Obama on the economy: "I didn't overpromise"

You might say President Obama needs a "3-3-3" plan. That's how many days he has to convince American voters he should be re-elected -- 333.

He's up against some tough new numbers. According to a new CBS News poll, the president's job approval rating is 44 percent. That poses a big challenge because according to a Gallup poll, no president since Harry Truman has been re-elected when his approval rating was below 48 percent.

Also this question from the poll: Does President Obama deserve to be re-elected? More than half -- 54 percent -- said no.

The week economy is largely to blame. In a "60 Minutes" interview with Steve Kroft to air this Sunday Dec. 11, the president compared himself to a captain in a storm.

Obama: No matter how well we're steering the ship, if the boat's rocking back and forth, and people are getting sick, they're being buffeted by the winds and the rain. At a certain point if you ask them, "Are you enjoying the ride right now?", folks are gonna say, "No." And [if you ask them], "Do you think the captain's doing a good job?", people are gonna say, "You know what? A good captain would have had us in some smooth waters and sunny skies, at this point." And I don't control the weather. What I can control are the policies we're putting in place to make a difference in people's lives.

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Kroft: Did you overpromise? Did you underestimate how difficult this was gonna be?

Obama: I didn't overpromise. And I didn't underestimate how tough this was gonna be. I always believed that this was a long-term project. This wasn't a short-term project. For individual Americans who are struggling right now, they have every reason to be impatient. Reversing structural problems in our economy that have been building up for two decades -- that was gonna take time. It was gonna take more than a year. It was gonna take more than two years. It was gonna take more than one term. Probably takes more than one president.


You can see more of Steve Kroft's interview with the president on "60 Minutes," Sunday Dec. 11 at 7 p.m. ET.

  • Steve Kroft

    Few journalists have achieved the impact and recognition that Steve Kroft's 60 Minutes work has generated for over two decades. Kroft delivered his first report for 60 Minutes in 1989.

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