Obama Hints at Changes to Economic Team

WASHINGTON—President Barack Obama raised the prospect of changes to his economic team Monday, saying his over-worked staffers were "going to have a whole range of decisions about family that'll factor into" their career decisions.

The White House said no changes were planned. "He was signaling nothing more than support for the tough decisions they have made together and the hard work that has gone into helping the economy get on a path to recovery," White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said.

There has been speculation for months that Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and National Economic Council Director Lawrence Summers could take the fall for potentially bad election results—and the economy souring the national political mood against Democrats.

Two years into his first term, President George W. Bush forced out his first Treasury secretary and National Economic Council director after midterm elections.

The president's comments came during a town-hall-style meeting in Washington put on by business-news cable channel CNBC.

The event was heavy on economic-policy talk and the concerns of struggling Americans, and exemplified the difficult position Obama has found himself in 43 days before midterm elections that could set back his party in Congress.

Just weeks ago, Obama floated new economic-policy proposals including $50 billion in additional infrastructure spending, an expanded and permanent research and development tax credit for business and a generous tax incentive for new business investments. Those proposals are gaining little traction in Congress.

Meanwhile, lawmakers in Obama's own party are urging him to conduct more events highlighting his concern for the economy. But when he does, the president gets questions that highlight his political struggles—including several at the town hall from those who supported the president in 2008.

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