Obama on the Record: News Conference on the Economy

That whole philosophy of persistence, by the way, is one that I’m going to be emphasizing again and again in the months and years to come, as long as I’m in this office. I’m a big believer in persistence. I think that when it comes to domestic affairs, if we keep on working at it, if we acknowledge that we make mistakes sometimes and that we don’t always have the right answer and we’re inheriting very knotty problems, that we can pass health care, we can find better solutions to our energy challenges, we can teach our children more effectively, we can deal with a very real budget crisis — that is not fully dealt with in my budget at this point, but makes progress.

I think when it comes to the banking system, you know, it was just a few days ago or weeks ago where people were certain that Secretary Geithner couldn’t deliver a plan. Today the headlines all look like, well, all right, there’s a plan. And I’m sure there will be more criticism and we’ll have to make more adjustments, but we’re moving in the right direction.

When it comes to Iran, you know, we did a video sending a message to the Iranian people and the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran. And some people said, well, they did not immediately say that we’re eliminating nuclear weapons and stop funding terrorism. Well, we didn’t expect that. We expect that we’re going to make steady progress on this front. We haven’t immediately eliminated the influence of lobbyists in Washington. We have not immediately eliminated wasteful pork projects. And we’re not immediately going to get Middle East peace. We’ve been in office now a little over 60 days.

What I am confident about is that we’re moving in the right direction and that the decisions we’re making are based on how are we going to get this economy moving, how are we going to put Americans back to work, how are we going to make sure that our people are safe, and how are we going to create not just prosperity here but work with other countries for global peace and prosperity. And we are going to stay with it as long as I’m in this office, and I think that you look back four years from now, I think hopefully people will judge that body of work and say, this is a big ocean liner — it’s not a speedboat; it doesn’t turn around immediately — but we’re in a better — better place because of the decisions that we make.

All right. Thank you, everybody.

(Source: White House)

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