“I love getting out of Washington and talking to folks,” the president said as he finished up the day in Emporia, Va. “You know what it does, is, it puts faces to the names and the the stories that I get every night and the letters that that I get every night.”
“And when you’re in the rope line and somebody grabs you and says, ‘You know, I’ve been out of work for 6 months but I haven’t given up and I’m still trying and I hope folks are looking after their business in Washington,’ it gives you the kind of energy that you need to keep on going,” Obama said.
“Remember you asked me earlier today, you said did I think that if we hadn’t done health care and we’d stayed on jobs would things be different?” he recalled. “All I have thought about for the last three years is how to get the economy back going. Obviously Afganistan and Iraq and bin Laden – there have been a lot of other issues.
“But my singular focus every single day is: how can we make sure that this economy is working for ordinary folks,” he continued. “That’s what led me to run for office. And you know there’s no doubt that over the course of two, three years where the economy’s not recovering as fast as you want that wears on you. Because you know that people out there need help.
“But every action we’ve taken whether it’s saving the auto industry, it’s passing the Recovery Act, Wall Street reform, all these things have been designed to, you know, make that transition back to an economy where the values of the American people are reflected in people being able to find jobs that pay a good wage and making sure that government’s living with its means but also investing in the things we need to succeed,” he said.
“So I guess over the course of two, three years, are there times where you say, ‘Man, I wish this was happening faster?’ Absolutely. Are there times where I think to myself that somehow we’re not going to get there? Never. I always believe that somehow, some way Americans end up finding the right path forward.”