other headlines tonight, including the admission from baseball slugger Alex Rodriguez that he used performance enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003, when he played for the Texas Rangers.  All those denials before were lies. Today Rodriguez apologized for his actions in an interview with ESPN. How do you think the confession will impact his baseball legacy?

Join us for all this and more at 10pm ET.
See you then!

Filed under: Maureen Miller • The Buzz
soundoff (38 Responses)
  1. June

    I'm hopeful, if given a chance Obama will slowly bring us back to where we were before this mess Bush has gotten us in–even better,prayfully.

    February 11, 2009 at 10:24 pm |


    February 10, 2009 at 7:25 am |
  3. Mercede

    President Obama, please stop making the country more divided with your rhetoric about the republicans.

    Please be honest with american citizens and tell them that you and the Democratic controlled congress are going to pass the stimulus bill – all $1 trillion of it – and you are going to do it on Feb. 16th with or without their approval and/or the republicans' approval, because the truth is: you don't need anyone's approval to pass this bill. You already have the 60 votes you need in the Senate and you have had all the votes you needed in the House all along.

    Your unwillingness to tell americans all of this is causing such division in our country. People don't understand that you are just trying to get them all turned against the republicans for no good reason at all. Sure the republicans don't like the bill, but you know that isn't stopping you from passing it. You know they don't have control of the House and that 3 of their members have sided with you, which gives you control of passing this bill in the Senate too.

    Be presidential, tell the american citizens the truth right away. Otherwise they are going to keep worrying that this bill isn't going to get passed when you know it will!

    February 10, 2009 at 3:18 am |
  4. Jeanne Standefer

    The American People are suffering.... too much time is being spent on negotiations.... these individuals that are playing havoc with milliions of lives are lingering around drinking their wine and talking party issues and acting as if they have all the time in the world to chit chat. They need to pull their own selfish heads out of their tails and realize that people are suffering and this cannot go on.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:23 am |
  5. Dixie Lee Summers

    Now, I know what my Mom meant ( and I rebelled against) when she said to, " Live your life as though you may lose your income". Her first paycheck was $15.00, she saved $ 5.00. ....Her family was a victim of the depression. .... My family was a "victim" of the credit era.
    Now, I'm living in a world in which our gov. doesn't seem to be able to tell the difference between a job and a hog future............(pork). I'm almost ready for a monarchy. And, I appreciate the long answers of President Obama. I don't feel as though he is blowing smoke (no pun). I am so thankful to hear intelligent speech and explanations.
    As a nurse, I've seen many, many brain surgeries...............Economy on a global scale is way harder!

    February 10, 2009 at 1:15 am |
  6. Thompson

    President Obama has presented a good Stimulus Package. Like he said, if the Republicans can come up with a better plan and not the same old Bush Administration 'Eight Year' past plan he would be glad to consider it. The Republicans are still paying the same old game of yesteryears. Politics as usual. They are not thinking with an open mind. They are "ego tripping". No matter what President Obama's Stimulus Package includes the Republicans will find a discrepancy. Their goal is to irritate the Democrats and make the President look incompetent. They are not concerned about the welfare of all Americans. The Republicans hastily approved that first Bail Out Package without any provisions of how that money was to be used and how they would pay it back. Why? Because it was for the Rich Boys who 'grease their pockets". It went directly to the big corporations and their CEOs And no one was held accountable. Now that President Obama is trying to keep that from reoccuring as well as make sure that the middle and lower classes are included in his Stimulus Package, the Republicans are trying hard to keep that from happening. Same old politics as usual. The Republicans accused President Obama of not being bipartisan. President Obama extended his hand to the Republicans during his campaign and few days in office. It takes two to tangle. The Republicans refuse to tangle in a bipartisan manner. They have not once extended a hand to President Obama nor the Democracts. The Republicans have clearly projected to the American People that we should not expect any thing better from them except politics as usual. "Tony T" – Charleston, SC

    February 10, 2009 at 1:07 am |
  7. Lydia

    I thought our President did great tonite and i have total faith in the President and our new Administration.

    February 10, 2009 at 12:14 am |
  8. Jan Persson,White Lake, MI


    You might have missed the comments by the Mayor of Lansing, MI yesterday and again today on CNN when he spoke about the sending of skilled labor and high tech jobs overseas and the lack of oversight of the Fair Trade Agreements. I agree he seems to be a little overboard but he is a Democrat. So if you don't like talking to the overseas customer representatives, call again and again until you get a customer service representastative from this country and if you can understand him/her any better cancel your account and tell them that you are moving your account to a bank that only uses American workers or optionlly join a local credit union where you will get better service either way

    February 10, 2009 at 12:06 am |
  9. Jim,California

    If you loose your job & income Your priorities get in order real quickly, #1 Housing & shelter, # 2,Food & water # 3 Transportation,#4 Clothing
    #5 Bills #6 Debts. if Congress had to survive on what I have the last 2 years they'd most likely be dead I on the other hand have learned to survive on less than 2 % of what the President makes in one year- He'll get $400,000. with $8,000. I could pay off my one debt, pay my bills ahead 1 year,don't need clothing, could buy gas for transportation,food & housing.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:55 pm |
  10. Yoli

    You know, I hear this and that about the stim pak. There is a lot I don't know or understand about it. However, I trust my President.....I just do. I believe he's going to try to do what's best for me. I pray I'm right.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:52 pm |
  11. beseem

    I have heard no or little discussion about the loss of jobs due outsourcing offshore. Also, companies have been bringing workers from other countries to the US to fill positions previously held by U.S. workers. Companies such as Citigroup, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, and many others have moved administrative, call centers, and technology jobs offshore. Jobs in the US will not be created when it is so much cheaper for companies to outsource offshore and/or bring workers in from other countries into the US.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:51 pm |
  12. Jan Persson,White Lake, MI

    If the President had put more effort in getting "his party" into stimulus, rather than old favorite agendas, I might be a little more receptive.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  13. Sharon Larman

    I think President Obama did extremely well in explaining the stimulus package to the nation. I do appreciate the 3 votes that the GOP decided to give and i think the President should continues to make attempts to reach out to the GOP. This is the only way Washington is going to change!

    February 9, 2009 at 11:46 pm |
  14. Salman

    I totally have full confident in presidents plan, it should not matter what politians say, it should be about what economist believe and say and i think President Obama is completely onboard and even explain in his speech that we should pay attention to what economists think and to work on this plan which is not probably perfect but its a big step or a move to do something rather than sitting on our butts and watch it get more worse.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:42 pm |
  15. Sally

    Obama knocked it out of the park tonight ! I am guessing the poll numbers on the stimulus will change as a result. A president that is articulate and intelligent and can answer questions! Impressive....

    February 9, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  16. Pat M

    It is time for the American people to get behind their President and support this Stimulus Plan. He answered all questions tonight and laid out the road map for the three legs of the journey that will begin to restore the economy. Jobs being number one which in my opinion is correct. How could he have explained his plans in more detail? When did Bush even care enough about Americans to inform them of what his plans or strategy would be for anything he planned on doing or not? When did he ever have a plan or strategy that didn't fail? Americans should feel blessed tonight to have Obama as their President. If they dont' get behind him Now they shoud move to Alaska where leadership is more Bush Like!

    February 9, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  17. Jan Persson,White Lake, MI

    Education is nice, energy independence is nice, but they are not STIMULATING. Put people to work on roads, bridges, storm sewers, sanitary sewers, water mains, underground electrical supply, etcetera, those are the types of work that will put millions of people to work. There are enough "on the books" plans in this country to use up all the the $800,000.000,000.00. That would put enough people back to work to give us a real stimulus and put the economy back on track. What's wrong with some real pick and shovel work?....Really, we dont use many picks anymore. We would prefer to use backhoes built by the Caterpillar Corporation that is laying off 22,000 people because of declining sales. Maybe if CONGRESS could spend more on infrastructure instead of building up the Governmental Payroll this recession could be overcome.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  18. S. Curry

    There should be nothing in this stimulus package that would not pass as a stand alone bill.
    I heard a democratic congressmen say, when questioned about a 0ne hundred million provision, we need to pass this plan quickly so we shouldn’t quibble over something that is so insignificant in grand scheme of a nearly one trillium dollar package.

    The Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton hit from years ago came to mind – “Run That by Me One More Time”.

    One hundred million here, one hundred million there and pretty soon were talking about a lot of money.

    The president should demonstrate his leadership by using a symbolic line item veto removing that which is not a stimulus or would not pass as a stand alone bill.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  19. Luis

    Obama 2008: "Yes we Can"

    Obama 2009: "Give me a trillion dollars or the world is going to end."

    when is the media and the people going to learn that liars go to washington. This is pathetic and im glad people actually woke up to this SPENDING bill. Im glad people woke up and now against it.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:20 pm |
  20. marti

    President Obama was quite presidential tonight. He was confident, graceful and knowledgeable. He is a Presient that makes us proud to be Americans. He was clear and coherent in his delivery and thoughtful in his response to questions. The republicans need to climb under a rock. They had their chance and screwed it up, now they have another chance to get on board, but all they do is fire cheap shots. It's a new day you all. Get with it. We've had a priviledged child at the helm for 8 years and now don't know how to appreciate a grown up. I am so proud to be an American!

    February 9, 2009 at 11:09 pm |
  21. Nancy Lee

    It was really great to watch the president during his press conferance and realize that we now have a president who knows the issues and can address them in a coherent manner. How refreshing!

    Some of the Republican commentators on CNN were shocked that President Obama stood up to his strident Republican critics. They are used to mealy mouthed little liberals that try to be nicey-nice and try to bend over backwards to appease the Right.

    The American people have voted for Barack Obama because they are tired of stale old Republican ideas. They are looking for a way out of this downward spiral. President Obama gives us hope. The Republicans only know obstruction.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:43 pm |
  22. Genell Omigie

    I feel that the Rep could careless about how bad we are hurting they need to stop and help our Pres.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  23. Howard

    Billion Dollar bandages applied to symptions will not begin to cure the Systemic problems facing our Nation. It is way past the time for someone to advise the President and Congress on the danger of their apparent lack of ability to see the total scope of the cancer and their efforts are only treating the symptions.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:27 pm |
  24. Bandot

    Why are not these CEO and other involved in the economic collaspe being charged with a crime? They destroy the US and world economy and we give them more money to lose. What is wrong with this picture?

    Send these criminals to Pelican Bay or San Quentin Prison let the same thing happen to them that has happened to the American people.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  25. Kobii

    I think that the stimulus package should focus more on placing funds in the hands of American citizens. For example, Cut monthly mortgage payments in half and extend the life of the loans (or any loan)... Now citizens will have money and breathing room to prosper.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  26. David Allie Gonzalez

    I really don't feel very positive about the Presidents speech, but i understand. This is truly a shot in the dark . The President really needs to step in and mitigate the housing crisis. I am taking a wait and see approach on this suppose "stimulus " . I am a victim of the economic down turn. Money for infrastructure seems fine on paper, but with all the "illeagals " in this country will we truly benefit. We need an injection in the small business market. I for one would attempt to start a business if there were direct lending from the SBA.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:25 pm |
  27. Lydia

    I believe in President Obama, and have faith in the stimulus package that it will work. This is the same old business with the Republicans. Lets vote them out completely.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  28. Marilyn

    Outstanding news conference!

    February 9, 2009 at 10:19 pm |
  29. charles

    he presented himself as a real man/president for a 1st term, 1st press conference. doing a good job banking on his own popularity.


    February 9, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  30. Kathy

    I thought our President did great tonight. I have been wondering about the stimulus plan but I am now fully on board. I know it isn't going to be perfect but it is great to see someone who is working so hard to make a difference for us.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:17 pm |
  31. AlexCalifornia

    One of the most surprising things to me about President Obama's speech tonight was his poise, knowledge of the issues, and total certainty of his delivery. Can you remember President Bush presenting a subject without futile generalities?
    President Obama was direct and extremely effective in rallying American support.
    Like Regan, he was also optimistic and pragmatic.
    I would even go as far as saying that this was a better speech than his inaugural speech.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:12 pm |
  32. C.C.

    Obama is right, his package needs to work for long term Why do people who are opposed to the plan look for a short term solution...it's like putting a piece of bandage to a broken water pipe, won't fix it. We need long term fixing.Energy independence, green design, education, health care are essential...Making the greedy CEO's richer is not! neither making the greedy consumer greedier.... America has to learn how to save and not rely on their plastic cards anyore. They have to learn not to waste food, energy, water, money, time....Look around the food courts, look around people who don't even shut their lights...even these type of irresponsible behaviours are getting to us now...People need to be more responsible and thoughtful in their daily behaviours, thoughts...Because each person makes a different in the socieity.

    February 9, 2009 at 9:59 pm |
  33. Bonnie Crawford

    I think President Obama was very thorough in answering questions by the media and thoughtful. His speech was good! I want to see more support for his stimulus package so we can get the country moving again and people back to work. I'm sick of Republican bickering and refusing to see another point of view on a problem other than their own. However, we as Americans can begin to help each other out by donating to food banks, homeless shelters, calling or writing your Congressmen and Congresswomen letting them know the impact of their decisions on your community.

    February 9, 2009 at 9:58 pm |
  34. Monika

    Oh gosh! I really wish you'd leave off that A-Rod thing. There HAS TO BE something more important and relevant to talk about. Come on, people!!!

    February 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  35. Bob

    Both the Senate and the House versions of the stimulus bill contain several needed things. Both would help the economy and help many Americans, so I support the stimulus plan. However, I am strongly opposed to giving the huge banks any more taxpayer money from our Treasury. The huge banks were given hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars las a result of TARP I that was passed a few months ago. It was supposed to get the banks back into the business of making loans, but that did not happen. Instead, they gave their ceos huge amounts of money and perks, but this time with OUR MONEY. It is an outrage and a scandal of epid proportions. Congress and the President should NOT give the banks one more cent of our money.

    February 9, 2009 at 9:53 pm |
  36. Eric N

    With soaring state deficits and the need for increased federal support why is there no discussion of public sector municipal union contracts that are profoundly different from the private sector, i.e., early retirements, payouts based on last year salaries, no or minimal contributions to health and retirement benfits?

    February 9, 2009 at 9:51 pm |
  37. Dodie from CA


    1. Create a FEDERAL Bank or federalize all banks that require $ Billions in bailout to decrease interest rates to 3% for mortgages, small business loans, etc.

    2. Create federal jobs for repairing our intrastructure.
    3. Look at what other countries are doing. (China for example just lowered all interest rates for everyone)
    4. We do NOT need $800 billion to accomplish this!!!

    February 9, 2009 at 9:39 pm |
  38. Nobama

    I can't believe this guy. How did he get so many people to buy his garbage? Japan quadrupled thier debt trying to buy out of a recession, it doesn't work.
    Wake up people

    February 9, 2009 at 9:38 pm |

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