In his first public remarks since he delivered his victory speech Tuesday night, President-elect Barack Obama vowed Friday that restoring the nation’s economic equilibrium will be a major priority of his administration.
“I do not underestimate the enormity of the task that lies ahead,” he told reporters at the Hilton Hotel. “We have taken some major action to date and we will take further action.”
Obama said that, if the lame-duck Congress fails to pass a stimulus package before he takes office January 20, passing such a package will be his first move.
Obama pointed to Friday’s release of unemployment figures and bad news from auto industry as the reason that his administration will have to move quickly on the economic crisis.
“We are facing the greatest economic challenge of our lifetime and we are going to have to act swiftly to solve it,” Obama said.
Obama said the country is facing several immediate challenges, including a rescue plan for the middle class. Obama said a fiscal stimulus plan to jump start economic growth is “long overdue.”
Obama stressed the need to focus on the spreading impact of the crisis globally, as well as on small businesses facing payroll issues.