Kroft to Obama: Are you punch-drunk?
President Barack Obama said he believes the global financial system remains at risk of implosion with the failure of Citigroup or AIG, which could touch off “an even more destructive recession and potentially depression.”
His remarks came in a“60 Minutes” interview in which he was pressed by Steve Kroft for laughing and chuckling several times while discussing the perilous state of the world’s economy.“You're sitting here. And you're— you are laughing. You are laughing about some of these problems. Are people going to look at this and say, ‘I mean, he's sitting there just making jokes about money—’ How do you deal with— I mean: explain. . .” Kroft asked at one point.“Are you punch-drunk?” Kroft said.
“No, no. There's gotta be a little gallows humor to get you through the day,” Obama said, with a laugh.
His talk of depression could be viewed as alarmist—but it also seemed aimed at bracing Congress and the public for the unpopular prospect of spending even more taxpayer dollars to prop up Wall Street. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner is set to roll out a plan Monday aimed at restoring the flow of credit that would back up private investments with government funds.
Even his awkward laughter highlighted an issue Obama has faced dating back to the campaign, a sense that he sometimes is too “cool” and detached to fully grasp the public anxiety over mounting job losses and economic worries.
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