“I think we understood that it was bad but we didn’t know how bad it was.” He added: “I think I could have prepared the American people for how bad this was going to be had we had a sense of that.”Stephen Hayes remembers that Google is our friend and so revisits the warnings that not only Obama but every media outlet were making back in the Fall of 2008.
So was Barack Obama surprised by the seriousness of the economic problems in 2008, as he now claims?Obama had every reason to badmouth the economy before the 2008 election. The media backed him up.
In a word: No.
On September 28, 2008, in the first head-to-head debate with John McCain, Obama said: “We are going through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.” He called it “a defining moment in our history.”
A post on the Obama administration’s transition page said that the United States “faces its most serious economic crisis since the great depression.”
If Obama was exaggerating, others believed him. The depth of the recession was widely reported when Obama was elected. On November 5, one day after the election, Agence France Presse reported that “Obama faces the biggest global crisis since the 1930s Great Depression and a host of domestic economic ills, including rising unemployment, falling home values and deeply shaken confidence when he takes office on January 20.” An analysis by the Associated Press sounded a similar note, arguing “the president-elect must immediately confront the worst economic conditions since the 1930s Great Depression.” The Boston Globe called it “the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.” A memo from the Obama-friendly Center for American Progress called the situation “perhaps the most daunting economic challenge faced by a new president since the Great Depression.”I remember back in 1993 when Bill Clinton claimed that the reason he couldn't pass the tax cut he'd campaigned on was because he hadn't realized how bad the economic situation was in until he got into office. It wasn't believable then and it isn't believable now.
What Obama was truly ignorant was of how his stimulus policy was going to fail to stimulate and, coupled with his health care bill and his regulatory policies, would prevent the economy from rebounding. And now his only defense is that his oratorical skills and knowledge of the economy were insufficient to warn the people about how long it was going to take for the economy to recover. That is, instead of his administration's projections about how the stimulus was going to lower unemployment and jumpstart the economy. He overpromised and now he's facing the results. His only defense is to blame his ignorance and lack of persuasive powers. Sure.