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Obama Sees 'Signs of Progress' on the Economy
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President Obama tried to rally the nation behind his ambitious agenda Tuesday night, hoping to channel outrage at Wall Street excess into support for changes in tax, health care and energy policy that face skepticism even within his own party in Congress.
Even as balky Democrats began carving some of the signature proposals out of his budget plan, Mr. Obama suggested he could compromise in the short term on a middle-class tax cut and a cap on carbon emissions. But he indicated that he would stand firm on four top priorities, insisting that Congress make progress in those areas.
"We never expected when we printed out our budget that they would simply Xerox it and vote on it," Mr. Obama said at the second prime-time news conference of his administration, signaling flexibility on the details as long as his central goals were met. "The bottom line is I want to see health care, energy, education and serious efforts to reduce our budget deficit."
The news conference came at a volatile moment for the new president as he sought to deflect strong Republican opposition and quell Democratic misgivings to his plans, while reassuring voters that he could solve the economic crisis that has gripped the country for more than a year. "We are beginning to see signs of progress," he said, calling for "a renewed confidence that a better day will come."
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