Obama: We Can't Afford to Wait

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 9, 2009 11:24 AM CST
President Barack Obama walks from the Oval Office in Washington, Monday, Feb. 9, 2009, leaving for a trip to Elkhart, Ind. to hold a town hall meeting on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan.   (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama flew to the Heartland today to make his latest pitch for the stimulus package in perhaps the hardest-hit city in the country. Speaking in Elkhart, Ind., which boasts the nation’s highest unemployment rate at 15.3%, Obama said he intended to keep his campaign promise to put the town back to work. “Folks here in Elkhart and all across America need help right now,” he said. “We can’t afford to wait.”

“We’ve had a good debate. Now is the time to act,” Obama said, referring to the tug-of-war over the bill. “I’m not going to tell you this bill is perfect; it’s coming out of Washington,” Obama said, earning a laugh from the crowd. But he said there was “not one” earmark in the bill, “which is unprecedented for a bill of this size.”