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Obama: Administration Did Not Misread Economic Downturn

Contrary to comments made this past weekend by Vice President Joe Biden, President Barack Obama says that the administration did not misread the economic downturn.

“We haven't always gotten the numbers right, but I think the general overview is right,” Obama told NBC News Tuesday. “We went through an economic tsunami that was far worse than anything we have gone through since the Great Depression, and even early on I think we did not see the full magnitude of what was going to happen."

The downturn came about faster than expected, and the information the administration had before it was not complete, Obama said.

“[My administration] came in [on] January 20th. It was only after the first-quarter numbers came in, if you recall, that suddenly everybody looked and said the economy shrank six percent so it was happening much more rapidly at an accelerated pace than the projections out there at the time” he said.

Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., answers a question during the first Democratic presidential primary debate of the 2008 election hosted by South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C., Thursday, April 26, 2007. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
J. Scott Applewhite
Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., answers a question during the first Democratic presidential primary debate of the 2008 election hosted by South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, S.C., Thursday, April 26, 2007. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Obama said his administration is helping to “staunch the bleeding” caused by the economic crisis, but a long road lies ahead before the U.S will be able to pull out of the current recession.

Job creation will come about at the end of the recession rather than the beginning, Obama said—and the country is still at the beginning. “This recession was going to be deep, and it was going to last for a while” he said.

Even with the layoffs and the increase in unemployment, Obama is trying to assure people that he is concerned about job creation. He says that investing in energy, healthcare, and education is a necessary step to creating more jobs.

“That is why ultimately getting our fiscal house in order over the medium and long term is so important” Obama said.

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