CANNES, France — President Barack Obama said Friday the U.S. economy is growing “way too slow” but said leaders at a world summit have made progress at getting their countries on firmer footing.
“Put simply, the world faces challenges that put our economic recovery at risk,” Obama said in a news conference at the G20 meeting of developed and emerging economies, pushing a jobs theme that will be a central part of his re-election campaign.
He said Europe has rallied around a plan to prevent its continental debt crisis, stemming from a crisis in Greece, from spreading further and potentially dealing another blow to the U.S. economy.
As for a new jobs report back at home, which showed only modest employment growth, Obama said the economy was growing too slowly.
The president said the United States had to take aggressive steps to fix its own economic crisis a couple years ago, and he prodded his partners in Europe to do the same.
“They’re going to have a strong partner in us,” Obama said, “but European leaders understand that ultimately what the markets are looking for is a strong signal from Europe that they’re standing behind the euro.”
About one year from the election at home, Obama brushed off the political implications of his economic agenda. Republicans have him hammered over the pace of the economic rebound.
“I have to tell you, the least of my concerns at the moment is the politics of a year from now,” Obama said. “I’m worried about putting people back to work right now because those folks are hurting and the U.S. economy is underperforming.”
The gridlock of domestic politics followed Obama to France, as he again pushed House and Senate Republicans to join him in passing a jobs bill now moving in pieces.