WASHINGTON—President Obama spoke Monday to a cross-section of Main Street, Wall Street and Washington gathered at a CNBC-sponsored town hall, with the economy at a crossroads and the nation's precarious political structure hanging in the balance.
He defended his administration's record toward business while simultaneously deriding his critics as being politically motivated and saying he would work "setting a better tone" in Washington.
The president spoke just as the National Bureau of Economic Research proclaimed an end to the recession. But Obama acknowledged that times are still tough.
"Obviously for the millions of people still out of work, people who have seen their home values decline, people struggling to pay their home bills every day, it's still very real for them," Obama said.