Tags: US | Obama | Unemployment

Obama Defends Economic Policies at GOP Conclave

Friday, 29 Jan 2010 01:23 PM

President Barack Obama has staunchly defended his economic policies in a visit with House Republicans, although he acknowledged the administration initially underestimated how high national joblessness would go.

Obama was responding Friday at a GOP retreat to an assertion by Rep. Mike Pence that he should have embraced an across-the-board tax cut early in his term. The Republican conference chairman said that Obama had chosen to rely on targeted "boutique" tax cuts rather than across-the-board relief.

Obama defended his strategy but conceded officials mistakenly believed unemployment would go no higher than "the 8 percent range." He also said that many of the jobs were lost in December, January and February of 2009, before he took office or before any of his programs took effect. Obama told the Indiana Republican, "I'm assuming you're not faulting my policies for that."

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