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Obama makes case for re-election, vows to "plod away"


08:55, February 07, 2012

WASHINGTON, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Barack Obama argued for four more years to bring about changes he promised in 2008, saying the country is now "in the right direction" and he would just "plod away."

When asked to comment on the fact that many of his supporters got disappointed in him during an interview with NBC's Today aired Monday morning, the president said "this is the nature of being president."

"What's frustrated people is that I haven't been able to force Congress to implement every aspect of what I said in 2008," he said. "It turns out that our founders designed a system that makes it more difficult to bring about changes than I would like sometimes."

Obama touted his accomplishments over the past three years in the face of Republicans' obstruction, including saving the auto industry, ending the Iraq war, ending "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," and stabilizing the economy.

"What we have been able to do is move in the right direction. And what I'm just gonna keep on doing is plod away very persistently," he said.

The president is facing a tough re-election bid as his jobs approval has been stubbornly staying below 50 percent, a red light for an incumbent seeking a second term.

In a portion of the interview aired Sunday night, Obama said "I deserve a second term, but we're not done."

"When you and I sat down, we were losing 750,000 jobs a month. . .. Now we're creating 250,000. We've created 3.7 million jobs in the last 23 months. We've created the most jobs since 2005, the most manufacturing jobs since 1990, but we're not finished," he said.

The U.S. unemployment rate edged down to 8.3 percent last month from 8.5 percent in December 2011, a near three-year low since February 2009, the Labor Department reported last week.

The improving landscape of the jobs market gave the president a crucial boost in an election where economy and jobs are voters' top concerns. Still, it's unclear how long this new momentum can last as some economists are skeptical of the sustainability of this downward trend in jobless rate.


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