President Obama told an Orlando TV interviewer Thursday that America had “gotten a little soft” and lost some of its competitiveness in the global economic race.
“The way I think about it is, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades,” Mr. Obama told WESH-TV. “We need to get back on track.”
The interview was recorded at the White House as part of a series of broadcasts that the president participated in with regional TV outlets in swing states such as Florida and North Carolina.
Mr. Obama spoke of how the current weak economy is particularly “challenging” for young people.
“Even before the financial crisis hit, one of the reasons that I ran for president was that wages, incomes had flat-lined at the same time that costs were going up. I think people felt that opportunities were becoming more constricted for the next generation,” he said. “And that’s why, making sure that we’re revamping our education system, making sure we’ve got world-class infrastructure, investing in basic science, research and technology, making sure that we are moving manufacturing to the U.S., and that we are being tough with our trading partners — making sure that they’re not taking advantage of us. There are a lot of things we can do.”
The interviews are part of Mr. Obama’s push to promote his $447 billiion jobs package, which he sent to Congress earlier this month.