Obama Links Economy’s Uptick to Stimulus
President Barack Obama on Friday claimed some credit for the improving economy, saying the brightening picture suggested by the latest gross domestic product numbers is a result of the stimulus legislation that he backed. Noting that the GDP figures for the second quarter of the year were an improvement, Obama said, “That part of the progress is directly attributable to the [American Recovery and Reinvestment Act].—The stimulus has been roundly criticized by Republicans, nearly all of whom opposed it, as an ill-conceived measure that relied too heavily on spending and failed to get money out the door quickly enough. The president was careful not to overstate his satisfaction with the GDP figures — which were better than expected — knowing that the unemployment rate is likely to get worse before it gets better. “Today’s GDP [number] is an important sign that the economy is headed in the right direction,— Obama said. “As far as I’m concerned, we will not have a recovery until— jobs begin to return, he continued. “I am guardedly optimist about the direction that our economy s going but we’ve got a lot more work to do.—The president spoke at the White House after meeting with four business leaders: Ivan Seidenberg, CEO of Verizon and Chairman of the Business Roundtable; Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke; Nucor CEO Dan DiMicco; and Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz.“The president asked us a lot of questions about our companies,— Seidenberg said.