Barack Obama: I have never been more optimistic about America

Washington, Sep 19 (Calcutta Tube) US President Barack Obama says that with India and China catching up fast with ‘some very talented people’ and a hunger for growth, America faces a very competitive environment as it battles to come out of recession.

The United States was facing ‘the worst financial crisis that we’ve seen since the Great Depression, on the verge of a Great Depression, in the midst of two wars,’ when he came to office two years ago, he said at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Greenwich, Connecticut, Thursday.

‘The challenges that we’ve confronted over these last two years have been extraordinary. And we’ve got a long way to go,’ Obama said, campaigning for his embattled Democratic party ahead of the November mid-term poll.

‘This country received a body blow. And it was already having difficulties competitively,’ he said. ‘So the recovery has been painfully slow’.

‘We’ve got millions of people who are still out of work, hundreds of thousands of people who’ve lost their homes. People are anxious about the future; they’re fearful about the future,’ he said.

‘And we’re in a very competitive environment, where other countries like China and India have now caught up – in some indicators – and are going to keep on moving because they are hungry and they’ve got some very talented people,’ Obama said.

However, ‘after being in this job for two years, I have never been more optimistic about America,’ he said. ‘I am optimistic partly because we did some really tough things that aren’t always popular but were the right things to do.’

Noting that his administration has made the largest investment in research and development in American history, the president said: ‘We’d been falling behind and now we are back at the forefront of R and D.’

‘We made the largest investment in green energy in our history so that we could start building solar panels and wind turbines all around the country,’ he said.

In foreign policy, the US has reset its relations around the world, Obama said. ‘A lot of people who travel will come back and say to me, you know, folks are once again looking to America for leadership in a way that they haven’t for a long time.’

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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