President Barack Obama gives himself a grade of "incomplete" on economic policy in what appears to be an effort to acknowledge the economy’s weakness without taking blame for it.
"I would say incomplete," he told Colorado's KKTV 11 in an interview broadcast Monday evening. But the president argued that he has set the groundwork for future economic success.
"What I would say is the steps that we have taken in saving the auto industry, in making sure that college is more affordable and investing in clean energy and science and technology and research, those are all the things that we are going to need to grow over the long term."
Watch President Obama's interview. Story continues below.
Obama puts the blame for economic weakness on the 2008-09 financial crisis. "Obviously we are still going through one of the toughest times that we've had in my lifetime,” he said. "Because of the financial crisis we lost 9 million jobs."
But Obama claimed a rebound already has begun. "We've recovered 4.5 million jobs since that time and half a million manufacturing jobs,” he said. “Here in Colorado you've seen sort of progress in areas like wind energy, for example, and clean energy where, because of the investments we've made, you're starting to see companies, people being hired."
Republicans were having none of it. The economy already "should be bouncing out" of recession GOP vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan told CBS’ "This Morning" Tuesday. “Four years into a presidency and it’s incomplete? The president is asking people just to be patient with him?" the Wisconsin congressman asked rhetorically.
"If you take a look at the president's policies, he calls them investments. It's borrowing money and spending money through Washington, picking winners and losers, spending money on favorite people like Solyndra.
"Picking winners and losers in the economy through spending, through tax breaks, through regulations does not work. If that kind of economics worked, we would be entering a golden age along with Greece.”
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