It’s rare that a Detroit anchorman gets an interview with the president. But Stephen Clark of WXYZ-TV sat down with President Barack Obama at the White House this week, and grilled the president on the top issues facing people in Michigan and across the region.
Clark told the president that while the unemployment figures may be dropping, many people in Michigan say they do not feel there are many more job opportunities. Obama said he gets thousands of letters each day from families still looking for work.
“I mean they’ve done all the right things, they’re retraining, they are out there hitting the streets, knocking on doors, looking for work,” the president said. “The economy has grown, we’ve actually seen 2 million private sector jobs created over the last 13 months but it’s not happening as fast as people would like and certainly not as fast as I would like.”
Much of the interview focused on rising energy prices. Obama said there’s no silver bullet. “Families day to day are driving to work and they’re just watching their paychecks get whittled away,” the president said. “They need some relief.”
Obama said the growing economy has increased demand for oil world wide, whle unrest in places like Libya has “spooked the world oil market.”
He said his administration is already working with automakers in Detroit to increase fuel efficiency standards and alternative fuel vehicles to help reduce the demand for oil. He also said the U.S. has to continue oil production, adding that it must be done in a safe way to avoid any future disasters like last year’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion.
Obama said the economy, which was shedding jobs, is now growing and adding jobs. He said his administration will keep working to create long-term jobs until every American who wants a job can get one.
Obama and his wife, Michelle, visited Chicago today to tape one of the final episodes of “The Oprah Winfrey Show.” That episode is set to air on Monday.
Here is Clark’s interview with the president. (Feedback for Clark? Find him on Twitter @sclarkwxyz. He convenes a Twitter group each newscast called #Backchannel.)