From Obama’s remarks at a DNC event:
We are obviously going through one of the toughest periods in American history. We went through the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression, and immediately after being elected, I had to take a series of very difficult steps to rescue ourselves from the brink. We had lost 4 million jobs in the six months before I was sworn in; lost another 4 million during the period probably six months after I was elected. And so as a consequence, we had to do some things that we didn’t expect we would have to do, just to save the economy — stabilize the financial system, make sure that states and local governments didn’t have to lay off police officers and cops and firefighters. We had to save an auto industry. I never expected to be a automobile executive. (Laughter.)
As a consequence of that swift, decisive, and sometimes difficult period, we were able to take an economy that was shrinking by about 6 percent and create an economy that is now growing, and has grown steadily now over many consecutive quarters. Over the last 15 months we’ve created over 2.1 million private sector jobs. (Laughter.) http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2011/06/20/remarks-president-dnc-event-0
(rimshot) “Thanks, you’ve been great folks. I’ll be here all week. Try the veal. And don’t forget to tip the servers, they need the money.”
Note: The White House ‘corrected’ the transcript to read (applause) instead of (laughter) after Obama’s jobs remark.
Laughter would have been more appropriate anyway.