Obama touts stimulus plan while in Fort Myers

02/10/09 Mitch E. Perry
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President Barack Obama appeared in Fort Myers today for his second Town Hall Meeting regarding his economic stimulus plan in two days.

About an hour into the President’s Town Hall Meeting, he learned that his stimulus bill had passed the Senate, 61-37. Three Republican senators were able to get him over the 60 votes needed for passage. The bill now will go into conference between House and Senate leaders.

The fact that only three Republicans out of the entire 535 members of Congress back the plan has been a badge of honor among some members of the GOP, who have had various criticisms of the legislation.

But one Republican who has been strongly in support is Gov. Charlie Crist, who told those in attendance today why its needed for Florida.

Fort Myers is in Lee County, which was John McCain country last fall. But there were people who waited in line to get tickets to see the president.

Obama chose Fort Myers in part because its considered the foreclosure capital of the country. According to RealtyTrac, the metropolitan district covering Fort Myers, Cape Coral and Lehigh Acres had the highest foreclosure rate in the nation -- 12 percent –and unemployment is at 10 percent.

The president was asked about how his stimulus bill would help aid higher education, housing, and health care.

Everybody in the Obama administration, from the president on down through his Cabinet members and key advisors, has said that the financial crises that the country is going through will take time to correct.

But a man in the crowd who identified himself as a former high school teacher asked the president if that was realistic, considering how much Americans are known for having short attention spans. Obama said if the economy hasn’t turned around in a few years, he simply won’t be re-elected.

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