President Obama says he's not taking anything off the table, including the possibility of a second stimulus, in the face of almost 10 percent unemployment.
In an interview with Fox News Senior White House Correspondent, Major Garrett, in Moscow, the President said he knows the economy took an enormous hit, but, he knows that even with a stimulus package the improvement of the economy was going to be hard-going. "I think it's important to understand that we've got a short-term challenge which, no matter how big our stimulus was, was going to be a challenge; partly because we've got fiscal constraints," Obama said.
The President said the government has spent money as fast as it could as the "economic tsunami" unfolded but he admitted getting cash into the states has been a challenge.
"You just can't push that out that quickly, partly not just because the federal government has to process applications, " Obama said. "But also because states and local governments have to gear up to get these projects going."
The President touted his programs that have allowed states to stop firings of teachers and police officers and firefighters and said the projects that are toughest to get going, the infrastructure projects, should be pushed out by the end of the year.
Obama has said that his domestic agenda, including an overhaul of the health system is key to getting the economy back on track, and he says those who criticized the first stimulus and the possibility of a second one don't have a plan to offer themselves.
"There are a whole bunch of critics out there who said we shouldn't have any stimulus at all. And in fact, some of the same folks who are now saying "where are the jobs?" don't really have a recipe a recipe other than doing nothing for the economic circumstances that we're in," Obama told Garrett.
The President, who is making a stop in Russia on his way to the G8 summit in L'Aquila, Italy, says his main concern on the eve of the summit is that the economy recovers. The meeting in Italy later in the week will be the first time since April that the major economic leaders of the world come together, and the overall economic situation is expected to be on the agenda.