The first question, a tough one, from Nick at the BBC was: The Prime Minister blames the U.S. for the economic downturn, is that true?
Obama answered skillfully and without malice. The U.S. has some accounting to do as far as regulations, but around the world the same problem existed, Obama said. He said he didn't want to place blame but rather fix the problem. Some are to blame but all are responsible, he said.
NYT: In his debut as president on the world stage, Mr. Obama sought to project a united front even as some G-20 leaders continued to challenge the model being pushed by his administration to get out of the crisis. Appearing at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the host of the conference, Mr. Obama called reports of an international division “vastly overstated.”
Mr. Brown, for his part, promised reporters that French President Nicholas Sarkozy would not walk out of the Group of 20 meeting on Thursday, contrary to threats by French officials.
“Nearly every country engaged here has done a fiscal stimulus,” Mr. Obama said, in what has become one of the meeting’s biggest talking points meant to project unity between the 20 countries assembled. “We can only meet this challenge together.” Rather than play up their differences, Mr. Obama urged leaders to “focus on common ground.”