President Barack Obama waves at a campaign event, a fundraiser hosted by the Democratic National Committee's Women's Leadership Forum and the Obama Campaign group Women for Obama, April 27, 2012 in Washington. UPI/Molly Riley/Pool | License Photo
WASHINGTON, April 27 (UPI) -- U.S. President Barack Obama said in Washington Friday the nation has made "extraordinary progress" in recovering from the economic downturn.
Speaking to an audience at a fundraiser held at a private residence, the president said when he took office in 2009, the United States was enmeshed in "the worst economic crisis worldwide since the 1930s.," was engaged in two wars and faced the prospect of a decimated auto industry."
"And after three and a half years we're nowhere near where we need to be yet," he said. "But think about the extraordinary progress that we've been able to make.
"Over the last three months alone, 600,000 jobs created; 4 million jobs created over the last two years. We've been able to save an auto industry where GM is now the number-one automaker again in the world; saved probably a million jobs throughout the Midwest. Chrysler is back. And our auto industry is actually making better cars -- cars that are being sold all around the world."
Obama touted healthcare reform, education reform "the work that we've done not just to end the war in Iraq, but also to start transitioning our troops out of Afghanistan" as signs of "enormous progress."
"But we've got a lot more to do," the president said.
He told the audience of supporters he believes the American people "are on our side" on the major issues of the 2012 campaign.
"They believe what we believe," Obama said.
"But understandably, things are tough, and they've grown cynical, and they see the mess that goes on in Washington and there's a temptation at a certain point to just say, oh, a plague on both their houses; nothing is getting done," the president said.
"And so we're going to have to work harder this time than we did in '08," he said.