Obama: US Voters Not “Better Off” Economically Than Four Years Ago

Posted October 4th, 2011 at 2:35 am (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama says he does not consider himself to be the favorite to win the country’s 2012 presidential elections, telling a television interviewer that the faltering economy has “absolutely” made him an underdog in his bid to win a second term as president.

Speaking to ABC News correspondent George Stephanopoulos on Tuesday, President Obama said that he does not think that most Americans are better off economically than they were four years ago before he was elected.

However, while admitting that the country’s jobless rate of 9.1 percent was “still way too high,” Mr. Obama defended his economic policies, saying his administration has made “steady progress to stabilize the economy.”

President Obama also continued to urge Congressional leaders to pass his $447 billion proposal aimed at boosting job growth, saying the bill could help put 1.9 million people back to work. Republican lawmakers have said they are unlikely to pass the bill in its entirety.

Stephanopoulos, conducting the interview for ABC and the Internet site Yahoo!, cited a new poll suggesting that a majority of Americans think Mr. Obama will be defeated in the 2012 presidential election.

Speaking about his recent political standoffs with opposition Republican lawmakers, Mr. Obama admitted that his relations with the GOP “have not been good over the last several months.” He also criticized Republican lawmakers for what he says is their reluctance to engage in bipartisan political cooperation, saying they have decided to follow an “extreme approach to governance.”

Mr. Obama touted his record on national security, saying that the U.S. has done more to defeat al-Qaida during his administration than at “any time in the last 10 years.” He said that U.S. attacks killing al-Qaida leaders, including Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki, have left the organization “decimated.”