When: Thursday, October 11th at 4:00pm
Where: "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo"
The follwing is an unofficial transcript, of an exclusive interview with President Bush. All references must credit CNBC's "Closing Bell with Maria Bartiromo."
In the exclusive with CNBC's
MARIA BARTIROMO, host: Mr. President, thank you for joining us today. More positive news on the economy. You have a budget deficit that is getting smaller, the trade deficit is shrinking, and yet even with a record stock market, virtually full employment, Americans are nervous. In a recent Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, two-thirds of the American people say that we're either in a recession or headed toward a recession. Why the angst and why can't your administration take--get any of the credit for this good news?
President GEORGE W. BUSH: Well, we certainly try to explain to the American people that there are some--that there is good news. There's been 49 consecutive months of job growth, which is the longest stretch in the history of the country. The budget deficit's down to 1.2 percent of GDP, which is extremely low. Americans are working.
A couple of factors, I think, trouble Americans. One is that there's a lot of churning in the job market. In other words, if you're under 30, you're likely to have had seven jobs by the time you're 30. And older people like me take a look at that kind of volatility or some would call it excitement in the job market, and they wonder whether or not this job turnover is going to affect them. Secondly, there's been concerns about health care. People want to know whether or not, one, the government's going to stay out of their business, and two, whether or not this is going to be good policy that'll enable them to have affordable and available health care.
People are concerned about their pensions to a certain extent. There's still--you know, we've transitioned from defined contribution--or defined benefit to a defined contribution plan. And yet there are still some who are involved with defined, you know, benefits. And they wonder whether or not their promises will be made. So there's a variety of reasons why people are uncertain. But people, when they take a hard look at the statistics and the reality, they ought to, you know, I hope it brings them some comfort to know this economy is strong and it's setting all kinds of records.