February 9th, 2009
10:09 PM ET

President Obama takes reporters' questions

Reporters ask President Obama questions on domestic and foreign policy during his first prime-time news conference.

Filed under: Economy • President Barack Obama • Raw Politics
soundoff (45 Responses)
  1. Terry

    $76.8 Billion in Education ….No…2008 Budget was 59.4 Billion and Now We More than Double Their Budget—Needs To Be Cut Back—The Teacher’s Union and Minority Neighborhoods and Illegal Aliens Attending Our Schools Should Be Jumping for Joy.
    Do We Have 100% Unemployment in Education? A 20% increase would not be enough?
    Remember only property taxpayers will pay for this....now you want my school tax money and my income tax money...for money I will never see.

    February 10, 2009 at 7:37 am |
  2. Isabel Abreu, Brazil

    If only the government that can break the vicious cycle where the loss of employment leads people to spend less money, the which leads to even more layoffs, the people must fight for the
    Package Economic, vehemently, united to the President.

    February 10, 2009 at 7:14 am |
  3. Isabel Abreu, Brazil

    It's time the state as an instrument of consciousness collective, take the place of monopolies and begin construction a new world. Only the State action for not being limited
    by greed for profit, will be able to channel for the production the huge mass of surplus resources that exist today in world. But for this, the politicians will have to be well-intentioned and honest.

    February 10, 2009 at 7:13 am |
  4. robin millington

    what about this $15,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers,how about these people who are trying to pay thier morgages what do they get a big fat o.is this change we voted for.if this plan is passed and it backfires,the american people will be mad.including us we voted for him too.

    February 10, 2009 at 3:27 am |
  5. Neal

    Once again, the president did a great job addressing the questions in full. On the other hand, I would like to hear the presidents thoughts on creating an industry out of marijuana in order to create revenue, jobs, savings, and hemp products that would help the economy and the environment.

    February 10, 2009 at 2:35 am |
  6. robin millington

    most of the reason people are aposed to the stimulis plan is this idea will only save jobs not create new ones.the govenors will get this money and just use this bailout for garbage that no one will benefit from.

    February 10, 2009 at 1:56 am |
  7. Justin

    Let me start with a big thank you for having a large diverse team with a range of opinions and keeping things objective.

    I beleive President Obama did a goo job tonight. I believe he made his case to both the American public and to Congress.

    I would also like to add my thoughts on job creation and saving. I live in Northern California and with our states current budget roblem there are a number of public works and infrastructure projects on hold. This means all the people who would normally be employed in a number of construction fields are instead collecting unemployment. So if the stimulus plans passes with the current, or more money, to go to states and other infrastructure projects in Northern California alone it would put between 25,000 and 35,000 people back to work (job creation). This would also require that materials are purchased keeping other people employed (job saved or possibly created). It would also require the materials be transported to the job site keeping truck drivers employed. They in turn must purchase fuel and so on. It also keeps administrative staff employed to do company, or govermnet, paperwork required for payroll, building permits, etc. I would call this a true trickle down effect. This doesn't even take into account that by putting these people back to work or keeping them employed allows them to pay their mortgages which helps the banking system.

    The bottom line is it takes jobs and people keeping their jobs in order for the country to work it's way out the recession. Doing nothing just puts more jobs at risk.

    Thank you for your time and keep up the good work.

    February 10, 2009 at 1:51 am |
  8. Terry in Illinois

    Have a reporter ask Pres. Obama if he thought Congress would decline their paychecks–for at least 6 months–to get a real qlue of what the American public is feeling.

    I'd love to see him get ticked in front of the cameras. 😉

    February 10, 2009 at 1:31 am |
  9. Jim

    I thought the President did well except for his blaming the Republicans for the last 8 years of allowing the financial mess to happen. That started in the 1980's and just grew slowly every year as every thing mortgage companies and banks did to give credit to people with less ability to pay seemed to still make them money. Some knew the risk and sold my mortgage just a few months after I signed for the loan. Sometimes twice.

    I have to ask why he didn't see it himself.

    February 10, 2009 at 12:15 am |
  10. Glen D White

    Why is congress so messed up?
    and do you think , thay could learn from the Boy scouts or the FFA?

    February 10, 2009 at 12:13 am |
  11. Arrah Carr

    Has anyone thought of no Cost + contracts in those bills?
    Remember world one two waste and cost.

    Did they take out the 160 million for "paid volunteers? This is only bill I saw that would help seniors. The one in our small retirement town
    is paying one of our meals on wheels volunteers to a training program that made her "cooks helper."
    The difference in that 20 hour week at minimum wage was the difference between credit card use to pay the raise in cost of our basic living expenses and paying them. The relieve was enormous.

    No young kids live here when old enough to leave. I did every thing from wash dishes for meals on wheels to serving at school lunches and traffic control at local tourist events. That paid volunteer program would extend my income to pay those same raises in power, water phone, etc. bills.

    February 10, 2009 at 12:13 am |
  12. Glen D White

    Could This Help FFA , agriculture Class, Parliamentary Procedure, to help make CO-OP plan,
    OR the Boy Scouts could do a better JOB on all this, They are taught to tell
    the truth! I would trust this to get US out of all this even if are Gov
    would study and pass the Test one at a time state by state To see if they
    could pass to be Real Americans!

    If you have a vote and in Congress and you have some sort of side deal, and
    are voting on that it is wrong,
    So my idea is If you have a vested interest in a vote you should not have a
    vote's that will keep it honest. that is it

    Explain it to us, What are you asking, what will it do to us US, how dose
    it work, I think we WE need to know it is the only way 4 OUR COUNTRY!

    February 10, 2009 at 12:06 am |
  13. Ulysses McDowell

    The Republicans are practicing Katrina politics. Just like the time that the Republicans waited too late to provide help to Katrina victims, they are doing the same thing to the American People in the form of the stimulus bill. They're going to keep dragging their feet until hundreds of thousands of people drown financially. Then they will ride by in a helicopter and throw some useless life preservers into the water.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:57 pm |
  14. Vamp

    I didn't get to blog on AC360 like I usually do because I was enthralled in the Q&A of our President and he did well. Obama has impressed me very much since taking office and I really see what a strong and determind man he is which is exactly what we need right now, he needs to tell the Reps and the Dems to check the Egos and attitudes at the door and sit down and come to an agreement to HELP this country and forge the whose right who is wrong mentality for the moment!

    And I do believe he will break it down for these pompous overpaid egotistical A's we have on the Hill sooner or later and for me sooner would be much better!
    God Bless our President and he has my support!

    February 9, 2009 at 11:53 pm |
  15. Smitty

    Saying there are no earmarks in in the proposed legislation is putting lipstick on the pork. Over spending by individuals and government plus greed caused the a long term systemic problem become a crisis. Printing money and doling it out for programs that do not create wealth will only leave a national debt that our children will be paying throughout their lives.
    We have come a long way from wanting "a chicken in every pot" to traveling to Elkhart, In to sell this enormous spending. Was the President suggesting that we have an RV in every garage? How does RV production square with his stands for reducing our dependence on foreign oil or reducing global warming?

    February 9, 2009 at 11:52 pm |
  16. belvia levkus

    Hey Guys,
    Hope you are having a good evening. Went to the doctor today and my blood pressure is sky high which I have never had in my life. To all Republicans your party is committing political suicide. Thought Rollins was an intellectual but now I see not. Three friends all three moderate Repubs bailing out on you guys big time. We are hurting and we believe that Barack is capable of leading us out of this. Repubs you will never get this country back it is over for you.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:50 pm |
  17. Janet TX

    Wow! A presidential press conference where the president actually made more than one complete thought, i.e. back to back complete sentences. How refreshing to have a thought provoking man as our president.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:49 pm |
  18. CJ

    I have a BIG question, why did the Republicans help Corporate America send our jobs to a communist country–China? Was it because that helped profits, helped exec bonus, and helped their campaign contributions? Republicans have down alot of things to help Corporate America, now they have no solutions, suggestions or input to help main street??? (with the exception of three republicans)
    The Republicans officials in Congress really are showing their true color of the base of their party, they are showing their narrow mindedness, selfishness, and callous disregard for the Americans who are not worthy, that need our government to help to get back on their feet. These people are not trying to compete with the rich nor are they trying to get and stay on welfare, they want to have a steady secure job so they can earn a living and take care of their families & homes. The Republicans need to put their egos, this is not about them or their future elections. If Republicans are not part of the solutions then they are part of the problem.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:39 pm |
  19. Jesse

    Will CNN please get some actual policy experts and economists on to tell us whether this plan has a chance to work? I see you are well stocked with your politcal team most of which give their partisan line in one context or another. I think America would like to hear what the items are in the plans and what the real policy and economic experts feel about the plan. Sure, the politics are important to get the bill passed but is it the right thing to do. Cable news should give us some substance on what is included in the bill rather than what the two parties are doing to jockey for political position.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:38 pm |
  20. Dallas

    Am I the only one who remembers FDR? ( outside of President Obama of course) FDR had the only successful solution thatfor a time of markets crashing. No matter how many times you try it Reaganomics is just not going to work, neither is Hoover's way, So yeah, Prime the Pump! and realign our energy priorities while you're at it.
    Out of curiosity, how much of the opposition to energy reform have serious personal money in oil?

    February 9, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  21. Candace

    I believe that the question asked about the press being allowed at the flight arrivals of the fallen soldiers was in poor taste. As a soldiers wife I can say that I believe the press has no right to be there, this should not even be up for discussion. Did the press ever think that the reason for the late night flights was to keep you away. The Military families and our losses are something you report on, but I don't think you consider the human factor. The loss of our loved ones should not be paraded on TV.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:35 pm |

    Why is no one asking about tax on unemployment.with the numbers of the unemployed skyrocketing this is a unjust tax.Pass bill S155 THE UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS TAX SUSPENSION ACT OF 2009.Put the money in the hands of the people who have to spend it.that will stimulate the economy with biggest bang for buck.The middle class is the economy, stimulate that and you will have recovery!THAT IS CALLED RETURNING CONSUMER CONFIDENCE!Stop with political rhetoric.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:31 pm |
  23. Michael Quinlan

    There is a disconnect between the Republican party and the American people. They seem willing to bail out Wall Street but not Main Street. Where do they propose to house all the homeless?Will they THEN pay for it with taxpayer's money?

    February 9, 2009 at 11:28 pm |
  24. Michael Quinlan

    The President certainly tried to bring in the Republicans. But the same party that helped create this historic crisis now is willing to leave the middle class in the ditch. The Republican game of 'politics as usual' during this difficult time is shameful–tax cuts alone DON'T work. Been there, done that.

    February 9, 2009 at 11:23 pm |
  25. Pat M

    Bravo President Obama! I hope the House will now cast their vote for the Stimulus Plan so you can begin to restore the economy !

    February 9, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  26. FRED

    Why,, instead of giving all the money to ,banks and brokerages,, don't they just take that 850 billon dollars, divide it among all tax paying people , and let them stiulate the economy so far would be over $3000. per person

    February 9, 2009 at 11:18 pm |
  27. Norine

    Is this why they didn't mind President Obama becoming president so that they could block everything he's trying to do? What a mess they're making with their prejudice and illiteracy! They didn't block that illiterate BUSH from making DUMB decisions! Why want they let President Obama try??????? It couldn't be any worse than what BUSH did!!!!!!!!!

    February 9, 2009 at 11:03 pm |
  28. BigD Pure Lakes + Woods of Minnesota

    AC, Crowley, Roland Martin, John King, Dana Bash, Jeffrey Toobin, Ed Rollins, Wolf Blitzer, Ed "Smily" Henry, "I don't want to Forget Anyone, Like;" Dave Gergen, Gloria Borger, Alex Casablanca?, Ali Velshi–

    The Best Panel, Team in Television!

    Nice to See as Always; "Gloria Borger, Alex, Dave Gergen, Candy, Ali!"
    Roland, I just can't Stop, "Name Recognition!" YEA!!
    Bring It On Home Anderson Cooper- The Best!!

    Man, the Warm-Ups, Time Trials, It's all Here on CNN!

    Watching Barack Obama; his Perseverance + Persistance, His Willingness To Move + Pursue the Solution at Hand with FDR Like Grace! You Bet It 'TICKS OFF" + Makes The Republican Side Take Notice Enough to Let the CHAMPION Break Through on His "Steed of Honest Compassion + Dire Conviction of the Necessity to Bring this Message to the Light; that Something So Crucial Must Be Done with the Support of as Many Who Need to Be a Part of This New Direction of Our Great Nation! Four Score + Seven Years Ago Our, I Wish-

    Thanks, Anderson

    February 9, 2009 at 10:50 pm |
  29. patricia martens

    President Obama made it very clear tonight – he laid out the Recovery Bill step by step. any one who does not understand how important this is must have their head in the sand!

    February 9, 2009 at 10:47 pm |
  30. M.Jones

    I just heard that the tax cuts Republicans want will be approximately $20.00 take home a week. This will buy you 1/2 gal. milk, loaf of bread, 8 oz. lunch meet, 8 oz cheese, 1lb. of grapes, 1lb. of strawberries, at Albertson's grocery, I just spent $ 22.13 this afternoon for these items, so I can brown bag my lunch to work this week. It isn't much but I'll take it but won't be buying any big ticket items. Keep your tax cuts, create good paying steady jobs

    February 9, 2009 at 10:46 pm |
  31. Robbie Eaton

    If our politico truly want to stimulate the economy – send a minimun of $100,000to every family in America. Mortgages, utilities, credit cards, tutitions and bank loans would get paid.
    Americans don't save; they would spend the money paying down their personal debt , which in turn would stimulate the economy and get the ball rolling.

    Giving the money to the same institutions that made the mess is laughable. We may have faith in the president today but tomorrow is another day.
    We need manufacturing brought back to America. Creating jobs by developing the inferstructure is terrific. Who will use the roads, bridges etc. when the building is done. Tourists? – The whole mess is laughable to John and Jane Citizen.
    We, the private citizens will pay for decades because of corporate greed. God bless America!

    February 9, 2009 at 10:42 pm |
  32. Tina

    I really tried not to say anything about this but the more I hear it the more it disturbs me. Tell me why is it that you refer to President Obama as Mr. Obama. I have never witnessed the news media referring to any other President as Mr. I think it is very disrespectful to call the President by Mr. No matter how you feel about it he won the Presidency. I think he should be respected enough to be called President Obama or Mr. President not Mr. Obama. It is a lot of media personnel that does this. Some people look to the media as role models. I do hope that you will start having respect for the President and call him President Obama or Mr President from now on.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:41 pm |
  33. treyc

    Im more then upset that the first thing that congress wants to cut is education. If we are barrowing this money from are kids we better give them the best education so they can make more money to pay off this debt. So they can be smarter then us and not get them selfs in this kind of mess. If we short change are kids we are only short changeing The future of are country.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:40 pm |
  34. Walter Jankowski

    Obama's Press Confrence:


    Never before , has any Politian, Public Speaker, Celeberty, News Anchor Person or anyone else drawn my complete attention and optomistic views as did our President tonight.

    Provo, Your Honor, Mister President

    Walter Jankowski
    Port Richey, Fl (Formally Reading, Pa.)

    February 9, 2009 at 10:37 pm |
  35. Emily

    Obama has a solution that some persons ( republicans) do not want to help him get into the law. Thanks for giving my president the outlet to get his word out to the public. I am tired of personal opinions being in the news reporters. I voted for Obama and I plan to support him helping our economy. Go Obama.....

    February 9, 2009 at 10:36 pm |
  36. dbl.r , West Coast

    And guess what ? We finally had " intelligent " questions asked of an " intelligent " president , by " intelligent " reporters ....... And we got " intelligent " answers . How refreshing !!!!

    February 9, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  37. joe n.

    Gop and house dems need to stop being the problem and help the president.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:35 pm |
  38. Margaret Price

    It was a real pleasure to hear him actually answer the question which was asked without beating around the bush. Good Job of being specific for the most part.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:29 pm |
  39. Jacobs

    The Republicans need to be voted out of office they are bankrupt on ideas and have become obstructionists they simply don't care a hoot about the American people. Every time they try to stop Obama the end draws nearer for the repubs they have no hope in 2010! As bad as house dems are they are still way better than the repubs who do absolutely nothing they gave bush a blank check and now all of a sudden they found their cause? Gimme a break! Americans are done with the repubs!

    February 9, 2009 at 10:26 pm |
  40. Joe Yana

    I thought he did great. What a refreshing change. A president with a brain! He gave answers that were both narrative and complete.

    Your Republican analysts just don't get it. He can't give all of the details (ie. how 4 million jobs will be saved or created, etc) of the stimulus plan within the confines of a one hour press conference. As he pointed out, the failed policies of supply side economics must end. The economy is simply worn out and devastated by the series of burst bubbles created by supply side economics which culminated with the Gram, Leach, Bliley nightmare which directly caused the almost fatal final bubble. We have no choice at this time than to return to Keynesian economics to save this country

    February 9, 2009 at 10:24 pm |
  41. BP

    Back in the days of the depression they had the wpa for people to rebuild and to help our country. Is this possible now ?
    Also I have sent emails to my congressman that I think some of the stimulus package should be in vouchers not money. That way it has to be spent like money and cannot be saved in a bank. Also what do you think of a 50/50 voucher stimulus that way the government doesn't foot the whole ball of wax.....

    February 9, 2009 at 10:22 pm |
  42. Roger

    Stimulas Plan....I agree we need something. Ask yourself this....Will a trained white collar person who just lost there sales job go to work building a bridge? They are not trained for this.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:20 pm |
  43. Andrew

    How come Obama dodged the question from that sweet old lady re which Middle Eastern countries have nuclear weapons. The whole press conference was perfect except for his answer to this question. Is he not trying to say Iran is nuclear??????

    February 9, 2009 at 10:19 pm |

    When is america gonna get it. Bush spent the money on his war. Add up how much he spent and the amount of money the corporations took out of america and I would bet it adds up to our deficit. It's not voodoo economics, it's simple math, stupid.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:18 pm |
  45. Jerry

    Not so eloquent and lengthy at times. Some answers were good, some great, some confused (like that explanation of Biden's words).

    All in all, 8/10 for this performance.

    February 9, 2009 at 10:16 pm |