tv ABC News Good Morning America ABC October 6, 2011 7:00am-9:00am PDT
he changed our world. the apple revolution that began in his parents' garage. >> today, for the first time ever, i'd like to let macintosh speak for itself. >> now touches every part of our lives. >> today, apple is going to reinvent the phone. >> this morning, a special broadcast on a man whose astonishing vision made him a true game-changer. we hear from those who work with him side-by-side, to create our future. and good morning to our viewers in the west. you're looking at apple head quarters in cupertino, california a memorial cropping up. one of many around the world.
people spontaneously went to apple stores all over the world when they learn thad steve jobs di dies after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. one of the things we remember, think different. did he and so much more? he changed how we interact, from our phones. george. >> he found a way for all of us to create a personal connection. who would have thought that was possible which is why it's so fitting. the contributes are rocking around the virtual world. they came in on youtube, thousands of thousands on youtube. so many fans fluttered on twitter that it went down after the news broke and continued all night long and the powerful remembering him as well, bill gates, george lucas, president obama, just the other day said that steve jobs gave him a personal copy of the ipad, it's still on his desk in the oval office. he said steve was anone the
greatest of american innovator, brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world and talented enough to do it. that's from president obama. >> it has been, as you said, george, just spontaneous, outpouring of emotion, support and plain old love. everybody feels that connection to steve jobs, and abc's john berman has been covering it all. good morning, john. >> reporter: good morning, robin. just simple flowers outside this apple store. who would have thought a store would turn into a schreibehrine. it's represent turf of what we've seen over night. steve jobs changed lives. and life. >> the announcement came from the simple message on a website. in an instant, from across the world, an outpouring of simple grief and gratitude. ♪ spontaneous candlelight vigils
outside apple stores. and words of reverend praise from industry giants. microsoft's bill gates. the world rarely sees someone who has had the profound impact steve has had. facebook's mark zuckerberg. thanks for showing us what you build can change the world. and disney's bob iger. >> he believes in his own heart and in his own tuition and to become possible. he followed it religiously. i've never seen anyone as dedicated to turning dreams, and big ideas into actuality, into reality. he was amazing that way. and i actually think that's how he was viewing the last months, and last years of his life. >> reporter: "star wars" creator, george lucas, said while others simply accepted the status quo, he saw the true potential in everything he touched. the circuits on twitter overnight were overloaded.
and youtube overflowing with tributes. >> just thinking about it. i even used one of his quotes for my senior quote last year. innovation distinguishing a follower from a leader. >> i was just in complete shock. i just sat there like, this can't be real because, i mean, he's gone. >> reporter: and sarah palin on the very night she announced she is not running for president, talked about how steve jobs helped her communicate with her son, trig. >> our youngest child, he's not able to speak. he communicates via sign language, but he loves his ipad. >> reporter: the words best summed up in a tweet we found from amber lockhert, the apple in everyone's eye. rest in peace, steve jobs. his impact was so far-reaching. take the world of music. someone at "billboard" wrote last night, before steve jobs, digital music was half class. after it was recess.
my tweet was four simple letters saying, isad. george? robin? >> john, thanks very much. it all began in a garage back in 1976. what an amazing journey for steve jobs. and few have covered him more closely than our "nightline" anchor, bill weir. and he's here now. >> we went out there tuesday for the new iphone announcement. and some of us hoped against hope that he might be able to surprise us again with a comeback appearance. it wasn't meant to be. a lot of people were disappointed it wasn't an iphone 5 that was unveiled there on tuesday. it was an iphone 4s, which takes on new meaning this morning. a lot of people think that stands for, for steve. before he put a virtual world at our fingertips -- >> and we call it the ipad. >> reporter: before he turned household tools into objects of desire. >> today, apple is going to reinvent the phone. >> reporter: before he changed the way we are entertained. >> and you can watch it on your ipod.
>> reporter: steve jobs was an unwanted infant. he was adopted by a working-class couple in silicon valley. was a delinquent through much of his youth and dropped out of college after six months. then, he met a buddy named steve wozniak. and the two founded apple in his garage. >> i introduce a man who has been like a father to me, steve jobs. >> reporter: in just 10 years, they had 4,000 employees. but after a power struggle with his board, he was fired from the company he founded. >> and so, at 30, i was out. and very publicly out. what had been the focus of my entire adult life was gone. and it was devastating. >> reporter: but he didn't wallow for long. and soon, he met his wife. started another computer company called next, and took over pixar, helping change animation forever. >> excuse me. >> buzz lightyear to the rescue. >> reporter: in 1996, apple bought next. and jobs was back in charge.
and since his return, apple stock has soared more than 7,000%. and that garage start-up, has more money on-hand than the u.s. treasury. he beat pancreatic cancer and lived two years with a transplanted liver. all the while, burning with the need to build something great. >> no one wants to die. even people who want to go to heaven don't want to die to get there. and yet, death is the destination we all share. no one has ever escaped it. and that is as it should be because death is very likely the single best invention of life. it's life's change agent. it clears out the old to make way for the new. >> and he was a living example of following your gut. he knew exactly what he wanted. the way the ipod feels. the tactile emotion that people
associate with these. and the way the products are packages and you have to unwrap them. all of that was steve jobs. he didn't invent the mouse. but he saw it in a lab at xerox. and said that's going to change the way -- >> and if they didn't give him what he wanted, he sent it back. >> he never focused grouped anything. he knew what we wanted years before we did. and he was right. >> thank you, bill. thanks very much for bringing that to us. and steve jobs was one of the richest men in the world. worth more than $7 billion. but he was like so many others, millions of others, who have battled cancer. a diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in 2004. the fourth-leading cause of cancer death here in the u.s. and dr. richard besser is going to join us with more on this. this was a rare form of pancreatic cancer. >> that's right. the pancreas is a small organ. about six inches long behind the stomach. you think about pancreatic cancer. there's 44,000 cases a year. it's one of the most deadly forms of cancer. people that have the common type rarely live more than a year. but he has a very rare form.
a form that occurs in the part of the pancreas that make hormone, ma make things like insulin. and people that have that type of pancreatic cancer do much better. they can live five to ten years with that disease. >> and we saw how he physically changed in recent years. >> he did. >> what are the symptoms and treatment? >> it depends on what part of the pancreas is involved. if it's something that makes insulin, you can have problems with blood sugar. if it's something that makes hormones that help us digest food, you could have problems with ulcers. or it can show up simply on a test you didn't know you had it. >> he said something i want to read. he said, remembering that i'll be dead soon is the most important tool i've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. he taught us a lot about living with cancer. >> he did. he went through all kinds of treatment. he was extremely private about his medical story. but he showed people who had cancer what you can accomplish with this disease. it didn't define him at all. and that's something that's so valuable for everybody. >> part of his ongoing legacy.
>> that's right. >> thank you. robin, you just quoted from that commencement speech that steve gave at stanford in 2005. one of the rare times that he talked personally. he summed up his philosophy in a few, elegant minutes. >> you can't connect the dots looking forward. you can only connect them looking backwards. so, you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. you have to trust in something. your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well-worn path. and that will make all the difference. i was lucky. i found what i loved to do early in life. woz and i started apple in my parents' garage when i was 20. we worked hard. and in ten years, apple had grown from just the two of us in the garage, into a $2 billion company. and then, i got fired. i didn't see it then.
but it turned out that getting fired from apple was the best thing that could have happened to me. the heaviness of being successful, was replaced by the lightness of being a beginner again. less sure of everything. it freed me to one of the most creative periods of my life. sometimes life is going to hit you with a brick. don't lose faith. i'm convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that i loved what i did. you've got to find what you love. when i was 17, i read a quote that went something like, if you live each day as if it were your last, someday you'll most certainly be right. remembering that i'll be dead soon is the most important tool i've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. because almost everything, all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure, these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. about a year ago, i was
diagnosed with cancer. i had a scan at 7:30 in the morning. and it clearly showed a tumor on my pancreas. my doctor advised me to go home and get my affairs in order, which is doctor's code for, prepare to die. it turned out to be a very rare form of pancreatic cancer that is curable with surgery. i had the surgery. and thankfully, i'm fine now. this was the closest i've been to facing death. and i hope it's the closest i get for a few more decades. your time is limited. so, don't waste it living someone else's life. and most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. they somehow already know what you truly want to become. everything else is secondary. >> millions and millions have read that speech. he closed it by telling the graduates to stay hungry and stay foolish.
and with that, let me bring in the man who was with steve jobs in that now famous garage, apple co-founder, steve wozniak. thanks for getting up this morning. i'm stuck on those words. stay hungry, stay foolish. steve jobs did stay hungry and he stayed foolish. >> like his other words, it's a lot like saying follow your dreams, follow your internal passion, your heart, believe in yourself. even when a lot of people are saying, no, this is not right. it's not going to be worth anything. it's not going to go anywhere. you're off the right track. that's very important. i can't really talk the words that steve used himself. >> no. and the words that he lived by and ended up living by. and you knew him for so long. and he fought that pancreatic cancer for so long. but when you finally got the news last night, it still must have hurt. >> you know, when he gave that speech, you know, you're going to judge life by did you accomplish as much as you ever thought you would? did you far exceed your dreams
over what you've ever accomplished? and obviously, steve had done so by then. but look at what he brought to us since that speech. and it's like, oh. there's so much more that was yet to come, even though he was so accomplished. and that's what we worry about now. >> you can't imagine -- >> what's the future? >> absolutely. you can't imagine back in 1976, you guys are in your parents' garage. and now, here we are in 2011. the whole world talking about the man you started apple with. >> yeah. it's a very strange thing. i'm getting hit by daggers from all sides because we measure ourselves a lot by the technology, the gadgets we have, how we use them. how we like them. how we love them. how we relate to them. that's today. but i'd go back and have memories from early childhood. and back in those days, we were in our young 20s. everyone watching the show can relate to it. your early 20s. you have no money. no bank account. you've got no relatives or
friends that are rich and will loan you some money. and how do you start out if you have dreams that can take you to the top. and steve had them all the way. >> he had it all the way. >> i was just an engineer. i wanted things for myself. so, i built them. >> a little bit more than that. and robin mentioned that, you know, you never have the focus groups. he said it's not the customers' job to figure out what they needed. he knew what people needed. where did that come from? >> well, in the very early days of apple, an incident would come up. and steve would take an opinion on something. and other people sort of had a different one. and the opinions that he took or the steps he took in products, he tended to carry through and live with for life. the things that worked. the things he believed in. and that was pretty much one of them. he really didn't believe in focus groups. you have to sense for yourself what's right and what's wrong. we got a good start. originally, since i was the only engineer, i didn't have to think about what do other people want? i'm going to build what i want. and i think that's how he operated his entire tenure at
apple. it was pretty much knowing, this is what i would like. and he was so much against letting anything out of the company that was crappy. why? because every product from apple spoke like it was steve jobs. he was represented by this stuff. and i'm not going to put out this great stuff. it has to be insanely great. that's how he wanted to appear to the world. he didn't want to just put out some decent good thing that would sell. it just had to be better than everyone's else's. >> and the two of you created some insanely good things. >> steve wozniak, thanks very much. >> nice talking to you. >> take care. now, let's bring in josh elliott, and the rest of the morning's news. >> terrific stuff. good monk to both of you and to all of you. we're going to begin with the protests against corporate greed on wall street, now taking a violent turn. demonstrators storming police barricades, trying to reach the stock exchange. and officers responded, swinging batons, using pepper spray. they would arrest 30 people. also ending months of suspense, sarah palin says she is not running for president.
she says the impact the campaign would have on her family was a major factor in her decision. also today, prosecutors at the trial of michael jackson's doctor, conrad murray, plan to explain how the combination of drugs jackson was taking led to his death. the coroner found 12 pill bottles and ointment tubes prescribed for jackson in his name and three aliases. and witness day, we heard a voice mail jackson left on murray's phone, which prosecutors said should have been a warning that the pop star was in trouble. he spoke about sick children that wanted to help. >> i hurt. i love them because i never had a childhood. >> jackson's business manager also warned five days before jackson's death that the singer was, in fact, ill. and because we need perhaps a little levity today, there's no place to turn like the animal kingdom. an intruder during last night's
major league playoffs, very close to home plate. he was running home, quite literally. it was the second night that that little guy, known as the busch squirrel, interrupted play, interrupting former usb, skip schumachers at-bat. and the squirrel has almost 10,000 twitter followers. >> he was skipping across the plate. two feet of snow in the sierras. trukee, california, the pictures are unbelievable. because if you like stats, take this one. from the last snow of the spring to the first snow of the fall, this is the shortest turnaround since we've been keeping records. and this was a big, big snow. look at what's going on west. 54 in san francisco. 39 in reno. 52 in fresno. and then east, we have frost and freeze going on here. saranack lake, new york, 23. 47 the early morning in new york. boston about 48 degrees.
>> more from sam coming up. also, a live exclusive with amanda knox's father. new details of her first day back home and what her life was really like in prison. plus, the latest on the frantic search for baby lisa, snatched from her crib in the middle of the night. her parents join us just ahead. and of course, we continue to pay tribute to steve jobs. bute to steve jobs. get your cash back! oh, hi. which cash back booth looks better to you, chase freedom or the largest cashback card? oh, i'll try the largest. oh, that is too bad. apparently you don't know chase freedom guarantees you 1% cash back. 4 times more than the largest cash back card,
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that gave her her life back. she's back home now, rebuilding after four years behind bars. and this morning, we talk exclusively to her father, curt knox, about amanda's first day home. how she's doing. and what life was like in prison. that's going to be something to see. and also, we're going to talk about what really happened to little lisa irwin. we're going to talk to her parents about their desperate search for their baby girl. and you got to sit down with three superstars, one candid conversation. demi moore, jennifereash alisa . amanda nox, for the first time in four years, she spent the day at home with her family. we're going to talk to her father, curt knox, in seattle. but first, details on her emotional return home and what's ahead for her now. on her first full day back home, an emotional amanda knox spent
the day relaxing with friends and family. her attorney said she stayed awake talking all night. >> as surprising as it may sound, it was less about amanda and more about the family. they were so warm to her. wasn't let her go. a lot of hugs. >> reporter: attorney theodore simon spent hours with knox, as she related strange rituals by inmates in the italian jail where she was held for four years. >> when arriving in court, when one is about to receive a final verdict, it's required that you keep both of your fists clenched. >> reporter: after she was acquitted, there were more traditions. >> when you know you're about to be released, you take your toothbrush, you break it in half, carry it out. and once you are actually beyond the walls of the prison, you throw your old toothbrush away. >> reporter: knox lost so much weight in prison, she dropped
from a size 6 to a 0. she filled her days with everything from exercise and learning italian, to cooking, painting and a steady focus on writing in a journal she kept. this could eventually turn into a book. >> my family's the most important thing to me right now. i want to go and be with them. thank you for being there for me. >> reporter: home, four years after leaving. amanda knox's new life is just beginning. and joining us live, now. you see him there in seattle, her very grateful father, curt knox. curt, we, again, are so happy for you, for amanda, for the entire family. and how is she doing right now? >> you know, she's actually doing a lot better than i had anticipated. she seems to just almost like she hasn't missed a beat with the family. and that's been really great to see. >> i'm sure that's just warming everybody's heart that she's stepping right in like that. and it's understandable that you do not want to let us know exactly where she is.
we heard from a family member that she's not even there in seattle. what exactly is she doing? i'm glad she's doing well. but can you give us examples of some of the things she has been doing since coming back home? >> it's really just sitting down and talking with friends. you know, kind of catching up. she has a couple of twin cousins that were only one year of age when she was put in prison. now, obviously, four years makes a big difference. >> sure. >> there's a lot of playing with them. it's been really nice to see. >> we've been seeing, playing again, her at the airport, and how she said she was so overwhelmed. was that planned for her to speak like that? or was that spontaneous for her to step up there and speak? >> it was really spontaneous. we knew there was a planned event. but we weren't sure that amanda would want to talk. and she did want to thank everybody. and i think she did a darn good job given the nature of the
circumstances. >> yes, sir, she did. was she aware, curt, of how much the world was watching her case for the last four years? >> in reality, no. i mean, the only exposure she really saw was when she would enter the courtroom and all of the cameras are flashing during each of the hearings. but to see all of the cameras at that particular press conference, i think gave her a better idea of you know, what people were following. and the fact that they were following her case so closely. >> i know you said, it's great to hear that she's doing so well and she's picking up where she left off. but many people going through some as traumatic as this, needs some help. needs some counseling. do you think this is true for your daughter? >> we'll see how she blends back
into a regular person outside of prison. it's a big concern of mine. if there's traumatic circumstances that arise later on. we're kind of taking it a day at a time right now. >> is it true that she sometimes breaks out in italian? that it's natural for her to speak that way? >> you know, it is. we had to remind her before the press conference to actually speak in english, you know, which she got a little bit of a kick out of. so, it has become really almost her first language. you know, since she's been in prison so long. but she seems to be moving back to english rather quickly. and we're looking forward to that. >> you mentioned a while ago that you had a checklist of things and the family, that you were distraught you couldn't celebrate her 21st birth dday, which was years ago. and you had things on a list. did you check off things on the list since she's been back home? >> it's only been roughly 48
hours since she's been free and actually around us. so, there's going to be probably in the next week or two, some opportunities to get some of that checklist. and i'm looking forward to it. >> i'm sure you are. one final question. i know she said she wanted to lie in the grass. has she had a chance to feel the grass beneath her feet? >> she has. and it's been very nice to watch her do it. and you know, it's those little things that she hasn't had a chance to do for four years that, you know, really make it worthwhile and really get her connected again. >> thank you, curt, very much, for taking the time to be with us and letting our viewers know how well that she is doing. we certainly appreciate it. continue to wish you and your family all the best. thank you, curt. >> thank you very much. thanks for having me. >> you got it. >> lovely image, her lying on the grass. >> i know, exactly. let's get over -- is it grass-lying weather right now? it's getting a little -- >> there. but not here. seven states this morning, by the way, in the northeast, and the mid-atlantic, have frost
watches, warnings or advisories out. if you want warmer temperatures, you're going to get them. and it's going to last through next week. it's a beautiful week in that area. look at the numbers. boston goes to 76 on saturday. new york, you're 80 by sunday. and that kind of great weather lasts in the east coast for a good part of next week. it stays, as we said, sloppy on the west coast. we'll talk about that. kansas city, 81 degrees. oklahoma city, 84 today. the problem with all of the warm air is it's also dry air and windy. it means all of the fire danger every place you see the orange and the red. that's a real issue. west coast, again, a little >> and all that weather was brought to you by toyota.
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10-month-old lisa irwin, the infant that disappeared from her crib two might nights ago. several hundred law officers cast a wide dragnet and lisa's parents have made a dramatic plea for her return. we're going to speak to them in a moment. but first, here's abc's dan harris. >> reporter: it was a searing moment. the mother of lisa irwin, clutching her daughter's barney doll, interrupting her husband at a news conference. >> we just want to have her back home. >> we just want our baby back. please, bring her home. our two other boys are waiting for her. please. just drop her off anywhere. we don't care. just somewhere safe where she can come home, please. >> reporter: desperate police are combing the neighborhood, asking to search people's homes. overnight, we spoke exclusively with the baby's grandparents. if you had a sense that whoever is holding her watching this, what would you say? >> bring her back. everybody loves her. >> she needs her family. >> she needs her family. they need her. >> reporter: abduction of babies are incredibly rare.
since 1983, only 278 documented cases. >> the typical profile of the abductor of an infant is a woman. usually an emotionally disturbed woman who has lost a child or who wants a child for some reason. >> reporter: there is one important and we should say positive piece of context here. in all but 12 of the cases of abducted infants since 1983, in all but 12 of those cases, the babies were ultimately returned home safely to their parents. while there are no leads and no suspects in the case of lisa irwin right now, there is still hope. george, back to you. >> that is some hopeful news. okay, dan. thanks very much. for more on this, we're joined by lisa's parents, jeremy erwin and deborah bradley from kansas city this morning. try to take us back to the last
time you saw lisa. you put her to bet, you checked on her around 10:30 monday night? >> yeah. between the time she went to bed and the time i went to bed. and i gave her a bottle. and i put her to sleep. that was the last time we've seen her. >> and, jeremy, you came home just a few hours later. and she just wasn't there. >> i returned home from work around 4:00 a.m. and the windows were open and lights were on. she was nowhere to be found. >> right there, that's so unusual. the window's open, the light's on. that wouldn't be normal at all. >> no. >> no. front door was unlocked also. >> so, i know you spent a long time talking to the police. and racked your brains. any idea of anyone connected to you who might have done this? >> that's the worst part is we don't have a clue.
>> we've been going over everything in our minds since it happened. we just don't have any idea. >> all of our hearts go out to you. no one can imagine going through what you're going through right now. you also have two other children. what have you been able to tell them? how are they handling all this? >> yeah. they were doing okay for a while. they cried a little bit. when we first noticed she was gone, they were crying and asking where she was. and my 8-year-old, he's usually really strong. he kind of fell apart. we call her pumpkin pie. and he said, where's pumpkin pie, mom? and i couldn't tell him. >> we are all praying that whoever took lisa brings her back. what do you want to say to that person? >> please, here's a family who loves her very much.
and take her somewhere safe. take her to a church, a hospital, a fire department. just drop her off with somebody and then leave. no questions asked. we just want our baby back. >> that is what we all want to see. debbie, jeremy, thank you so much for coming out this morning. we're all thinking of you. >> thank you for having us. we appreciate that. >> thank you. >> and if any of you at home have any information that might help in this search, go to goodmorningamerica.com at yahoo! and send it in. coming up, three amazing women. one revealing interview. jennifer aniston, demi moore and alicia keys will be here. jennifer aniston, demi moore and alicia keys will be here. have you ever climbed a rock wall in the middle of the ocean? or tried something really wild? why not? it's all possible in the nation of why not. royal caribbean's floating nation where you're free to do anything you want. which may be nothing at all.
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breaking news from sunnyvale we are learning the suspect from yesterday's shooting rampage has been shot by police in the 900 block of lauren way in sunnyvale. again the suspect in a shooting rampage shareef allman has been shot by police in the same neighborhood where police did a yard by yard search for more than 12 hours yesterday. terry mcsweeney is on the scene and bring us a live up a little while. right now the forecast. stronger storm, nice healthy rains moving through the east bay. more rain on the way during the afternoon hours sunshine tomorrow through wednesday. >> hayward northbound 880 accident blocking lane number 2. >> the news continues1ñ
>> this an abc news special report. good morning. i'm george stephanopoulos at nbc news headquarters in new york and we're taking a short break from your regular program because president obama is about to hold a press conference at the white house. it will be at the east on room. his first one there in a couple
of months and he's expected to push his morn jobs plan. he doesn't have the votes in either the house or the senate republicans block the bill. also expected to touch on the 2012 campaign now that the republican field appears to be set in the last couple of days, we've seen new jersey governor chris christie and former alaska governor sarah palin both saying they are not running. the field does appear to be set and the president may also talk about steve jobs who he praised last night as a man gold enough to believe he could change the world and talented enough to do it. i want to bring in our white house correspondent jake tapper right now. the president coming in with a 22% approval rating and in recent days in the country he's been more the fivy and populist. >> he's trying to draw distinctions between the republicans on capitol hill and the presidential candidates and himself talking about his jobs bill, talking about making
million airs a s millionairess. he's had 12, vents in the last few weeks talking about the need to pass his jobs bill now and we expect to hear more of that in a few seconds. >> when i spoke to the president at the white house just a couple of days ago he readily embraced the label underdog in this campaign. the majority of americans say they don't expect him to win re-election next year. here's the president. >> good morning, everybody. i will take your questions in a second, but first i just want to say a few words about the economy. next week the senate will vote on the american jobs act, and i think by now i've made my views pretty well known. some of you are even keeping a tally of how many times i've talked about the american jobs act, and the reason i keep going around the country talking about this jobs bill is because people really need help right now.
our economy really needs a jolt right now. this is not a game. this is not the time for the usual political gridlock. the problems europe is having today could have a very real effect on our economy at a time when it's already fragile, but this jobs bill can help guard against another downturn if the situation in europe gets any worse. it will boost economic growth. it will put people back to work, and by the way, this is not just my belief. this is what independent economists have said, not politicians, not just people in my administration. independent experts who do this for a living have said this jobs bill will have a significant effect for our economy and for middle class families all across america. and what these independent experts have also said is if we don't athe opposite will be true. there will be fewer jobs. there will be weaker growth.
so as we look towards next week, any senator out there who is thinking of voting against this jobs bill when it comes up for a vote needs to explain exactly why they would oppose something that we know would improve our economic situation at such an urgent time for our families and for our businesses. congressional republicans say one of the most important things we can do is cut taxes, then they should love this plan. this jobs bill would cut taxes for virtually every worker and small business in america. if you're a small business owner that hires someone or raises wages, you would get another tax cut. if you hire a veteran, you get a tax cut. right now there's a small business in ohio that does high-tech manufacturing and they've been expanding for the past two years. they're considering hiring more and this tax break would encourage them to do it.
hundreds of thousands of teachers and firefighters and police officers have been laid off because of state budget cuts. this jobs bill has funding to put a lot of those men and women back to work. it has funding to prevent a lot more from losing their job. i had a chance to meet a young man named robert burrows. he's an english teacher in boston who came to the white house a few weeks ago. he's got two decades of teaching experience. he's got a masters degree. he's got an outstanding track record of helping his students make huge gains in reading and writing. in the last few years he's received three pink slips because of budget cuts. why wouldn't we want to pass a bill that puts somebody like robert back in the classroom teaching our kids? some of you were with me when we visited a bridge between ohio and kentucky that's been
classified as functionally obsolete. that's a fancy way of saying it's old and breaking down. we've heard about bridges in both states that are falling apart and that's true all across the country. in maine -- excuse me, in maine, there is a bridge that is in such bad shape that pieces of it were literally falling off of it the other day and we have millions of laid-off construction workers who could right now be busy rebuilding roads, rebuilding bridges, rebuilding schools. this jobs bill gives them a chance to get back to work rebuilding america. why wouldn't we want that to happen? why would you vote against that? the proposals in this bill are not just random investments to create jobs. they are steps we have to take if we want to build an economy that lasts. we want to be able to compete with other countries for jobs that restore a sense of security
to middle-class families and to do that, we've got to have the most educated workers. we have to have the best transportation and communications networks. we have to support innovative small businesses and we want to support innovative manufacturers. now what's true is we've also got to reign in our deficits and live within our means which is why this jobs bill is fully paid for by asking millionaires and billionaires to pay their fair share, and some see this as class warfare. i see it as a simple choice. we can either tooep kekeep taxey as they are for millionaires and billionaires with loopholes that allow them to have better tax rates in some cases than plumbers or teachers or we can put teachers, construction workers and veterans back on the job. we can fight to protect tax cuts for folks that don't need them and weren't asking for them or we can cut taxes for virtually
every worker and small business in america, but we can't do both. that's the choice that will be before the senate and there are too many people hurting in this country for us to do nothing, and the economy is just too fragile for us to let politics get in the way of action. we've got a responsibility to the people who sent us here, so i hope every senator thinks long and hard about what's at stake when they cast their vote next week. all right. with that, i will take your questions and i will start with ben feller of the associated press. >> thank you very much, mr. president. i'd like to ask you about two economic matters. chairman reserve president ben bernanke said that they're faltering, do you agree? and secondly, on your jobs bill. the american people are sick of games. you mentioned games in your comments. they want results. wouldn't it be more productive
to work with republicans on a plan that you know could pass congress as opposed to going around the country talking about your bill and singling out, calling out republicans by name? >> well, first of all, with respect to the state of the economy, there is no doubt that growth has slowed. i think people were much more optimistic at the beginning of this year, but the combination of a japanese tsunami, the arab spring which drove up gas prices and most prominently europe, i think, has gotten businesses and consumers very nervous and we did not help here in washington with the debt ceiling debacle that took place. a bit of game playing that was completely unnecessary. completely unprecedented in terms of how we dealt with our responsibilities here in washington. so you combine all that, there is no doubt that the economy is weaker now than it was at the beginning of the year, and every independent economist who has
looked at this question carefully believes that for us to make sure that we are taking out an insurance policy against a possible double-dip recession, it is important for us to make sure that we're boosting consumer confidence, putting money into their pockets and cutting taxes where we can for small businesses and that it makes sense for us to put people back to work doing the work that needs to be done. that's exactly what this jobs bill does. now with respect to working with congress, i think it's fair to say that i have gone out of my way in every instance, sometimes at my own political peril and to the frustration of democrats to work with republicans to find common ground to move this country forward. in every instance, whether it was during the lame duck session when we were able to get an agreement on making sure that the payroll tax was cut in the first place and making sure that
unemployment insurance was extended to my constant efforts during the debt ceiling to try to get what's been called the grand bargain in which we had a balanced approach to actually bringing down our deficit and debt in a way that wouldn't hurt our recovery. each time what we've seen is games playing. a preference to try to score political points rather than actually get something done on the part of the other side and that has been true not just over the last six months. that's been true over the last two and a half years. the bottom line is this -- our doors are open and what i've done over the last several weeks is to take the case to the american people so that they understand what's at stake. it is now up to all of the senators and hopefully all of the members of the house to explain to their constituencies, why they would be opposed to
common-sense ideas that historically have been supported by democrats and republicans in the past. why would you be opposed to tax cuts for small businesses and tax cuts for american workers? my understanding is that for the last decade they've been saying we need to lower taxes for folks. why wouldn't we want to do that through this jobs bill? we know that we've got roads and bridges and schools that need to be rebuilt and historically republicans haven't been opposed to rebuilding roads and bridges, why would you be opposed now? we know that the biggest problem that we've had in terms of unemployment over the last several months has not been in the private sector. it's actually been layoffs of teachers and cops and firefighte firefighters. we created over 2 million jobs in the private sector, a million jobs this year alone, in the
private sector, but in the public sector we keep on saying these layoffs are having an adverse effect on economies in states all across the country. why wouldn't we want to make sure that those teachers are in the classroom teaching our kids? so here's the bottom line. my expectation and hope is that everybody will vote for this jobs bill because it reflects those ideas that traditionally have been supported by both democrats and republicans. if it turns out that there are republicans who are opposed to this bill they need to explain to me, but more importantly to their constituencies and the american people why they're opposed and what would they do? we than this jobs bill based on independent analysis could grow the economy almost an additional 2%. that could mean an additional 1.9 million jobs. do they have a plan that would have a similar impact?
because if they do, i'm happy to hear it, but i haven't heard them offer alternatives that would have that same kind of impact and that's what we need right now. a lot of the problems that this economy is facing are problems that predates the financial crisis. middle class families saying the wages and incomes are flat despite rising costs from everything from health care to a college education. so folks have been struggling not just for the last three years. they've been struggling for over a decade now. and at a time when so many people are having such a hard time, zwe have to have an approach, we have to take action that's big enough to meet the moment. and what i've heard from republicans is, well, we're
agreeing to do these trade bills. that's great. i'm in favor of those trade bills and i'm glad they're passing, but that's not going do enough to deal with the huge problems we have right now with respect to unemployment. we passed patent legislation. that was bipartisan work. i'm thrilled we were able to get republicans and democrats to work together on that, but that is a long-term issue for our economic competitiveness. it is not putting americans to work right now. so the bottom line is this, if next week the senators have additional ideas that will put people back to work right now and meet the challenges of the current economy, we are happy to consider them, but every idea that we put forward are ones that have traditionally been supported by democrats and republicans alike, and i think it's important for us to have a vote on those ideas because i
believe that it's very hard to argue against them and if mr. mcconnell chooses to vote against it or if members of his caucus choose to vote against it i promise you we'll keep on going and we will put forward maybe piece by piece each component and each time they'll have to explain why it is that they'd be opposed to putting teachers back in the classroom or rebuilding our schools or giving tax cuts to middle-class folks or giving tax cuts to small businesses. [ inaudible question ] >> i think if we don't take action we can have more significant problems than we have right now. some of it is simple math. the payroll tax is set to expire. the jobs plan includes an extension of the payroll tax cut. now if that is not extended then
that is over $1,000 out of the pockets of the average american family at a time when they're already feeling a severe pinch. that means they're going to be spending less. that means businesses will have less customers and that's going to have an adverse effect on an economy that is already weaker than it should be. >> chuck todd. >> thank you, mr. president. before i get to my question, do we assume by how we're talking about the bill in the senate that you're okay with the change and how to pay for the surtax, the 5.8% surtax on millionaires. we've always said that we'll be open to a variety of ways to pay for it. we put forward what we thought was a solid approach to paying for the jobs bill itself. keep in mind, though, what i've always said is that not only do we have to pay for the jobs bill, but we also still have to do more in order to reduce the
debt and the deficit. so the approach that the senate is taking i'm comfortable with in order to deal with the jobs bill. we're still going need to reform this tax code to make sure that we're closing loopholes and closing special interest tax breaks and making sure that the very simple principle that we call the buffett rule that millionaires and billionaires aren't paying lower taxes. so there will be more work to do in terms of making our tax system fair, just and promoting growth, but in terms of the immediate action of getting this jobs bill passed, i'm fine with the approach that they're taking. >> it has to do with your powers of persuasion. during the debt ceiling debate you asked for the american public to call members of congress and switchboards got jammed. you've done a similar thing while going around the country, talking to members of congress, there's not the same reaction.
you're not hearing about phones being jammed and talking to one member of congress. there's a disillusionment and they're talking about maybe they can't get done anyway. do you listen to the powers of persuasion any maybe the the american people don't respond to the provisions of the jobs bill. they are skeptical about congress's ability to act right now and that's understandable. the american people are very frustrated. they've been frustrated for a long time. they don't get a sense that folks in this town are looking out for their interests. they get a sense that folks in this town are thinking about their own jobs, their own careers, their own advancement, their party interests, and so if the question is, chuck, are people feeling cynical and
frustrated about the prospects of positive action in this city? absolute absolutely, and i can go out there and make speeches but until they actually see action some of that cynicism will be there. as you said during the debt ceiling debate, you know, a very solid majority, i think maybe even higher than 70% agreed with the approach they talked about. we should have a balanced approach deficit reduction and what the american people saw is that congress didn't care. not just what i thought. they didn't care what the american people thought. they had their own agenda, and so if they see that over and over again, that cynicism's not going to be reduced until congress actually proves their cynicism wrong by doing something that would actually
help the american people. this is a great opportunity to do it. this is a great opportunity to do it. and keep in mind, if the american jobs bill passes, we're still going to have challenges. we're still going to have to make sure that we got the best education system in the world because that is going to be critical for our long-term competitiveness and creating good, solid, middle-class jobs. we'll still keep investing in basic research and science. we'll still have to make sure that we do even more on infrastructure. what's contained in the american jobs bill doesn't cover all of the roads and bridges and infrastructure that needs to be improved around the country. >> it's not as if that's going to solve all our problem, but it is an important start that we know would end up growing the economy and putting hundreds of thousands, millions of people back to work at a time when they need it the most and it's paid
for. the one persuasive argument that the republicans have previously made against a bill like this. the deficit's gone. we can't afford it. we can afford it if we're willing to ask people like me to do a little bit more in taxes. we can afford it without affecting our deficit. our proposal is paid for so that can't be the excuse. so, yes, until they see congress actually putting country ahead of party politics and partisanship, they're going to be skeptical and it doesn't matter how many times i preach to them this is not a reflection of their lack of faith in the american jobs bill. they haven't seen congress come together to act. this is a good opportunity. what we've seen is that they agree with what we put forward.
now, here's what i'll also say is that based on the debt ceiling vote, what they've seen is that the republicans in congress, even when the american people agree with me, oftentimes will vote against something i'm proposing. so there may be skepticism that i personally can persuade republicans to take actions in the interest of the american people, but that's exactly why i need the american people to try to put some pressure on them because i think justifiably that even ideas that used to be supported by republicans, if i'm proposing them suddenly republicans forget it and they decide they're against it. jackie? >> thank you, mr. president. as you travel the country, you also take credit for tightening
regulations on wall street. the dodd-frank law and about your efforts to combat income inequality. there's this movement, occupy wall street which has spread from wall street to other cities. they clearly don't think that you or republicans have done enough, that you're, in fact, part of the problem. are you following this movement and what would you say to the people who are attracted to it? >> obviously, i've heard of it. i've seen it on television. i think it express es the frustrations that american people feel that we had the biggest financial crisis since the great depression, huge collateral damage all throughout the country, all across main street and yet you're still seeing some of the same folks who acted irresponsibly trying to fight efforts to crack down
on abusive practices that got us into this problem in the first place. so, yes, i think people are frustrated and the protesters are giving voice to a more broad based frustration about how our financial system works. now keep in mind i have said before and i will continue to repeat, we have to have a strong effecti effective, financial structure in order for us to grow, and i used up a lot of political capital, and i've got the dings and bruises to prove it in order to make sure that we prevented a financial meltdown and that banks stayed afloat, and that was the right thick to do because had we seen a financial collapse, then the damage to the american economy would have been even worse, but what i've also said is that for us to have a
healthy financial system that requires that banks and other financial institutions compete on the basis of the best service and the best products and the best price and it can't be competing on the basis of hidden fees, deceptive practices or derivative cocktails that nobody understands and that expose the entire economy to enormous risks and that's what dodd frank was designed to do. it was designed to make sure that we didn't have the necessity of taxpayer bailouts. they said, you know what? we'll be able to control these situations that if these guys get into trouble. we can isolate them and come to fail. we'll have a consumer watchdog
all of the time to make sure that we're eliminating hidden fees on credit cards. mortgage brokers will have to -- actually have to be straight with people about what they're purchasing and what we've seen over the last year is not only the financial sector with the republican party in congress fight us every inch of the way, but now you've got these same folks suggesting that we should roll back all those reforms and go back to the way it was before the crisis. today, my understanding is we're going to have a hearing on richard corderay who is my nominee to head off the consumer financial protection bureau, he would be the chief watchdog when it comes to financial products. this is a guy who is well regarded in his home state of
ohio, has been the treasurer of ohio and the attorney general of ohio. republicans and democrats in ohio all say that he is a serious person who looks out for consumers. he has a good reputation, and republicans have threatened not to confirm him not because of anything he's done, but because they want to roll back the whole notion of having a consumer watchdog. you've got republican presidential candidates whose main economic policy proposals is -- we'll get rid of the financial reforms that are designed to prevent the abuses that got intous this mess in the mess in the first place. that does not make sense to the american people. they are frustrated by it and they will continue to be frustrated by it until they get a sense that everybody's playing by the same set of rules, and that you're rewarded for responsibility and doing the right thing as opposed to
gaining the system. i'll be fighting every inch of the way in washington to make sure you have a consumer watchdog by the financial sector. i will be hugely supportive of banks and financial institutions that are doing the right thing by their customers. we need them to be lending and we need them to be lending more to small businesses. we need them to help do what traditionally banks and financial services are supposed to be doing which is providing businesses and families resources to make productive investments that will actually build the economy, but until the american people see that happening, yes, they will continue to express frustrations about what they see is two sets of rules. [ inaudible question ] >> you know, what i think is
that the american people understand that not everybody has been following the rules. that wall street is an example of that. that folks working hard every single day, getting up, going to their job and loyal to their companies that that used to be the essence of the american dream. that's how you got ahead, the old-fashioned way and these days a lot of folks who are doing the right thing aren't rewarded and a lot of folks who are doing the right thing aren't rewarded and that will go through 2012 and beyond until people feel like we're getting back to old-fashioned american values which, if you're a banker, then you are making your money by making prudent loans to businesses and individuals to build plants and equipment and
hire workers that are creating goods and products that are building the economy and benefiting everybody. jake tavern? >> thank you, mr. president. just to follow up on jackie's question, one of the reasons why so many people at the occupy wall street protests are so angry is because, as you say, so many people on wall street did not follow the rushlle, but you administration hasn't been very effective in prosecuting. i don't think any have gone to jail regarding the corruption and malfeasance, and just as a separate question. as you're watching the solyndra fast the and furious controversy plays out, i wonder if it's given you pause about the decision making in your administration, some of the e-mails the democrats put out
saying that the people at the office of management and budget were concerned and with the attorney general saying he didn't know about the details of fast and furious. are you worried at all about how this is -- how your administration is running? >> first on the issue of -- on the issue of prosecutions on wall street. one of the biggest problems about the collapse of lehman and the subsequent financial crisis and the whole subprime lending fiasco is that a lot of that stuff wasn't necessarily illegal. it was just immoral or inappropriate or reckless. that's exactly why we needed to pass dodd-frank, to prohibit some of these practices. you know, the financial sector is very creative and they're
always looking for ways to make money. that's their job, and if there are loopholes and rules that can be bent and arbitrage to be had, they will take advantage of it. so without commenting on particular prosecutions, obviously, that's not my job, that's the attorney general's job. i think part of people's frustrations and part of my frustrations is a lot of practices that should not have been allowed weren't necessarily against a loan, but they had a huge, destructive impact and that's why it was important for us to put in place financial rules that protect the american people from reckless decision making and irresponsible behavior. with respect to solyndra and fast and furious, i think i've been very clear that i have
complete confidence in attorney general holder in how he handles his office. he has been very aggressive in going after gunrunning and cash transactions that are going to these transactional drug cartels in mexico. there's been a lot of cooperation between the united states and mexico on this front. he's indicated that he was not aware of what was happening in fast and furious. certainly, i was not. i think both he and i would have been very unhappy if somebody had suggested that guns were allowed that could have been prevented by the united states of america. he has assigned an inspector general to look into how exactly this happened and i have complete confidence in him and i have complete confidence in the process to figure out who, in fact, was responsible for that decision and how it got made. solyndra, this is a loan guarantee program that pre-dates
me that historically has had support from democrats and republicans as well, and the idea is pretty straightforward. if we are going to be able to compete in the 21st century, then we've got to dominate cutting-edge technologies. we've got to dominate cutting-edge manufacturing. clean energy is part of that package of technologies of the future that have to be based here in the united states if we're going to be able to succeed. now the loan guarantee program is designed to meet a particular need in the marketplace which says a lot of these small start-ups, they could get angel investors. they could get several million dollars to get a company going, but it's very hard for them to scale up, particularly if these are new, cutting edge
technologies. it's hard for them to find private investors and part of what's happening is china and europe, other countries are putting enormous subsidies into these companies and giving them incentives to move offshore. even if the company was developed they'll end up going to china. we'll help you scale up. we'll give you low interest loans or no-interest loans and we will give you whatever it takes for you to get started here and that's part of the reason why a lot of technologies that developed here, we've now lost the lead in. solar energy, wind energy, and so what the loan guarantee program was designed to do was to close that gap and say let's see if we can help some of those folks locate here and rcreate jobs here in the united states. we knew from the start that the loan guarantee program would have a risk-free proposition,
and then we wouldn't have to worry about it, but the overall portfolio has been successful. it has allowed us to help companies, for example, to start advanced battery manufacturing here in the united states. it's helped to create jobs. there were going to be some companies that did not work out. solyndra was one of them, and the process by which the decision was made was on the merits and it was straightforward and, of course, there were going to be debates internally when you're dealing with something as complicated as this, but i have confidence that the decisions were made based on what would be good for the american economy and the american people and putting people back to work, and by the way, let me make one last point about this. i heard there was a republican member of congress who is engaging in oversight on this and despite the fact that all of them in the past have been
supportive of this loan guarantee program. we can't compete against china when it comes to solar energy. >> you what? i don't buy that. i'm not going to surrender to other countries' technological leads that can end up determining whether or not we're building a strong middle class in this country. and so we're going to have to keep on pushing hard to make sure that manufacturing is located here, new businesses are located here and new technologies are developed here and there will be times when it doesn't work out, but i'm not going to cave to the competition. when they are heavily subsidizing all these industries. [ inaudible question ] >> right. well -- let me say this.
the president can't go around saying prosecute somebody, but as a general principle, if somebody has engaged in fraudulent actions, they need to be prosecuted. if they violated laws on the books, they need to be prosecuted, and that's the attorney general's job, and i know that attorney general holder, u.s. attorneys all across the country, they take that job very seriously. okay. >> thank you, mr. president. you just spoke of the need for banks to start lending. you talked earlier how creative it can be in chasing profit and yet earlier in the week you said bank, quote, don't have an inherent right to get a certain amount of profit. you also said in that interview that you can stop them. how do you plan on stopping them from charging this $5 fee or whatever the fee is and do you
think your government has the right to dictate how much profit american companies make? >> i absolutely do not think that. i was trying to make a broader point which is that people have been using financial regulation as an excuse to charge consumers more. basically the argument they've made is, well, you know what? this hidden fee was prohibited and so we'll find another fee to make up for it. now they have that right, but it's not a good practice. it's not necessarily fair to consumers and my main goal is to make sure that we've got a consumer watchdog in place who is letting consumers know what fair practices are, making sure that transactions are transparent and making sure that
banks have to compete for customers based on the quality of their service and good prices. now the frustrating thing that we have right now is that you have folks over in congress, republicans who said that they see their role as eliminating any prohibitions on any practices for financial companies, and i think that's part of the frustration that the american people feel because they've just gone through a period in which they were seeing a bunch of hidden fees, rate hikes that they didn't know about, fine print that they could not understand. that's true for credit cards. that's true for mortgages. it contributed to overall weakness in the economy, and, yes, i think it is entirely appropriate for the government to have some oversight role to make sure that consumers are protected. so banks and any business in
america can price their products any way they want. that's how the free market works as long as there's transparency and accountability, and consu consumers understand what they're getting and there will be instances where a policy judgment was made, that you know what? there are certain practices that just aren't fair. and, you know, that's how the market's always operated. [ inaudible question ] >> think that what the consumer finance protection bureau can do is to make sure that consumers understood exactly what they were getting, exactly what was happening and i think that congress could make determinations with respect to whether or not a certain practice was fair or not. thank you, mr. president.
i'm following on jake's question about solyndra. the loan program, it was giving out $38 billion in guaranteed loans and promised to save or create 65,000 job, green jobs and green energy. there have been reports that actually only 3500 new jobs have been created in that industry. why has that industry been so slow to respond to what your administration has provided and what's your opinion on how it t will respond? >> i think that what has been true historically is that businesses that rely on new technologies. a lot of times it will take a while before they get takeoff and there are a lot of up front investments that have to be made
and so forth and a lot of barriers for companies trying to break in. keep in mind that clean energy companies are competing against traditional energy companies and traditional energy is still cheaper in a lot of ways. the problem is is running out. and we know that demand will keep on increasing so that if we don't prepare now, if we don't invest now and if we don't get on top of technologies now we're going to be facing 20 years from now, china and india having a billion new companies in the world, coal, et cetera, going up and the impact on the planet increasing and we're not just going to be able to start when all heck is braking loose and saying we better find new energy
sources and that makes it more difficult for these companies to succeed. what is also a problem is as i said, that other countries are subsidizing these industries much more aggressively than we are. hundreds of billions of dollars, the chinese government is pouring into the clean energy sector partly because they're predicting what will happen 10 or 20 years from now. look, i have confidence in american businesses and american technology and american scientists and entrepreneurs being able to win that competiti competition. we are not going to be duplicating the kind of system that they have in china where they are basically state-run banks, giving money to state-run companies and ignoring losses and ignoring bad management, but
there is a role to play for us to make sure that these companies can at least have a fighting shot, and it does mean that there will be some that aren't successful and it's going to be an uphill climb for some and obviously it's very difficult for all companies to succeed when the economy's as soft and as weak as it is. [ inaudible question ] >> i will tell you that even for those projects under the loan guarantee program that have ended up being successful there are those in the marketplace who have been doubtful. there is always going to be a debate about whether this particular approach to this particular technology will be successful or want.
all i can say is that the department of energy made these decisions based on their best judgment about what would make sense and, you know, the nature of these programs are going to be ones in which for every success there may be one that does not work out as well, but that's exactly what the loan guarantee program was designed by congress to do. it was to take bets where we need to make sure we're maintaining our lead. bill plante? >> thank you, mr. president. anybody on capitol hill will say that there's no chance that the american jobs act in this current state passes either house. you've been out on the campaign trail, banging away at them saying pass this bill. >> right. >> and it begins to look like
you're campaigning and following the harry truman model against the do-nothing congress instead of negotiating. are you negotiating? will you? >> i'm always open to negotiations. what is also true is they need to do something. i'm not -- look. bill, i think it is very clear that if members of congress come in and say, all right, we want to build infrastructure. here's the way we think we can do it. we want to put construction workers back to work. we've got some ideas. i am very eager to work with them. they say we've got this great idea for putting teachers back in the classroom. it's a little different from what you propose in the jobs bill. i'm ready and eager to work with them, but that's not what we're hearing.
what we're hearing is their big ideas, the ones that make sense are the ones we're already doing. they've given me a list of the job creation ideas. let's pass free trade agreements. it's great that we're passing these free trade agreements. we put them forward and i expect bipartisan support. it will be good for the american economy, but it's not going to meet the challenge of 9% unemployment or an economy that is currently weakening. it's not enough. patent reform, very concerned for long-term competitiveness. there's no one that thinks it will immediately fill the needs of people out of work or strengthen the economy right now. so what i've tried to do is here are the best ideas i've heard and not just from partisan, but
from independent economists. these are the ideas most likely to create jobs now and strengthen the economy right now and that's what the american people are looking for, and the response from republicans has been no, although they haven't given good reason why they're opposed to putting construction workers back on the job or teachers back in the classroom. if you ask them, well, okay, if you're not for that, what are you for? trades have been done. patent reforms have been done. what else? the answer we're getting now is we have to roll back all these obama regulations. so their big economic plan to put people back to work right now is to roll back financial protections and allow banks to
allow hidden fees again and weaken consumer watch dogs. alternatively, they've said we'll roll back regulations that make sure we have clean air and clean water. eliminate the epa. did anybody really think that that's going create jobs right now and meet the challenges of a global economy that is weakening? with all these forces coming into play? here is a good question. here's a little homework assignment for folks, go ask the republicans what their jobs plan is if they're opposed to the american jobs act and have it scored, have it it assessed by the same independent economists that assessed our jobs plan. these independent economists say we could grow the economy as much as 2% and as many as 1.9
million workers would be back on the job. i think it would be interesting to have them do a similar assessment. same people. some of these folks, by the way, traditionally have worked for republicans and not just democrats and have those economists evaluate what over the next two years the republican jobs plan would do. i'll be interested in the answer. upon i think everybody here -- i see smirks in the audience because you know it will not be really robust. and so, bill, the question then is will congress do something? if congress does something then i can't run against a do-nothing congress. if congress does nothing then it's not a matter of me running against them. i think the american people will run them out of town because they are frustrated, and they know we need to do something big, and something bold.
now the american people are also concerned about making sure that we have a government that lives within its means which is why i put forward a plan that would reduce our deficit and our debt in a more aggressive way than what the special committee's been charged with. folks want to talk about corporate tax reform. i've already said, i'm happy to engage with them on corporate tax reform. i'm happy to engage with them working to see what we can do to streamline and to simplify our tax code. eliminate the loopholes and eliminate the special interest carveouts and potentially lower rates in the process while raising more revenue. i am happy to negotiate with them on a whole host of issues, but right now we've got an emergency, and the the american people are living that emergency out every single day, and they have been for a long time.
they are working really hard and if they're not on the job, they're working really hard to find a job, and they're losing their homes and their kids are having to drop out of school because they can't afford student loans and they're putting off visiting a doctor because when they lost their job they lost their health insurance. they are struggling, and as a consequence, by the way, all of us are struggling. even those who are well off. the irony is that the same folks that the republicans claim to be protecting, the well off, the millionaires and the billionaire, they'd be doing better, they'd be making more money if ordinary americans had money in their pockets and were out there feeling more confident about the economy. that's been the lesson of our history when folks in the middle and at the bottom are doing well, the folks at the top are doing better.
look, we have a democracy and right now john boehner is the speaker of the house and mitch mcconnell, the republican leader and all i can do is make the best arguments and mobilize the american people so that they're responsive. so far they haven't been responsive to not just me, but the public opinion. we saw that during the debt ceiling vote, but we'll just keep on making the case. i guess what i'm saying though, here, bill, and i said this when i made my speech at the joint session, the election is 13, 14 months away. i would love nothing more than to not have to be out there campaigning because we were seeing constructive action here in congress. that's my goal.
that's what i'm looking for, but i'm also dealing with a republican majority leader who said his number one goal was to beat me and not put americans back to work, not grow the economy, not help small business essex pann es expand, but to defeat me and he's said that for a couple of years. i have to go out to the american people to see if maybe he'll listen to them if he's not listening to me. matt spe tshgspetonic. where's matt? >> one question on the economy and one on foreign policy. first of all, the senate has taken up a bill aimed at pressuring china to let its currency rise. what's your position on that bill? would you veto or sign it should it it hit your desk. on the foreign policy front, do you agree with admiral mullen's
accusation that pakistan's intelligence agency has used the haqqani network as a virtual arm and what, if any, consequences up to and including a cutoff of aid would you be willing to consider? >> obviously, we've been seeing a remarkable transformation of china over the last two decades and it's helped to lift millions of people out of poverty in china. we have stabilized our relationship with china in a healthy way, but what is also true is that china has been very aggressive in gaining the trading system to their advantage and particularly to the advantage of the united states. i have said that publicly, but i've also said it privately to
chinese leaders and currency manipulation is one example of it or at least intervening in the currency markets in ways that have led their currency to be valued lower than the market would normally dictate and that makes their exports cheaper, and that makes our exports to them more expensive. so we've seen some improvement and some slight appreciation over the last year, but it's not enough. it's not just currency, though. we've also seen, for example, you know, intellectual property. technologies that were created by u.s. companies with a lot of investment and a lot of up-front capital taken, not protected properly by chinese firms and we've pushed china on that issue
as well. ultimately, we can have a win-win trading relationship with china. i'm very pleased that we're going to be able to potentially get a trade deal with south korea, but i believe what i think most americans believe which is trade is great as long as everybody is playing by the same rules. now, the legislation that is being presented in congress is a -- is an effort to get at that, and my main concern and i've expressed that to senator schumer is whatever tools we put in place, let's make sure that these are tools that can actually work and that they're consistent with our international treates and obligations. i don't want a situation where we're passing laws that are symbolic knowing that they're probable not going to be upheld by the world trade organization,
for example and suddenly u.s. companies are subject to a whole bunch of sanctions. we've got a -- i think we've got a strong case to make, but we have to make sure we do it in a way that will be effective. >> last point is my administration has been more aggressive than any in recent years in going after some of these practices. we've brought very aggressive enforcement actions against china for violations in the tire case, for example, where it's been upheld by the world trade organization that they were engaging in unfair trading practices, and that's given companies here in the united states a lot of relief. so my overall goal is i believe u.s. companies, u.s. workers, we can compete with anybody in the world. i think we can make the best products and a huge part of us winning the future. a huge part of rebuilding this economy on a firm basis that's
not just reliant on, you know, maxed-out credit cards and a housing bubble and financial speculati speculation, but is dependent on us making things and selling things, i am absolutely confident that we can win that competition but in order to do it we've got to make sure that we're aggressive in looking out for the interests of american workers and american businesses and that everybody is playing by the same rules and that we're not getting -- getting cheated in the process. that is a -- that is a term of art. the treasury secretary, i have to be careful here, it's his job to make shows decisions, but it's undisputable that they intervene heavily in the currency markets and that the r
americas mb is lower than it would be if they weren't making all of those purchases in the currency markets to keep the r & b lower. with respect to pakistani have said that my number one goal is to make sure that al qaeda cannot attack the u.s. homeland and cannot affect u.s. interests around the world and we have done an outstanding job, i think, in going after directly al qaeda in this border region between pakistan and afghanistan. we could not have been as successful as we have been without the cooperation of the pakistan government, and so