President Obama on Friday afternoon backed away from his earlier comments that the "private sector is doing fine," telling reporters that he does not believe the economy is doing fine.
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"That's precisely why I asked Congress to start taking some steps that can make a difference," Mr. Obama said in brief remarks to reporters during a meeting with the visiting Philippines president.
Republicans had seized on comments Mr. Obama made during an earlier news conference, in which he repeatedly made the point that hiring at private businesses is doing well, while hiring by state and local government is not.
"The private sector is doing fine," Mr. Obama said at the news conference.
But by later in the day, Mr. Obama had decided to emphasize that he does not believe that the overall economy is doing fine, as Republicans were trying to suggest.
SOURCE: The New York Times
Michael D. Shear