Obama: Unemployment to fall below 8% before election

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U.S. President Barack Obama said he believes unemployment rate will fall below 8 percent by the time U.S. voters cast their votes to choose next president in November 2012, according to an interview broadcast Sunday night.

In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes," Obama said he thinks "it's possible" that the unemployment rate will be down to 8 percent by the time the election begins.

However, Obama said he's "not in the job of prognosticating on the economy," and what he does is "putting in place the tools that allow the economy to thrive and Americans to succeed."

He said for Americans who are struggling, they have "every reason to be impatient," but "reversing structural problems in our economy that have been building up for two decades, that was going to take time."

Obama is pushing elements of his American Jobs Act in the Congress, and trying to get payroll tax cut extended. He said those actions would help the economy and create jobs.

With the economy facing strong headwinds and unemployment rate high, the presidential election has an unusually strong emphasis on the economy, and how the economy fares next year could have a bigger impact in the results of the election than previous elections.

With the election in mind, Obama is painting the Republicans, who are not willing to extend the payroll tax holiday with the expense of raising taxes on millionaires, as the ones who stands with the "One Percent" of Americans who are doing really well. But Obama said his message is not to redistribute wealth.

"Everybody's concerned about inequality," said Obama. Noting "the question is going to be, in this election, whether or not we are able to reclaim that vital center of American thought and American values that says, 'We're all in this together'...it matters if we are building a broad-based middle class, where everybody is able to do their part and everybody's able to succeed."

In the same interview, Obama also argued it doesn't matter who the Republicans nominate to run against him, because the core philosophy of the GOP candidates is the same and it is vastly different than his.

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