Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Obama Troops Do Damage Control on Faltering Economy

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

Obama Troops Do Damage Control on Faltering Economy

Article excerpt

President Obama and his aides are doing as much political damage control as possible as summer winds down toward the inevitable return to Washington of his congressional opponents eager to challenge him on a faltering economy.

President Obama may be enjoying golf games and browsing book stories with his daughters on Martha's Vineyard this weekend. But the President and his aides also are doing as much political damage control as possible as summer winds down toward the inevitable return to Washington of his congressional opponents eager to challenge him on a faltering economy.

In a CBS News interview Sunday, taped during his bus tour through Midwestern states this past week, Obama admitted the depth of a problem that has seen his Gallup-tracked approval rating on the economy fall to 26 percent.

"You've got an unemployment rate that is still too high, an economy that's not growing fast enough," Obama acknowledged. "For me to argue, 'look, we've actually made the right decisions, things would have been much worse had we not made those decisions,' that's not that satisfying if you don't have a job right now. And I understand that and I expect to be judged a year from now on whether or not things have continued to get better."

"I don't think we're in danger of another recession," he added. "But we are in danger of not having a recovery that's fast enough to deal with what is a genuine unemployment crisis for a whole lot of folks out there - and that's why we need to be doing more."

What Obama didn't say was that "fast enough" also relates to next year's presidential race, which now includes several strong potential GOP challengers, most recently Gov. Rick Perry of Texas. Obama says he'll announce a jobs plan next month.

Meanwhile, political heavyweights of both parties sparred Sunday on the TV talk shows.

"His policies have utterly failed. This is the seventh or eighth or ninth time that we've heard the president talked about producing a plan," GOP strategist Karl Rove said on Fox News Sunday. "And each time that he sort of got around to tossing an idea on the table, it has included only more spending, more deficit, more debt, and the American people are fed up with it. …

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