Obama: 'We've Rescued Our Economy From Catastrophe' : The Two-Way The relatively good news that the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 9.4 percent in July had President Barack Obama claiming credit for his administration for stabilizing the economy.
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Obama: 'We've Rescued Our Economy From Catastrophe'

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Obama: 'We've Rescued Our Economy From Catastrophe'

Obama: 'We've Rescued Our Economy From Catastrophe'

President Barack Obama speaks about the economy, Friday, Aug. 7, 2009, in the White House Rose Garden. Alex Brandon/AP Photo hide caption

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Alex Brandon/AP Photo

President Barack Obama speaks about the economy, Friday, Aug. 7, 2009, in the White House Rose Garden.

Alex Brandon/AP Photo

The relatively good news that the unemployment rate dropped slightly to 9.4 percent in July had President Barack Obama claiming credit for his administration for stabilizing the economy.

It was particularly welcome news for a president whose political opponents have been calling his $787 billion economic stimulus bill a failure since previous other economic indicators gave the impression of a still moribund economy. The president's opposition has also been ginning up protests against one of Obama's signature agenda items, reforming health care, with the president's approach falling in the polls.

So the news that payrolls in July didn't fall as much as many experts had feared they might was enough to put a little extra strut in the president's stride.

Obama said, in part:

This morning, we received additional signs that the worst may be behind us. Though we lost 247,000 jobs in July, that was nearly 200,000 fewer jobs lost than in June, and far fewer than the nearly 700,000 jobs a month that we were losing at the beginning of the year.

Obama: 'We've Rescued Our Economy From Catastrophe'

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Today, we're pointed in the right direction. We're losing jobs at less than half the rate we were when I took office. We've pulled the financial system back from the brink, and a rising market is restoring value to those 401(k)s that are the foundation of a secure retirement. We've enabled families to reduce the payments on their mortgages, making their homes more affordable and reducing the number of foreclosures. We helped revive the credit markets and opened up loans for families and small businesses.

While we've rescued our economy from catastrophe, we've also begun to build a new foundation for growth. That's why we passed an unprecedented recovery act less than a month after I took office, and did so without any of the earmarks or pork-barrel spending that's so common in Washington.