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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs