News / USA

Polling Low, Obama Defends Health Reform, Economic Sucesses

President Barack Obama speaks about the economy at the Port of New Orleans, Nov. 8, 2013.
President Barack Obama speaks about the economy at the Port of New Orleans, Nov. 8, 2013.
Facing his lowest public approval ratings yet, President Barack Obama traveled to New Orleans, Louisiana, to speak about continuing challenges to U.S. economic growth.
 
Facing increased skepticism stemming from the flawed implementation of his health care reform law, Obama, using the port of New Orleans as a backdrop, returned to favorite themes to underscore economic successes and remaining challenges to the economy.
 
Successes include 7.8 million jobs added, declining deficits and healthcare costs, a recovered auto industry and a stronger housing market.
 
Challenges include rebuilding the dilapidated infrastructure, providing more support for the middle class, and making investments in education. Another challenge: what the president calls the "constant cycle of manufactured crises and self-inflicted wounds" from Washington.
 
One of those wounds was the 16-day partial government shutdown triggered by political battles with Republicans over spending and the need to raise the debt limit.
 
"Over the summer our economy grew at its fastest pace in a year. That's the good news. The bad news is that the very day the economic quarter ended, some folks in Washington decided to shut down the government and default on America's obligations for the first time in more than 200 years," he said. "And it's like, the gears of our economy, every time they are just about to take off, suddenly somebody taps the brakes and says, not so fast."
 
Obama said there is no question that the shutdown harmed job growth, and could end up affecting other economic data still to come. The Labor Department says 204,000 jobs were added in October, but the overall unemployment rate still rose to 7.3 percent.
 
The president again highlighted his goals of increasing U.S. exports and increasing productivity and competitiveness. He called on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform, though political analysts agree that is not likely to happen this year.
 
Obama's Friday visits to New Orleans and Miami, Florida, are part of a series of trips across the country to seek public support for his policies and raise money for Democrats.
 
But recent opinion polls have not been kind to the president: A Pew Research Center poll out Friday put his overall job rating at 41 percent, a 14-point decline from nearly a year ago.
 
In the poll, 53 percent of respondents disapproved of Obama's job performance, while sixty-five percent disapproved of his performance on the economy.
 
In an NBC News interview Thursday, the president apologized to Americans for problems afflicting the web site used to enroll in insurance under Obamacare, the health-care reform law that took effect in October.
 
Obama has had to revise a pledge he made before Obamacare enrollment began, that Americans who liked their existing insurance plans could keep them. Since the law took effect, about five percent of Americans, amounting to millions of people, received cancellation notices from their insurance companies.
 
On Friday he again defended Obamacare against attacks by Republicans, who have repeatedly attempted to de-fund or dismantle it, saying Obamacare was the right thing to do for Americans.

You May Like

Turbulent Transition Imperils Tunisia’s Arab Spring Gains

Critics say new anti-terrorism laws worsen Tunisia's situation while others put faith in country’s vibrant civil organizations, women’s movement More

Burundi’s Political Crisis May Become Humanitarian One

United Nations aid agencies issue warning as deadly violence sends tens of thousands fleeing More

Yemenis Adjust to Life Under Houthi Rule

Locals want warring parties to strike deal to stop bloodletting before deciding how country is governed More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Markt
November 09, 2013 9:05 AM
as long as he insists on Obamacare, his approval rating will decline. What the republicans have been saying for more than a year is now becoming evident to the American people; it is flawed and in its current state, it will not work. It was rushed ahead so Obama could get his legacy in place before his second term ends.
The truth of Obamacare is this; by selling these subsidies to the poor for health care coverage, the burden of paying for it rests on the existing health care providers and the taxpayers, forcing them to raise their rates to cover the costs and again, forcing those with existing health care to pay the higher premiums or drop it and either pay the fines or enroll in the subsidies (and bloat the system even more). Its a lose-lose situation.
Millions have already lost their health care over this, hardly justifying the few millions who have enrolled. Coverage for my family was scaled back (had to give up dental and vision) to keep costs down, otherwise we couldn't afford to keep our insurance.
All of this...for a legacy of a selfish man.

by: Godwin from: Nigeria
November 09, 2013 6:32 AM
Obamacare is nothing but blind portrayal of audacity of hope. Wonder still how gullible Americans have become under one man that brings nothing but a third world type corrupt bandwagon system or socialist diversion into a high oscillating society like USA. Why is it always that during election times job performances see astronomical improvement that show no such collateral in alleviating the unemployment ratio in the country? Again, the president is blaming the Republicans for all the failures leading up to the shutdown, why then does his approval rating drop if the Americans hold him guiltless? Personal pride is what the country is suffering in the name of audacity of hope, and by the time the Americans wake up to the reality, one man alone would have been the beneficiary of all the struggle on party lines, and America will end up more divided than ever even in the valueless diplomacy pursued by this administration. Rather than blame game, the president should prove how well the country has fared under his stewardship both internally and externally. Think his approval rating globally reveals all the mysteries he speaks in all the gimmick.

by: c from: davis
November 08, 2013 8:29 PM
Get a clue. You're not going to make friends with the American people until you start forcing the wealthy to pay their fair share (of everything), because we all know that "trickle down" is BS. And tell your boys at the NSA to stop domestic spying. The very idea is completely un-American.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threati
X
Greg Flakus
May 29, 2015 11:24 PM
Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video Texas Town Residents Told to 'Just Leave' Ahead of Flood Threat

Water from heavy rain in eastern and central Texas is now swelling rivers that flow into the Gulf of Mexico, threatening towns along their banks. VOA’s Greg Flakus visited the town of Wharton, southwest of Houston, where the Colorado River is close to cresting.
Video

Video New York's One World Trade Center Observatory Opens to Public

From New Jersey to Long Island, from Northern suburbs to the Atlantic Ocean, with all of New York City in-between.  That view became available to the public Friday as the One World Trade Center Observatory opened in New York -- atop the replacement for the buildings destroyed in the September 11, 2001, attacks.  VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports.
Video

Video Seoul Sponsors Korean Unification Fair

With inter-Korean relations deteriorating over the North’s nuclear program, past military provocations and human rights abuses, many Koreans still hold out hope for eventual peaceful re-unification. VOA’s Brian Padden visited a “unification fair” held this week in Seoul, where border communities promoted the benefits of increased cooperation.
Video

Video Purple Door Coffeeshop: Changing Lives One Cup at a Time

For a quarter of his life, Kevin Persons lived on the street. Today, he is working behind the counter of an espresso bar, serving coffee and working to transition off the streets and into a home. Paul Vargas reports for VOA.
Video

Video Modular Robot Getting Closer to Reality

A robot being developed at Carnegie Mellon University has evolved into a multi-legged modular mechanical snake, able to move over rugged surfaces and explore the surroundings. Scientists say such machines could someday help in search and rescue operations. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Shanghai Hosts Big Consumer Electronics Show

Electronic gadgets are a huge success in China, judging by the first Asian Consumer Electronics Show, held this week in Shanghai. Over the course of two days, more than 20,000 visitors watched, tested and played with useful and some less-useful electronic devices exhibited by about 200 manufacturers. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Forced to Return Home, Afghan Refugees Face Increased Hardship

Undocumented refugees returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan have no jobs, no support system, and no home return to, and international aid agencies say they and the government are overwhelmed and under-resourced. Ayesha Tanzeem has more from Kabul.
Video

Video Britain Makes Controversial Move to Crack Down on Extremism

Britain is moving to tighten controls on extremist rhetoric, even when it does not incite violence or hatred -- a move that some are concerned might unduly restrict basic freedoms. It is an issue many countries are grappling with as extremist groups gain power in the Middle East, fueled in part by donations and fighters from the West. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video 3D Printer Makes Replica of Iconic Sports Car

Cars with parts made by 3D printers are already on the road, but engineers are still learning about this new technology. While testing the possibility of printing an entire car, researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy recently created an electric-powered replica of an iconic sports roadster. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Al-Shabab Recruitment Drive Still on In Kenya

The al-Shabab militants that have long battled for control of Somalia also have recruited thousands of young people in Kenya, leaving many families disconsolate. Mohammed Yusuf recently visited the Kenyan town of Isiolo, and met with relatives of those recruited, as well as a many who have helped with the recruiting.
Video

Video A Small Oasis on Kabul's Outskirts Provides Relief From Security Tensions

When people in Kabul want to get away from the city and relax, many choose Qargha Lake, a small resort on the outskirts of Kabul. Ayesha Tanzeem visited and talked with people about the precious oasis.
Video

Video Kenyans Lament Losing Sons to al-Shabab

There is agony, fear and lost hope in the Kenyan town of Isiolo, a key target of a new al-Shabab recruitment drive. VOA's Mohammed Yusuf visits Isiolo to speak with families and at least one man who says he was a recruiter.
Video

Video Scientists Say Plankton More Important Than Previously Thought

Tiny ocean creatures called plankton are mostly thought of as food for whales and other large marine animals, but a four-year global study discovered, among other things, that plankton are a major source of oxygen on our planet. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Kenya’s Capital Sees Rise in Shisha Parlors

In Kenya, the smoking of shisha, a type of flavored tobacco, is the latest craze. Patrons are flocking to shisha parlors to smoke and socialize. But the practice can be addictive and harmful, though many dabblers may not realize the dangers, according to a new review. Lenny Ruvaga has more on the story for VOA from Nairobi, Kenya.

VOA Blogs