By Michael O'Brien - 08/01/09 09:07 AM EDT
President Obama used Friday's better-than-expected economic numbers to argue his administration's economic policies are succeeding and to defend the $787 billion stimulus package.
"The report showed that in the first few months of this year, the recession we faced when I took office was even deeper than anyone thought at the time," Obama said of the quarterly economic analysis published by the Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA).
The president also used his weekly radio address to promise to work until every American who wants a job can find one.
The BEA statistics showed that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank at a rate of 1 percent in the second quarter of 2009 -- showing that while the economy continues to shed value, it is doing so less quickly. That statistic also beat economists' expectations, who predicted 1.5 percent loss in GDP over the same period.
The address also took on Republican criticism of the administration's handling of economic issues directly. The GOP has argued that the stimulus plan pushed for by the president has "failed" in the midst of the still-stagnant economy.
The president went so far as to make the bold claim during the address that he will not rest until a job is available to any American who wants to work.
"As far as I’m concerned, we will not have a recovery as long as we keep losing jobs," Obama asserted. "And I won’t rest until every American who wants a job can find one."
Obama said he'd continue to make the case for his economic plans in the coming weeks, heading on the road this week to Elkhart, Ind., to talk about the "new foundation" he'll build for the economy.
But the president also urged patience.
"This won’t happen overnight. As I’ve said before, it will take many more months to fully dig ourselves out of a recession -- a recession that we’ve now learned was even deeper than anyone thought," he explained. "But I’ll continue to work every day, and take every step necessary, to make sure that happens."