At a Democratic Senate Campaign Committee fundraiser where he put in plugs for Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., and Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Obama said the most recent recession was worse that the three previous ones combined.
"Now, I am confident that if we move forward, that the worst is behind us. And we've got a lot of running room looking forward," Obama said.
"It is true that we are in the toughest economic fight of our lives internationally. But you remember back in the '80s, everybody said Japan was going to be taking over? I mean, we periodically go through these moments where we question America's ability to compete. And what happens is we whip ourselves into shape, we stiffen our spines, we become more productive, we re-emphasize science and technology and education; we say to ourselves we can no longer do the things that are not productive, we're going to just focus on those things that help us grow for the future, and we adapt. And we're going to do so this time."
Obama also lamented Republican "unprecedented" obstructionism in Congress, noting the difficulty he has had getting appointments ratified by the Senate.
"They were just doing it just to play games, just to stall," he said of the GOP tactic.
Earlier, at a rally for Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick, Obama credited Patrick with guiding the state "through some very turbulent waters."
"Because he chose to invest in job creation, Massachusetts has created jobs faster than any other state in the nation," Obama said. 'Because he chose to invest in education, your students are first in the nation. Because he chose to invest in clean energy, Massachusetts leads the nation in clean energy initiatives and energy efficiency. Because of his dedication to expanding health care, 98 percent of the people in this state are insured."