February 27th, 2009
12:41 PM ET

Should Pres. Obama be more positive about the economy?

From CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama is a preacher of doom and gloom when it comes to the economy, according to Dick Morris. He writes the president is making the crisis worse. "Instead of being a firewall, reassuring Main Street even as Wall Street crashed, he has become a conduit of panic, spreading the mood of desperation from the stock exchange floor to kitchen tables across the world," said Morris.

Should Pres. Obama be more positive about the economy?

Dick Morris says the president has become a "conduit of panic."

Morris describes Mr. Obama as a "global Paul Revere" and says every time he speaks, he sends markets down and stocks crashing, and that the president doesn't seem to get the fact that the rest of the world takes its cues from him.

Dick Morris thinks the president is talking this way in order to keep people in a state of panic so he can pass through his agenda - from spending bills to tax increases to government regulations. He believes the longer the economy continues to deteriorate – the more difficult it will be to pass the blame off on President Bush.

Turns out a wide range of people have called for Mr. Obama to be more positive when speaking about the economy - including former President Bill Clinton , who suggested the president sound a more hopeful note. Others suggest that after years of President Bush painting an unrealistic, rosy scenario, Pres. Obama needs to tell it like it is, as he has been doing.

In his address to Congress this week - the president sounded more upbeat when he said we are not quitters - and that the U.S. will rebuild, recover and emerge stronger than before.

Here’s my question to you: When it comes to the economy, should President Obama's message be more positive?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Ray in Nashville writes:
He told the country on Tuesday night that we would get out of this. It's hard to be more positive than that when all around us we see more job losses, business failures and banking troubles. If President Obama were to tell us that everything is ok, he'd sound like an idiot or a Republican... but I repeat myself.

BK writes:
He will keep fear mongering until he gets everything that he, Pelosi, and Reid want passed. Fear mongering works. He is doing the same thing Bush did. No change here.

Judy from Bangor, Maine writes:
You mean like "The fundamentals of our economy are basically sound"?

Wendy in North Carolina writes:
Jack, I'm in the advanced stages of MS so medical bills up the wazoo. My husband was laid off a year ago from his road construction job. We are trying to be responsible and hold on desperately to our very modest, small (in comparison) mortgage. The credit cards we've used for over 15 yrs, never late, just raised our interest rates to 30%. There is nothing 'positive' to say to us regular people who started suffering from the economy over a year ago.

Bob writes:
The president just has to be honest. Excessive rosiness is not necessary. We’re Americans, tough enough to take the truth without gloss. Excessive gloom is also not necessary. We'll acknowledge his wins and losses objectively. He doesn't have to set himself up or cover his butt. Just be honest and fair and we'll do the same.

Theresa in Atlanta writes:
No. His assessment of the economy seems right on target. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck... Perhaps we could have pulled the nose up before we slammed into the ground if Clueless and Darth Vader had been a little less rosy with their rhetoric.

Filed under: President Barack Obama • US Economy
soundoff (117 Responses)
  1. Richard in Kansas

    Whether the news is positive or negative at least I feel like THIS president is telling the truth.

    February 27, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  2. JW in Atlanta

    Mr. Obama must tell the citizens of the country the truth. We've had enough smoke and mirrors and it got us in trouble. Again. If things are bad, tell us how bad. That way if things start to improve, we'll believe you when you tell us so.

    February 27, 2009 at 12:49 pm |
  3. john elwell

    tucson az

    I personaly find it refreshing to have one politico that does not sugar coat the facts,after all is not the fact he promised honest open goverment why most of us voted for him?If he changes his honesty to tell the american people "our economy is fundementaly sound he probably could be Mc cain's running mate but not my preident

    February 27, 2009 at 12:50 pm |
  4. Kevin in Dallas, TX

    I don't know. I never understood how the world's largest economy could react so drastically to the President's mood. "President Obama missed his morning coffee and was a little sluggish today, causing IBM's stock to fall 20 points." Huh? How does that work?

    February 27, 2009 at 12:51 pm |
  5. ST

    I think in a way he should be, but not to the point of ignorance. He knows what kind of mess we're in and he knows it's going to take a lot to get us out of it. Millions have lost their jobs, banks are closing, foreclosures are outrageous, etc... The reality is, we're in deep trouble. He's not blind to that, but he needs to choose his words wisely. The American people are looking to him for leadership. Something we haven't had in a long time.

    February 27, 2009 at 12:56 pm |
  6. bob

    No; he should be hopeful and honest. If the speculators on Wall Street need a more positive message let them hire Bush or Clinton to be in their investment ads.

    February 27, 2009 at 12:57 pm |
  7. Jane (Minnesota)

    I would like the President to continue to be encouraging like he was Tuesday night is better than positive. I personally want to hear what is really happening & not how things were pitched to America the previous eight years.

    February 27, 2009 at 12:59 pm |
  8. Patty.D. Bristol, Pa.

    Dear Jack, Hell no! After the last eight years of the Bush Administration, a little honesty is in order. If Bush and his minions didn't try to hide the true costs of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans wouldn't be so clueless about how much of OUR money has been wasted. I would like to hear the straight dope.

    February 27, 2009 at 1:01 pm |
  9. Bruce in OR

    The President should tell it like it is. Period.

    Happy talk, when your next meal is in question, does no one any good!!

    February 27, 2009 at 1:05 pm |
  10. Jason, Koloa, HI

    I think it it would be an insult for President Obama to try and paint a pretty verbal picture of the state of our union to the millions of people standing in the unemployment line. Not to mention, the millions of people who just lost their homes and the millions of people who's 401k was just just ravaged, don't need to here a president lying about how great everything's going to be. We've had enough lies from the office of the president, it is actually quite refreshing to have a president actually tell it like it is. Even if the message sucks.

    February 27, 2009 at 1:08 pm |
  11. John from Alabama

    Jack: The truth maybe hard to swallow, but a good dose of the truth is what the doctor as ordered. The last administration had to many closed door deal, such as, Halliburton and Blackwater. President Obama needs to be honest, but a little more smiles and positive words can also tell the truth about our economy.

    John from Alabama

    February 27, 2009 at 1:21 pm |
  12. John

    I think painting the picture just as he sees it, is the best way to get the point across to the whole country what it will take to fix this mess, and openly present the risks necessary to turn this economy around, realizing all along the little pet projects that get pork barrelled into something this massive. We all know this is a depression not just a temporary recession.
    Pampa, TX

    February 27, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  13. Pete Indy

    Yes President Obama should be a little more positive, but we need to turn the heat up on a positive note all so, including News outlets.
    Its going to take a positive attitude from everyone.

    February 27, 2009 at 1:28 pm |
  14. Carole

    If anyone really listens to Obama they hear his positive response to where the economy is. His words are that we WILL get through this, it will be tough for a while but we have weathered worse than this. If he started saying the economy isn't really all that bad people would know he was telling lies and he won't do that. He believes as I'm sure the majority of Americans do that it's always darkest just before dawn. There are many silly sausages in the GOP that are waiting for Obama to slip up because their lobbyists aren't getting the big payoffs they were used to under Bush's shrub. Really, sometimes I get so cross I could spit.

    February 27, 2009 at 1:32 pm |
  15. Paul S. Columbia, SC

    Frankly, Jack, I wish Obama would put a sock in it for a while. Even my mother in law never nagged me everyday for 2 straight years. Give it a rest, please.

    February 27, 2009 at 1:40 pm |
  16. Sandy VanAmburgh

    He should do exactly what he is doing, telling Americans the truth. If our government would of been more honest a year ago, people might of been more prepared then waiting till the bomb dropped in Sept.


    February 27, 2009 at 1:49 pm |
  17. Rick Medina,OH


    I stopped being a '2-year-old' 53 years ago. I want to hear it like it is!

    By the way, I'm looking forward to your book. If it's even half as good as the last one, I know it will be a good read.

    Rick, OH

    February 27, 2009 at 1:50 pm |
  18. Gerry in Toronto

    President Obama is enjoying high favorable ratings with the American people because he tells them the truth.

    He should keep telling it as it is, to maintain the confidence the American people have in him sloving the problems

    February 27, 2009 at 2:01 pm |
  19. Mickie

    No. Some people would just take that as reason to keep being careless. It would also send the wrong message when the taxpayers are being asked to bail out all of these companies who are still showering their CEOs and employees with lavish parties. It is time to make it criminal for companies to misappropriate taxpayer money. There is no way to say it wasn't the taxpayer money that paid for the lavish parties – did they keep it in a separate escrow or something. If I misappropriated my tax money or didn't pay my taxes, the government would not hesitate to prosecute me to the fullest extent of the law.

    February 27, 2009 at 2:07 pm |

    Would it be better for him to always put a positive spin on everything like the last administration. "The insurgency is in its last throes", or mimic the defeated McCain, "the fundementals of our economy are strong", or maybe like Rush Limbaugh and Phil Gramm, tell us its all in our head? Cheerleading is a call to apathy. its not what we need.

    February 27, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  21. Irv Lilley

    Jack, Obama should tell all of his critics, "If you can do a better job,
    help me do it.

    February 27, 2009 at 2:16 pm |
  22. Meg Ulmes from Troy, Ohio

    I think he should be as positive as he can be without being falsely positive. We had enough of that falsity the last eight years. Unfortunately, our economic situation is what it is. We have had enough falseness lately from the Republicans, who seem to forget that they presided over the last eight years. If he can truly be more positive, then he should be.

    February 27, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  23. Paul

    You can't handle the truth? I know that it has been a longtime since you've heard the truth but telling the truth is not being negative. Yes, the economy will recover but American people deserve the truth after eight years full of lies over lies.
    Please, get use to. It will set you free!

    Chantilly, Virginia

    February 27, 2009 at 2:42 pm |
  24. Judy in Bangor

    You mean like "The fundamentals of our economy are basically sound"?

    February 27, 2009 at 2:51 pm |
  25. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    He doesn't need to put either positive or negative spin on it.....he just needs to be honest with us. I think he's doing that.

    February 27, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  26. Dave from LA, Ca.

    I think Obama is hitting the right amount of realism and encouragement. Our last administration was too eager to try to hide problems and deny anything was wrong, even when the signs were clear to everyone else in the world.
    It's been shown in studies that optimists tend to overestimate how well and fast things will happen whereas pessimists tend to be accurate in their predictions. I would rather have an accurate leader who tells it like it is, than an airheaded cheerleader who lies in an attempt to make people feel good while ignoring the real problems.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  27. Ed from Tallahassee

    I think that he is do a pretty good balancing act.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:11 pm |
  28. Doug - Dallas

    Americans have been living with rumors and lies for the last eight years. It's time they heard the truth. There's no need to sugar coat it, anyone who's out work can tell you how tough it is out there. I don't care if you tell me the reality but also tell me the plan to fix it. That's what we need.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:12 pm |
  29. Lynn

    Bad news is hard to deliver to one person, let alone an entire country. I think the President is doing a good job of telling us the bad news while keeping us focused on the light at the end of the tunnel. Besides, after the last 8 years of smoke and mirror governing, it's refreshing to hear the truth.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:14 pm |
  30. Jesse--Maryland

    Instead of more positive, I would be happy with more realistic. While our economy is in bad shape right now, this is not another Great Depression–the numbers just don't compare. A better comparison might be made with the recession in the early 80s, in terms of unemployment percentages and stock market losses. President Obama must realize that his overly negative portrayal of the economy runs the risk of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  31. Justin Wilson

    Positive, negative? How about honest? With the news outlets dancing politicians out to talk about the state of the economy instead of economists, I need someone to paint a picture that I can be sure is honest. Who cares, talk straight!

    February 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm |
  32. lupercal5

    if he's asking Obama to pull a george-bush style optimism, count me out. The reason i actually trust him, incidentally is because he hasn't done much sugarcoating. So, when he says we will get through this crisis, i actually believe it.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:18 pm |
  33. Molly B

    from Molly from Tama, IA
    He is being honest and forthright. He is doing everything possible
    get the country and it's citizens back to normal (whatever that is).
    I wish all you pundits would shut up and watch. An ocassional
    pat on the back would be nice.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  34. Ken F. , Spofford, NH


    He seems to be having a hard time finding a middle ground between moderating expectations and sounding upbeat.

    He promised to be honest, so he tries to tell it straight. But he needs to end on that hopeful note that says "yes, it's bad, but we can and will prevail".

    He needs to re-read his FDR.


    February 27, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  35. Mike, Albuquerque, NM

    Stock brokers have been known to fly into a panic on the rumour of a cows fart. There is nothing the President could do to encourage their anxiety more than that. As for the rest of us, he doesn't need to inform us that we are in need. We know that already. What he should be doing is assuring us that he is hard at work buiding the nation back up. He needs to be a motivational speaker. He needs to get us out of our isolation and working together to build our communities.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:21 pm |
  36. alex

    no, i believe he is doing the right thing by giving us americans a reality check and to help us relieze that we are sinking deeper and deeper into this recession the GOP got us in to. Without him being honest, what was the point of electing him?

    February 27, 2009 at 3:28 pm |
  37. Matt, Canoga Park CA

    Yes he should but he can't because he does not have a background of accomplishments in office to instill confidence in his leadership ability. He is like a child trying to find his way.

    If Barack had more experience he would instill hope and confidence. Since he had no experience governing anything we only have hope and that is not enough.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  38. Jerome Fannin

    The income down sizing, need to go across the whole board.
    From company top execs, sports players, movie so call stars, people
    in music, to the people on TV getting paid to set and talk. There is
    a differenc between need and what. Who needs millions a year to
    live. I said need. The world is pricing itself out.

    Jerome in Atlanta, GA.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:43 pm |
  39. Donna,Crawfordville,Fl.

    No Jack..only when the economy becomes more positive,until it does, I prefer to hear the truth.And whatever will the news do when we do stabalize...you guys will lose half of your 24 hour programing,not being able to pick on our president.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:44 pm |
  40. Ann Hightower

    So now after having been lied to for years, we don't like being told the truth !........guess you just can't please some people. President Obama knows what a mess we're in and is smart enough to fix it if we'll just let him.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:50 pm |
  41. Susan from Twn Falls Idaho

    How quickly we have forgotten the “The economy is in good shape” comment by John Mccain. Better President Obama should not make too many comments either way. Optimism is good but he shouldn’t say it is better than it is and he of all people should know what the truth is. Every area in the U.S. has it’s own brand of economy woes, some worse than others. The key to a solvent recovery is good management of the stimulus monies and the willingness of us all to be patient and supportive of our government.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  42. Daniel, Indiana

    Who is Dick Morris? Should the President be like Bush and deny a problem or be overly rosy about it? I agree with him for being honest about the situation. It isn't a positive situation. We are on the verge of absolute bankruptcy and people think we should only view it as a rosy situation? Let's wake up and smell the coffee. This is what the naysayers want and do. They believe that we should sit back and do nothing and, miracuously, it will all right itself. Those must be some good drugs that they're taking.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:51 pm |
  43. Ron K

    Hi Jack:

    What do you want him to say? I think he did a very good job considering the mess he was left with.

    Ron San Diego

    February 27, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  44. Duke, Sarasota

    Jack, I prefer President Obama do just what he's been doing. And that
    is giving it to us straight. That's just what he did in his address to

    Jack, in other words, He didn't pee on our heads then tell us it was

    February 27, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  45. joseph jacir, chapel hill NC

    Optimistic no, Pessimistic no, balanced yes.He should tell the American people the truth and nothing but the truth.

    February 27, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  46. Juan

    I am an american living abroad and lost THOUSANDS in my 401k, but I am young enough too recoup my loses. Yes, Prez. Obama should be more positive. The stock market is dominated by speculater who bring down prices based on news. Since we live in a now society, alot of choices are by impulse, which currently is very negative. Lets here more positive economic stories, like- Apple in California being very cash heavy and bright future, Northwest Mutual Life Insurance in Milwaukee paying a nice dividend of 6.5 million. More positive news will make people see the light.
    Juan- St. Maarten, Netherland Antilles

    February 27, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  47. solo

    Why? If A rose by any other name would smell as sweet, then in this case a stinking economy by any other name would still be in recession. I think it is time for America to hear the truth and face it head on. We can get through this.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  48. Brodie

    Jack, I'll take realistic over positive any day.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:09 pm |
  49. Frank in PA

    Economics is driven by expectations. It's one of the first things you learn when you study economics. By continually telling people that we're facing the worst economic situation since the Great Depression and following it up by the dire warning that things will get worse before they get better, Obama is affecting the behavior of individuals and markets. Obama wants people to start spending again and for banks to start lending again but the simple fact is that people don't spend and banks don't lend when they expect conditions to worsen. This notion that Obama is "talking down the economy" is a real one.

    Also, his doomsday talk is just plain untrue. I have lived through four cycles where unemployment was higher and during these times, we also had high inflation. People forget that tens of thousands of S&Ls failed in the 80s, too. Obama seems to be using all this negative talk to 1) scare people into supporting his agenda and 2) cover his butt when things don't work out like he says they will.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  50. Bill - St Louis MO

    I think brutal honesty is a good thing. Sugar coating & downright lying, as what Georg W Bush did, repeatedly, is not good & misleading.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  51. Josh

    Last time I checked, Paul Revere was viewed as an American hero.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  52. Angela

    I agree with the President he should tell it like it is.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  53. Shawn Hickman

    Honesty is the best policy.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:12 pm |
  54. Ken in NC

    When you know the "Light At The End Of The Tunnel" is a freight train, tell me. I have herd so many lies it's refreshing even if it is a freight train. At least I have time to buckle up.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  55. Darlene Kramer

    Jack, I am a big girl and can handle the truth. What I can't handle is uncertainty. If I know what is coming I can find a way to deal with it.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  56. Betty---IN.

    Only on the positive aspects of it. The truth isn't always easy or painless, but necessary if we are to move forward. We have to be honest about what is going on in order to find the solutions to the problems.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  57. Allen Vandal

    Jack if we were told the way it is we wouldn't be in this mess. A lot started in the 60's that we are paying for today. The Government & coporate waste should of been weeded out & we wouldn't being bailing them out now. People have been voting for people that lie to them or tell them what they want to hear. This is where we got. So I say tell it like it is. Go Barak Allen in Minnesota

    February 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  58. Harry Lime

    He should tell the truth, but how many times does he have to do this? He does not need to be in our face every day. At some point we should get it, or we don't get it. Endless lectures aren't the answer.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  59. lawrence

    Sure, he should do what his predecessor did. Sit back and watch it all fall around him. Well, it's not the other guys fault, it President Obama's he's been there for 40 days, Bush 8 years or 2900 days. Are we kidding ourselves? I would prefer honesty anyday, we had enough of the cloak & dagger, where is Dick Cheyney today? Maybe we torture, maybe we didn't spy on americans, maybe we didn't participate in rendition, maybe.... How about a little honesty, things are bad, from mainstreet, I see people being Rif'd everyday, I see people scared, I feel the pain myself. Yes, he should be honest and let the chips fall.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  60. Eric

    Obama's gloomy message about the economy is actually very reassuring. At least we know we have an administration that realizes we have a genuine problem on our hands.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  61. Mike

    Tell it like it is, but add a little sugar. Remember, a spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down!

    February 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  62. Robert Winter

    He is sending a clear message: We have a difficult situation, but we can and will resolve it. My question is what role is CNN and the media playing in sharing that confidence. My view is that interviews too often emphasize the opposite point of view and damage confidence.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  63. isaiah

    Hello, Mr. Cafferty
    The first step one takes to solve a problem is to recognize and understand the cause. I don't understand how americans expect to get out of this if they don't want to know what actually is going on.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  64. Joy Mcclellan

    And why should we care what Dick Morris, the toe-sucking republican huckster, has to say about Obama? If he told me that it was raining outside, I would have to go out and get wet before I believed it.
    I am glad we have an honest president who tells it like it is. The republicans are the ones spreading doom and gloom.
    Joy In Cleburne, tx

    February 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  65. Patrick

    We are tired of knowing the reality of the economy now, Obama needs to be more positive at this time, not every step takes you forward, sharing too much of the reality is not a step forward its like someone taking a step on a treadmill.

    Patrick foxx. sacramento CA

    February 27, 2009 at 4:15 pm |
  66. Darlene B

    Honesty is the best policy.... and I, for one, appreciate being told exactly where we stand. We are not children that need to be talked down to. After the last 8 years of secrecy and back room deals... Obama's openness and honesty is a refreshing change.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  67. Chris

    Would anyone prefer to have their mechanic tell them that their car is fit for the road when in fact it isn't? I think we Americans prefer to be told the truth regardless of what it is. When the economy recovers (and it will), the president will then have a reason to sound more upbeat.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  68. Ed Tant

    Dick Morris has stuck his foot in his mouth. That's an improvement. It used to be other people's feet in his mouth. President Obama inherited an economy left in tatters after the years of war and cronyism foisted upon him by the previous White House occupant.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  69. Duane Kappes

    If he was more positive when talking about the economy, I, for one, would wonder what he is talking about if there were no obvious signs. We aren't stupid and can see things as well so don't try sugarcoating the issues.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  70. Margie Rosenthal

    The President walked a fine line on Tuesday night as he made sure that we knew that HE knew just how bad the economy is, while letting us know that through working together, there definitely light at the end of the tunnel. His tone was just right. The only issue is, will the Republican "no" train shut out the light in the tunnel with their negative remarks and holier than thou attitude. The Republicans should jump aboard the Obama train and work together to bring us out of our dire situation.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  71. Kumar, Plano, TX


    First he has to be sincere. Then be positive. He is already doing that.

    The wall street is sinking because, everytime the president talks, it becomes more clear that they (wallstreet guys) can no more cheat the investors of their savings. Their evil plans of the last 5+ years are not going to work anymore.

    Plano, TX

    February 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  72. frankie

    I think it is the Republicans who are being unbelievably negative about the President of the United States of America. Even as someone who did not vote for McCain, I was shocked and horrified to hear McCain defending Rush Limbaugh. Helping to rescue the American economy by exhibiting solidarity, is surely more important than having the last word.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  73. Robert

    I want leaders that will tell the truth. Sugar coating the truth can cause a bubble that would soon burst. Then we would be worse off than before.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:17 pm |
  74. Ron

    Yes the President should be more upbeat about the economy.Jack it sounds a little corny but it's kind of like what FDR said,"The only thing we have to fear is fear itself" All this daily bad news seems a bit overdone by the cable news channels.When people are scared the quit spending leading to more job losses,And on and on..We will get through this!!!

    February 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  75. C. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Rose colored glasses just ain't President Obama's style.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  76. Edie

    The LAST thing President Obama wants is panic. The common theme in all his speaches is that the United States will overcome and will come back stronger and better. In my view, it's high time the country had someone speak the truth and give us a reality call. Maybe Dick Morris is looking for a bully pulpit - he hasn't been in the news much lately.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:18 pm |
  77. Reed McGowan

    Jack, if the light at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train, do you think the American public could handle it? It's like asking someone who has terminal cancer if they want to know the truth about how long they have left to live. There are those who are strong enough to cope, and others who just want every bit of their inevitable demise to be sugarcoated to the finish. Are Americans realistic when it comes to matters of finances? Probably not, judging by our behavior. Which is why we need a healthy dose of reality about now...

    New York

    February 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  78. dave longcore

    okay let me try to understand the question, are you really asking if the President should lie to us or tell it like it is?

    February 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  79. Kendall

    Yes, Remember Bush used to lie to us all the time about the economy and the stocks surged. Tell the bankers everything is honkadorie and investors will come back, then baam, bait and switch em. Like they did us

    February 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  80. Isaac

    If "be more positive" equates to "be more honest" then yes by all means be truthful and positive. But if the truth is negative then.... well you get the picture. Its funny that the same people who made lite of Obama for his message of Hope are now demanding that same fire be unilaterally applied to things like the ecomony. The "positive" is in how he is communicating. We need to start listening. The path he is choosing is the right one, mainly because its a diveation from the path we were on.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  81. Rav

    President is trying to be as positive as he can be under the circumstances. Now that nation's economy is in the state of dismay, Millions of people loosing jobs, people are loosing their homes and families are falling apart. How can one be more positive?

    February 27, 2009 at 4:19 pm |
  82. Elizabeth

    Dear Ken F from Spofford, NH

    Please listen to or read President Obama's recent address to the nation–he did exactly what you suggested and has ALWAYS ended on a positive note, even while he was campaigning!

    February 27, 2009 at 4:20 pm |
  83. Michael P

    I feel TRUTHfullness is paramount. When the spin is positve, we feel better, use 'doom-n-gloom' and we trun off the message. No one likes a bad story.
    President Obama is trying to improve the economy and under very dire conditions that took the last 10 years to create.
    Kudos to him for taking issues head-on!

    February 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  84. Karl from SF, CA

    Tuesday’s speech was very balanced. Encouraging, without overdoing it, but truthful. We've been lied to for 8 years now and I think we can handle the truth. I'm glad Bill Clinton and Dick Morris are looking out for our collective state of mind, but regardless of the situation, honesty is the best policy. That’s why we elected President Obama. The rest of the world is tired of the lies, too.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  85. Heidi

    The truth shall set you free. We are all grown ups here give it to us straight.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  86. Robert from Ky

    I want leaders that will tell the truth. Sugar coating the truth can cause a bubble that would soon burst. Then we would be worse off than before

    February 27, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  87. Jennifer

    There's no need for Pres.Obama to pussyfoot the situation. Americans can handle a raw honest diagnosis of the economy followed by a prescription. Obama does both.

    Bleeding Red Utah

    February 27, 2009 at 4:24 pm |
  88. Richard Williams in Larchmont, NY

    The President is telling it like it is. That's the way it should be. No sugarcoating allowed. This is the first time I am hearing a president with straight talk. It is extremely refreshing.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  89. Anastasios, Denver, CO

    Enough is enough! I believe America deserves to hear the truth, I'm tired of people thinking that the President needs to sugarcoat things. We all remember the famous "Mission Accomplished" banner hanging on the USS Lincoln, a lot of good that sugarcoating did for us.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  90. Bridgette Ward in Nevada

    Trying to put a positive spin on the bad economic situation is just like putting lipstick on a pig. You can try and be cheerful about how bad the economy is but the economy will still be bad. The only positive talk Obama can do is about the economic plans he has to pull us out. But everybody knows it will take years for such plans to come to pass, for short term the economy will still be doom and gloom.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  91. Pugas-AZ

    Obama should "cool it" for awhile. Why keep harping on the things everybody already knows? His strong suit is talking, but too much yapping will only keep Wallstreet on edge. Plans, yes. progress reports.yes. What we already know,no. He should talk softly and carry a big ruler to rap knuckles with. We all need to toe the line to get this country running again.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  92. Dawn Cooper

    I've been lied to for eight years by a president who refused to acknowledge that we were entering a recession, that the war in Iraq was going poorly, and that there was in fact such an absurd concept as Global Warming. Change is what we voted for. Change is what we got. The truth.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  93. Jan Illinois

    We are at the threshold of hell what is there to be positive about? Is he supposed to pipe sun shine to us? Our country has been sold , do you see any sign, that the United States belongs to Americans ??? Foreigners own this country , we can't even buy a pair of socks or a coffee cup made in this country, until we change things back to the way this country USED to be run we are doomed, And who the president is makes little difference.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  94. Mary Wheeler

    Americans are intelligent adults, not children. Give us the facts so we can determine for ouselves how bad the economy is and decide on a positive method of action to deal with it.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  95. Ann

    When my babies were little, every boo-boo of theirs would get better when mommy kissed it "all better". The citizens of this country are not babies who want their problems to be minimized by President Obama "making it all better" by mouthing platitudes. We can try and understand what got us here, and have someone tell us truthfully what will get us out.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  96. Daniel Clemons

    The Republican Party is so use to lying to the American public or, as they put it, "painting a picture" that they can't understand why President Obama doesn't do the same. It seems so natural to them. Remember the Bush Administration repeatedly mentioning the "mushroom cloud" scenario when they lied us into a war of revenge (for Bush) and profit (for Cheney/Halliburton and Rice) costing so many American lives? And now they want Obama to "paint a picture", or lie as if it is just the natural thing to do for America. I guess it IS natural for THEM; it seems to come so easily.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  97. Bernadette in Sacramento

    Jack have you not been listening to our President"s speech on Tuesday and today?? he is doing something that our goverment hasn't done for years, being honest, but I find our President is being as optimistic as he can be for the mess the Republican and Bush put us in. Why don't you ask the republican why did they take the pay check for a job they were sleeping through for the last 3yrs. Thank you Jack just tell people give our President a chance.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  98. Felix- TX

    I have no respect for Dick Morris since he betrayed the Clintons and became a Fox Analyst. In essence, he is asking the president to lie to the American people albeit the entire world. This is why Bush /Cheney got into trouble with WMD in Iraq. And the result after 8 yrs is disastrous. Obama won the election by telling the truth. Sometimes it hurts to tell the truth, but only the truth will set you free, says my bible.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  99. dbl.r , West Coast

    Jack, like sgt. Joe Friday , all I want are the " facts ",and the " truth "

    With those two, comes the realization of there having to be a game plan to manuver through the mine field of challanges confronting me.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  100. Chad Jarman--Los Angeles

    No matter what, at least he is believable!!!

    February 27, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  101. james sloan

    Dear Jack, Don't you think we are tired of being lied to? I know I am. The Repblicans want us to believe them, but where was thier voices for the last eight years? Why all of a sudden now they want us to believe they are fiscally responsible? Jim Sloan Bangkok

    February 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  102. Nancy, CA

    For Dick Morris to say anything at all about President Obama using a doom and gloom scenerio to promote his programs is absolutely royal. Didn't we just go through eight years of George W. Bush, along with his Republican cohorts, feeding the American people nothing but a similar doom, gloom, and fear card in order to sell us their phony war in Iraq. Apparently, all that matters is which side of the aisle needs to use those types of tactics, right Dick?. It takes one to know one!!

    February 27, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  103. Theresa

    I would rather someone be bluntly honest over polly anna positivity any day. You wouldn't want someone who was managing your personal finances to sugar coat it and frankly, I think the American people are tired of getting smoke blown up their you know what. It was the raw honest Obama laid out in his campaign that made me vote for him.

    Toledo, Ohio

    February 27, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  104. Emanuel, Fort Lauderdale

    Jack, I wish everyone would stop whinning like baby's and start to act like adults. Let's stop trying to sugar coat hard issues. I want to hear the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Isn't that what America asked for? We've been lied to for far too long.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  105. Stanley Yntema

    Jack –

    The United States is suffering from severe self-esteem issues. Our culture no longer cares to differentiate between what is the truth and a lie because we continue to reward reckless behavior without dire consequences, primarily as a result of greed and many ill-equipped leaders who refuse to lead on principle, integrity & honesty.

    Our children are unnecessarily rewarded and praised for expectant things in a growing trend to reward 'all' as winners. We no longer have any losers in the U.S.

    Obama is making it clear (and God give him the wisdom) that we are in a time of serious reckoning, which if ignored will indeed lead to further decline of our economy, culture, and global credibility.

    We all need to take and swallow the straight goods pill, no matter how bitter it tastes. It's going to take time and we need to start to more realistically take our own personal inventories to determine where we must make necessary changes towards making the U.S. strong and respected again through this global pandemic.

    ~Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

    February 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  106. Denis Duffy

    Just what we need, Jack, positive penury. Obama is running our economy into the ground. Who would have thought we'd get someone worse than Bush.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  107. Mwita (Los Angeles, CA)

    If you want him to be more positive than he already is, you just want to be lied to. We have had 8 years of being lied to under the Bush Administration. It's time for a President to play it straight with the American people.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  108. Gene

    Reality shouldn't be sugar coated. I like the fact that he tells it like it is.. but at the same time shows optimism for the future.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  109. Jon Currier

    Keep telling the truth....keep telling the truth....keep telling the truth.....

    February 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  110. Tim in Texas

    Morris works for Fox not news. Nothing he says is credible.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  111. Alan-Buxton, Maine

    Obama needs to be realistic. We have had all the lies and deceptions we can absorb from the last eight years. He needs to state it like he sees it and that is what he is doing.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  112. Lee, Fleming Island, Florida

    Exactly when did telling the truth become a bad thing? Considering what we as a nation have been through in the past 8 years under the Bush Administration it seems like a breath of fresh air to me, and I'm sure to millions of other Americans who love our country. After all, we are adults, we can take the truth, which is preferable to being lied to and treated as if we are not capable of dealing with reality. I am more convinved each day that we hired the right man for the job.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  113. Ruby Coria LA., CA.

    Jack, No. President Obama should not claim to be more positive, the economy is not going to get better any time soon.. he should speak with the truth & the truth is: It's bad & it will take time & give him time. I wonder if G. Bush can sleep at night? Of course he does he's a Republican. see you Jack.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  114. john, richmond,va

    Telling the truth and how we going to fix the mess we are in is positive.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  115. Sherry, N. Calif.

    I believe that our leaders should tell us the TRUTH. No more hiding behind smoke screens. TRUTH hurts. So be it. We are all at fault. Our Me, Me attitudes and spend, spend, spending ways.

    News Media should STOP putting the SPIN on the TRUTH when it is spoken.Find the positive to report from this truth. I am sick of being SPUN OUT by the NEWS MEDIA. Curtailing my time watching it . I am in a better more optimistic mood than I have been in months. Our President is more positive and is not lazy when it comes to leading our country. Viva America, YES WE CAN!

    February 27, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  116. LA WOMAN

    nope, straight and clear, the truth shall set you free!

    February 27, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  117. dave stevenson

    I just learned this week I'm losing my job on April 27, 2009. I want to hear President Obaama tell me each and every time just where this county is on its' standing with the economy. For the past eight years I've hear anything but the truth. The truth hurts, but it's exactly what we need, truth. Thank you President Obama.

    February 27, 2009 at 4:56 pm |