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Obamas Interview Aboard Air Force One (NYT) (Transcript and Audio)

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jefferson_dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-07-09 03:24 PM
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Edited on Sat Mar-07-09 03:26 PM by jefferson_dem
Obamas Interview Aboard Air Force One

President Obama spoke in a 35-minute interview aboard Air Force One on Friday afternoon as he traveled from Columbus, Ohio to Andrews Air Force Base. This is an edited transcript, as recorded by The New York Times.

Q. You said its going to take a long time to get out of this economic crisis. Can you assure the American people that the economy will be growing by the summer, the fall or the end of the year?

A. I dont think that anybody has that kind of crystal ball. We are going through a wrenching process of de-leveraging in the financial sectors not just here in the United States, but all around the world that have profound consequences for Main Street. What started off as problems with the banks, led to a contraction of lending, which led in turn to both declining demand on the part of consumers, but also declining demand on the part of business. So it is going to take some time to work itself through.

Our job is to do a couple of key things. Number one, to put in place key investments that will cushion the blow. Our recovery plan had provisions for unemployment insurance, for food stamps, what we just saw today, grants and assistance to states so layoffs arent compounded. The second thing weve got to do is were going to have to strengthen the financial system. Weve taken some significant steps already to do that just for example this week, opening up a trillion-dollar credit line. But theres going to be more work to be done there because there are some banks that are still limping along and weve got to strengthen their capital bases and get them lending again.

Weve got to be able to distinguish in the marketplace between those banks that have real problems and those banks that are actually on pretty solid footing. Weve still got the auto situation that were going to have to address. And finally, weve got to make the investments for long-term economic growth around energy, education and health care. Im not trying to filibuster, it was a big question.


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