Obama News Conference at Conclusion of G-20 Summit - Page 6 of 13

Obama News Conference at Conclusion of G-20 Summit

That does not entirely solve the problem of toxic assets that are still in U.S. banks and certain British banks and certain European banks. And how each individual nation acts to deal with that is still going to be vitally important. How well we execute the respective stimulus programs around the world is going to be very important. The quicker they are, the more effective they are at actually boosting demand, the more all of us will benefit. The more encumbered they are by bureaucracy and mismanagement and corruption, that will hamper our development efforts as a whole.

So this is not a panacea, but it is a critical step, and I think it lays the foundation so that, should the actions that we’ve taken individually and collectively so far not succeed in boosting global demand and growth, should you continue to see a freezing of credit or a hemorrhaging of jobs around the world, I think we’ve created a good foundation for this leadership to come back together again and take additional steps until we get it right.

Okay, Michael Shear. Where’s Michael?

Q Thank you, Mr. President. I wonder if you view this trip that you’re on and the actions that you’ve taken here at the G20 and with the bilateral meetings that you’ve had as representing a break from the foreign policy of your predecessor. And if so, could you describe where you see and how you see the principles that guide a different view of the world?

PRESIDENT OBAMA: Well, you know, I didn’t accompany President Bush on his various summits, so I don’t know how he was operating. And I won’t — I won’t warrant a guess on that.

I can tell you that what I’ve tried to do since I started running for President and since I was sworn in as President, is to communicate the notion that America is a critical actor and leader on the world stage, and that we shouldn’t be embarrassed about that, but that we exercise our leadership best when we are listening; when we recognize that the world is a complicated place and that we are going to have to act in partnership with other countries; when we lead by example; when we show some element of humility and recognize that we may not always have the best answer, but we can always encourage the best answer and support the best answer.

So I think that’s the — that’s the approach that we’ve tried to take in our foreign policy since my administration came in. Now, we come in at extraordinarily challenging times, and yet I actually think that that calls for this type of leadership even more. But, ultimately, we won’t know how effective we are until we look back a year from now, or two years from now, or three years from now and see if it worked.