Today Show Hypes: Big Business More 'Comfortable' with Obama
CNBC's Jim Cramer appeared with Matt Lauer, on Tuesday's Today show to
pronounce that big business is warming to President Obama as he cheered:
"This is a new president. The market is up 12 percent since he changed
his ways. He doesn't say he's changed his ways, but boy business sure
feels he has." Cramer even went on to predict the economy would be
recovered by the 2012 election as Obama was: "Making people feel more comfortable spending, he's making companies feel more comfortable spending." However,
at no point did Cramer or Lauer suggest a GOP controlled House, that
will be a block against business-stifling legislation like cap and trade
and Obamacare, as a reason businesses may be feeling more
Lauer began the segment saying America initially hailed Obama's anti-business stance as he offered: "A year ago the President was bashing Wall Street, talking about the fat cats and their bonuses. And you know what? People all across this country agreed with him," but then questioned the host of Mad Money, "now we're hearing a very different tone. Is this all about the fact that jobs have not come back as quickly as people want?"
The following is a complete transcript of the segment as it was aired on the February 8 Today show:
MATT LAUER: Will President Obama's outreach to the business community mean good things for the economy? Jim Cramer is the host of Mad Money on CNBC. Jimmy, good morning, good to see you.
JIM CRAMER: Good morning, Matt.
[On screen headline: "Back To Business, Can President Repair Ties With Wall Street?"]
LAUER: Let's talk about tone. A year ago the President was bashing Wall Street, talking about the fat cats and their bonuses. And you know what? People all across this country agreed with him. And now we're hearing a very different tone. Is this all about the fact that jobs have not come back as quickly as people want?
CRAMER: One hundred percent! This is about creating employment. And I think it's a very big olive branch. I think he's now got the onus on business. He made the first step here.
LAUER: But is it a verbal olive branch only? Is he backing it up with actions?
CRAMER: Look if he can change the corporate tax, a lot more money is gonna come back to hire people. There are too many regulations. He admitted it himself. These are major things. And people don't understand how important this trade initiative - if we can break barriers for foreign countries, that's also gonna produce a huge number of jobs.
LAUER: So, so let's talk about what he said. He tells these corporate leaders they must shoulder responsibility for lifting the shaky economy and vowed to quote, "knock down government barriers that hamper business growth." Is this the right way, is the way the logical explanation works? In other words, can business lead this economy to recovery or does the economy need to recover to get businesses to hire?
CRAMER: The rest of the world is doing really terrifically. We have been very, it's been very difficult for our businesses to crack in to, to China, to India, to Latin America. The President says, "Look I'll help, but you gotta make the stuff here." I think that had resonance, I think the business leaders heard it. I think they're gonna change.
LAUER: You're a cynical guy.
CRAMER: Oh, yeah.
LAUER: Yeah and so look, look beyond the economy here and look to politics. We are less than two years away from the 2012 elections. By, by taking this softer stance with business, what does President Obama gain politically?
CRAMER: Alright, first of all, your 401(k) is going to go up. I saw something yesterday, I can't believe. Before the President was on, the Dow was doing nothing, when he came on the Dow flew! This is a new experience in 10 years. He's making people feel more comfortable spending, he's making companies feel more comfortable spending. That is going to produce jobs, it's going to lower the unemployment rate. This is, this is really a very important step.
LAUER: When? When, when is this going to happen?
CRAMER: Alright I'll tell you when.
CRAMER: It's gonna [be] done by election.
LAUER: So two years from now?
CRAMER: Yes, absolutely!
LAUER: Not sooner than that?
CRAMER: It's very difficult to change everything. But I think you're gonna see a tone which says "Listen we can't keep working these people as long as we have. We gotta bring more people in."That's what the auto companies are doing. Some of the steel companies, aluminum companies. It's happening.
LAUER: You talked about the markets. Yesterday the Dow closed above 12,000.
[On screen headline: "Stock Surge, Has The U.S. Economy Finally Turned A Corner?"]
LAUER: Six straight days of gains. How do you feel about the market, right now?
CRAMER: Right now I think it's fabulous! We had Chinese rate hike, last night, so today won't be a good day. But I do believe that we could be up another 12 percent. This is a new president. The market is up 12 percent since he changed his ways. He doesn't say he's changed his ways, but boy business sure feels he has.
LAUER: Jim Cramer. Jim, thanks very much as always. And you can watch Mad Money weeknights 6pm and 11pm Eastern time on CNBC.
-Geoffrey Dickens is the Senior News Analyst at the Media Research Center. You can follow him on Twitter here