Calling himself an “underdog,” President Obama today said the faltering economy is a drag on his presidency and seriously impairing his chances of winning again in 2012.
“Absolutely,” he said in response to a question from ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos about whether the odds were against him come November 2012, given the economy. “I’m used to being the underdog. But at the end of the day people are going to ask — who’s got a vision?”
The American people, he conceded, are “not better off” than they were four years ago.
“The unemployment rate is way too high,” he said of the 9 percent jobless rate, the highest in more than half a century.
Obama said his proposed American Jobs Act will put construction workers, teachers and veterans to work and give “more consumers more confidence.”
Foreign affairs, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and social issues like gay marriage will all be fodder on the campaign trail, but with the first caucus and primaries less than 100 days away, no issue looms larger for 2012 than the economy and jobs.
The latest unemployment figures for the month of September will be released Friday, but the jobless rate is not expected to significantly improve. And next year, leading up to the fall elections, the unemployment rate is expected to climb to its highest level since 1940.
Obama’s job approval rate is hovering at around 40 percent.
Read the rest of the story President Obama: America ‘Not Better Off’ Today than Four Years Ago