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President Obama Takes Student Questions in Strasbourg; Employment Numbers Continue to Rise; Mobile Career Counseling

Aired April 03, 2009 - 09:00   ET



BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: It means there are a whole host of other factors that people, you know, need to - need to recognize in building a civil society that allows a country to be successful. And hopefully, that will -- that approach will be reflected not just in my administration's policies, but in the policies that are pursued by international agencies around the world.

OK. Good. Right up -- I've got two of you. So you have to choose one. Which one should I call on? I don't want to -- you're standing right next to each other. Oops. Well, I'm sorry. You know what? You actually called -- no, no.

I was actually pointing down here. I didn't see those two ladies back here. Here you go. This one right here. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Well, hello, Mr. President. I'm sorry. I'm from Chicago. Excuse me.

OBAMA: Are you?

QUESTION: I'm also a student in the high school -- the international high school of (INAUDIBLE).

OBAMA: Well, no, I'm sorry, if you're American, I can't...

QUESTION: I'm French. I'm also French.

OBAMA: Wait, wait, wait. Hold on. She says she's also French.


OBAMA: What does that mean?

QUESTION: Double nationality.

OBAMA: Dual nationality?


OBAMA: What do you think? Should we let her ask the question? OK. Go ahead.

QUESTION: Thank you. Do you think that the current crisis is an opportunity to restructure our industries in an ecological and sustainable way? And I also was wondering whether the dog was already in the White House or not.


OBAMA: The -- we had -- we are getting a dog. This is very important question in the United States. What kind of dog we're getting and when we're getting it. It should be there soon.

I do think that in crisis, there's always opportunity, if it's used properly. So, for example, in the United States, we decided to pass a large stimulus package to help growth at a time when the private sector was having a very difficult time.

Now, we could have just spent the money on the same old ways of doing things, but part of what we've decided was if we're going to be spending a lot of government money anyway, why not spend it to double the amount of renewable energy?

Why not spend it on retrofitting, existing government buildings so that we drastically reduce their energy consumption? Why not start building high-speed rail?

One thing that, as an American who is proud as anybody of my country, I am always jealous about European trains. And I said to myself, why can't we have -- why can't we have high-speed rail? And so we're investing in that as well.

So on the transportation front, on -- with respect to building construction, on a whole range of issues, we are investing in new technologies that will make us more energy-efficient and that is one of the building blocks that's needed in order for us to reduce our carbon footprint and to work with other countries to achieve the climate change goals that I think are going to be so important.

I'm getting the signal that I've only got time for two more questions. Oh! I'm going to ask that young man in the suit. You know? Because he got dressed up today. I know he doesn't usually wear a suit. Yes. Go ahead. Go ahead.

QUESTION: I just want to know -- well, when do you expect from the French and the European countries regarding the war on terror?

OBAMA: Good. That's a good question. Look. I think that, over the last seven, eight years, as I said in my speech, a lot of tensions have developed between the United States and Europe. And one of the legacies I hope for my administration is that we start bringing our historic alliance back together in a much more effective way.

Now that doesn't mean that we're not going to have honest disagreements. All countries have disagreements between themselves, but I think that we can work much more effectively and cooperatively and maintain that core trust that we have towards each other. Nowhere have we seen more suspicion than around questions of war and peace and how we respond to terrorism. When 9/11 happened, Europe responded as a true friend would respond to the United States, saying, we are all Americans.

All of us have a stake in ensuring that innocent people who are just going about their business, going to work suddenly find themselves slaughtered. All of us have an interest in preventing that kind of vicious, evil act.

But after the initial NATO engagement in Afghanistan, we got sidetracked by Iraq. And we have not fully recovered that initial insight that we have a mutual interest in ensuring that organizations like al Qaeda cannot operate.

And I think that it is important for Europe to understand that even though I'm now president and George Bush is no longer president, al Qaeda is still a threat, and that we cannot pretend somehow that because Barack Hussein Obama got elected president, suddenly, everything is going to be OK.

It is going to be a very difficult challenge. Al Qaeda is still bent on carrying out terrorist activity. It is-- al Qaeda is still bent on carrying out terrorist activity. It is, you know, don't fool yourselves because some people say, well, you know, if we changed our policies with respect to Israeli/Palestinian conflict or if we were more respectful towards the Muslim world, suddenly, these organizations would stop threatening us.

That's just not the case. It is true that we have to change our behavior in showing the Muslim world greater respect and changing our language and changing our tone. It is true that we have to work very hard for Israeli/Palestinian peace.

But what is also true is that these organizations are willing to kill innocent people because of a twisted distorted ideology and we, as democracies and as people who value human life, can't allow those organizations to operate.

So here is the bottom line. The United States has reviewed and redesigned its approach to Afghanistan. We believe that we cannot just win militarily. We have to win through development aid, we have to win through increasing the capacity of the Afghan government to provide basic services to its people and to uphold rule of law.

We have to work with the Pakistani government so that they are more trusted by their population and have more control so that they can then go -- help us go after these terrorists. We have to encourage diplomacy in the region.

So it can't just be a military strategy and we will be partnering with Europe on the development side and on the diplomatic side. But there will be a military component to it. And Europe should not simply expect the United States to shoulder that burden alone. We should not. Because this is a joint problem and it requires joint effort. (APPLAUSE)

OBAMA: One last point I will make. In dealing with terrorism, we can't lose sight of our values and who we are. That's why I closed Guantanamo. That's why I made very clear that we will not engage in certain interrogation practices.

I don't believe that there is a contradiction between our security and our values. And when you start sacrificing your values, when you lose yourself, then over the long term, that will make you less secure.

When we saw what happened in Abu Ghraib, that wasn't good for our security. That was a recruitment tool for terrorism. Humiliating people is never a good strategy to battle terrorism. So we are going to conduct our operations in a way that reflect our best selves and make sure that we are proud.

And, in turn, that will allow the Europeans, I think, to feel good about our joint efforts, and also not to have excuses not to participate in those joint efforts.

All right? OK.

Last question.

All right. Let me see here.

All right. That young lady in the red right there.

Right there. She had all of her friends helping her out.

QUESTION: Thank you.

Hi, I'm Enis (ph) also from Heidelberg. And I'm totally European. And first of all, I wanted to tell you that your name in Hungarian means peach if you...

OBAMA: Peach?


OBAMA: Oh OK. How about that? I did not know that.

QUESTION: Yes. Now you know it. And we wanted to know if you -- did you ever regret to have run for presidency until now? I mean, well, did you ever ask yourself, am I sure to manage -- yes.

OBAMA: Yes, it's a good question. Michelle definitely asked that question. You know, there have been times, certainly during the campaign, and there have been times over the last several months, where you feel a lot of weight on your shoulders. There's no doubt about it.

During the campaign, the biggest sacrifice, the thing that was most difficult was that I was away from my family all the time. You know, in addition to missing -- in addition to being jealous about high-speed rail and the nice trains here, I'm also jealous of the fact that campaigns here only last a few months. Whereas in the United States, we were running for two years.

So I was away from home all the time and that was very difficult, because not only do I have a wonderful wife, but I have two perfect daughters, and so, you know, I missed them a lot.

But the nice thing is now that I'm president, it turns out I have this really nice office in my house called the oval office, and so it only takes me a few seconds to get upstairs and I'm home for dinner every night.

You also lose privacy and autonomy -- or anonymity. You know, it's very frustrating now -- you know, it used to be when I came to Europe that I could just wander down to a cafe and sit and have some wine and watch people go by and, you know, go into a little shop and watch the sun go down.

Now I'm in hotel rooms all the time. And I have security around me all the time. And so just -- you know, losing that ability to just take a walk, you know? That is something that is frustrating. But having said all that, I truly believe that there's nothing more noble than public service.

Now that doesn't mean that you have to run for president. That...


OBAMA: You know, you might -- you know, you might work for Doctors without Borders or you might volunteer for an agency, or you might, you know, be somebody working for the United Nations, or you might be the mayor of Strasburg, right?

I mean, there are all -- you might volunteer in your own community, but the point is that what I found at a very young age was that if you only think about yourself, how much money can I make, what can I buy, you know? How nice is my house, what kind of fancy car do I have? That over the long term, I think you get bored.

I think your life -- I think your life becomes -- I think if you're only thinking about yourself, your life becomes diminished and that the way to live a full life is to think about what can I do for others, how can I be a part of this larger project of making a better world?

Now that can be something as simple as making -- as the joy of taking care of your family and watching your children grow and succeed. But I think, especially for the young people here, I hope you also consider other ways that you can serve, because the world has so many challenges right now.

There's so many opportunities to make a difference, and it would be a tragedy if all of you who are so talented and energetic, if you let that go to waste. If you just stood back and watched the world pass you by.

Better to jump in, get involved, and it does mean that sometimes you'll get criticized and sometimes you'll fail and sometimes you'll be disappointed, but you'll have a great adventure and at the end of your life, hopefully, you'll be able to look back and say, I made a difference.

All right? Thank you, everybody.

HEIDI COLLINS, CNN ANCHOR: President Barack Obama holding a town hall meeting today. His audience mostly compromised of students in Strasburg, France. Several questions there after his opening remarks. A lot of kids coming up and asking questions.

A couple of them Americans and a couple of them that we saw there with dual nationality. Kind of an interesting format there. Talking a lot about, obviously, NATO. Some people who said move over G-20, time now for NATO.

NATO summit taking place and beginning today. The 28-NATO member states gathering in France and the next stop will be Germany for the president and he'll be meeting there with the chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel.

This morning prior to the town hall, a bilateral meeting also with the French president, you see some of the video here, greeting the French president and his wife, Nicolas Sarkozy and Carla Bruni.

Let's go ahead and bring in our White House correspondent traveling with the president, Suzanne Malveaux was in the room there this morning.

Suzanne, it was an interesting format to hear the president interact with this international audience, if you will. What do we take away from this?

SUZANNE MALVEAUX, CNN WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: One of the things that we take away is really the message that he said, that this is a renewed partnership, that this is a time of change. He talked about this is an administration that would learn and would listen with its European allies.

He also said that European leaders also need to share of the burden. And what he is talking about here? Obviously, he's talking about the global economic crisis, but he is also talking about Afghanistan.

Now we saw President Obama with Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, earlier today. Both of them pretty much lock-step when it comes to support for the mission inside of Afghanistan, the importance of it.

But also the president is asking for more from his European allies. He realizes that's not necessarily going to come in the form of more troops per se but civilian support, money, additional resources. I want you to take a listen to what President Obama said when he addressed them earlier today.


OBAMA: We want strong allies. We would like to see Europe have much more robust defense capabilities. That's not something we discourage. We're not looking to be the patron of Europe. We're looking to be partners with Europe. And the more capable they are defensively, the more we can act in concert on the shared challenges that we face.

And so, you know, one of my messages to our NATO allies is going to be the more capability we see here in Europe, the happier the United States will be, the more effective we will be in coordinating our activities.


MALVEAUX: So, Heidi, what is he really looking for here? Obviously, some commitments from his European leaders. We heard really a fuse of praise from Sarkozy. As you know, Sarkozy was the one member of the G-20 summit out of London who had threatened to walk away from the talks...


MALVEAUX: ... because of disagreements in how to handle this global economic crisis. It was Sarkozy who President Obama pulled aside when he was having disagreements with the Chinese president Hu Jintao and said, look, we need to come to an agreement when it comes to these tax havens.

Obviously, there is a relationship and rapport that has developed between President Obama and Sarkozy when it comes to looking at all the world leaders to trying to find some common ground here. And it's important because France's role is going to change when it comes to its role in NATO.

It is going to be a part of its military wing, if you will. It will be involved in making some of the decisions about the NATO priorities, whether it's the global threat on terror, whether it's cyber terrorism, these kinds of things. So it is important that you see this kind of relationship developing between these two leaders.

What is coming up next, Heidi, is he's going to sit down and meet with Angela Merkel, the chancellor of Germany. Their parliament last year had voted to increase their troops in Afghanistan to 4,500. But it's primarily in a rather safe area of Afghanistan.

So he's going to be sitting down with her and trying to figure out ways, what are ways that Germany can introduce perhaps more robustly in that effort. Heidi?

COLLINS: All right. Great. Thank you, Suzanne. That's exactly what I was going to ask, you know, why are these two countries, in particular, important to all of this. So we sure do appreciate it. Suzanne Malveaux coming to us from Strasburg, France.

Thanks so much, Suzanne.

So what exactly is NATO? I want to give you a quick reminder. The North Atlantic Treaty Organization is an alliance of 28 members, as we said. Central to the membership, the pledge that each member will respond to an attack by an outside force but that response would not have to be military. It is headquartered in Brussels, Belgium and tomorrow marks its 60th anniversary.

Want to get to this now. The nation's lousy economy hits home for even more American families. Just a few minutes ago, we learned 663,000 jobs disappeared just last month. That pushes the nation's unemployment rate to 8.5 percent. The highest rate since November of 1983.

Take a closer look at that now. CNN's Christine Romans is part of the CNN Money Team. She is joining us now from New York or briefly she will be joining us from New York. We're going to break down those numbers for you just a little bit more and tell you what they mean to you and maybe how much longer we're going to have to wait for things to change on that front.

A quick break here now. We'll be back in just a moment right here in the CNN NEWSROOM.


COLLINS: What a difference a day makes. Look at the radar. Just a few storms lingering now over north Florida. Seems to be time to dry out, it could be days, though, before some people in Tallahassee are able to see their front yards again.

This is what happens when so much rain falls in such a short time. They are also cleaning up in places like Lacy Springs, Alabama. An unconfirmed tornado uprooted trees and damaged the trailer park there. Fortunately, nobody was hurt.

Our Reynolds Wolf keeping a watch in the Weather Center.


ANNOUNCER: Live in the CNN NEWSROOM, Heidi Collins.

COLLINS: Well, the grim predictions were true, unfortunately. The White House expected a jump in unemployment numbers. In just about an hour ago, we saw just how bad those numbers really are.

We are covering this story from all angles. A hearing on the job losses just getting under way on Capitol Hill and personal finance editor Gerri Willis joins with help for people who have actually lost their jobs. There are a lot of them out there.

But first, Susan Lisovicz is at the New York Stock Exchange now with a look at how Wall Street is set to react to that jobs report and a check of the rest of the day's business headlines. Hey there, Susan. Listen, I'm happy if we go back to yesterday on the Dow, huh?

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: That's right. I mean there's a couple of things. One is that, you know, these numbers are terrible, Heidi.


LISOVICZ: Six hundred and sixty-three thousand jobs were lost last month. The unemployment rate jumping to 8.5 percent. A 25-year high. But Wall Street expected those numbers. They basically came in line. And there was a fear because of earlier numbers on the labor markets earlier this week, Heidi, that those numbers could come in worse. So, in a sense, it's kind of a relief.


LISOVICZ: Because we've had so many bombshells over the past year. Having said, that we are expecting a mild sell-off at the open but, as you mentioned, yesterday and the day before that and the day before that, were nice gains.

And NASDAQ, Heidi, is positive for the year as a result of this week's rallies. But yes, at the open, we're expecting a little bit of a pull back. And as we talk about job losses, let's talk about mortgage delinquencies. They are growing.

Federal regulators say mortgages that were current at the end of last year dipped below 90 percent for the first time in decades. Prime mortgages or loans given to people with good credit posted the biggest jump in delinquencies. So that's something to watch out for.

Tech stocks could get a boost and we are seeing that in the first few seconds of trading thanks to better than expected results from Research in Motion. The maker of the BlackBerry says after years of success in the corporate market, it's now making inroads into the consumer market. Analysts say the Obama factor is also giving the company a boost. President Obama, as we all know, an avid BlackBerry user, he fought hard to keep his smart phone when he became president despite security and record-keeping concerns and RIM shares certainly are in motion Heidi, they're up 23 percent. That's helping the NASDAQ, it's up two points.

The Dow, however, is down just 10 points. Remember, the blue chips gained 450 points in the previous three sessions, so it's been a nice, nice week. Unless there's a big sell-off today, Heidi, the recent rally will mark the best four-week period for the Dow since 1938. You know, we keep going back to the '30s. I will be happy when we don't go back to the '30s.

COLLINS: Those negative comparisons, exactly. All right Susan Lisovicz, thank you, we'll keep our fingers crossed.

Members of the house and Senate want to know more about the job numbers as well. Right now, the joint economic committee is starting hearings on Capitol Hill. Some live pictures there for you. The committee is looking at the causes and effects of the economic crisis.

Let's take a closer look now. CNN's Christine Romans is part of the CNN Money Team, she's joining us now from New York.

So let's take a moment Christine to break down some of these numbers because I'm just looking at something here. 2 million jobs lost so far in 2009.

CHRISTINE ROMANS, CNN BUSINESS CORRESPONDENT: Yes. Heidi, 5.1 million jobs lost since this recession began and two-thirds of those jobs lost have been in the past five months.

So, what that tells you is that this whole thing is really accelerating in terms of companies who are small business owners and companies and big businesses who are shedding jobs here for a variety of reasons. But many reasons that we keep hearing is because it's simply for the next six months they look out and they don't see business getting any better and they have to cut head count.

We also look in here and we see that the length of the work week is shrinking. What that means is whether you work for a hotel or you work in any other kind of service industry, or you work on the factory floor or you work in a business, they are pulling back your hours if you're an hourly worker or they're asking you to take a couple of weeks off unpaid. They are doing a lot of different things even if within these numbers, even if you haven't lost your job, you can probably feel it.

Eight and a half percent is the unemployment rate. That is pretty much as we expected. We've known that these numbers were going to climb, 8.5 percent, 663,000 jobs lost. When I look in the state- by-state numbers, California now has an unemployment rate of 10.5 percent, Michigan now 12 percent there, South Carolina, 11 percent, Rhode Island, Oregon. These numbers are climbing higher for just about everybody over the past three months in particular.

There's something telling in this report, Heidi. It says basically it says the economy lost a dramatic number of jobs in every single industry category. You know, when you look within sort of the dry language of an economics report, it's consistent, you know? Vast job losses from industry sector, sector-by-sector, even government jobs lost about 5,000.

COLLINS: You know, it really, once again, sort of displays this whole idea that we have been talking about regarding the financial side of things and the economic side of things. Because all that being said, we look at the Dow and right now it's down a tiny bit but yesterday it was up, up for the year. How much of that optimism on Wall Street yesterday is due to this phenomenon -- it's probably not a phenomenon but we're trying to explain to people market to market the new accounting rules, the toxic assets getting off the books?

ROMANS: That's a very good point and this is something that Susan and I have both been talking about the last couple of days. Look, the people who regulate or who oversee how we account for things, how the banks account for things have some new different kinds of rules or treatment for the toxic assets for the banks that is going to allow them to show a little more clearly the toxic assets on their books and maybe help them a little bit in the position for accounting for those. It's the market to market accounting.

We use this scenario, like you bought your house and now your house is worth $70,000 less than it was before and you have to take that hit right away or do you hold on to your house and wait later until maybe you're going to be able to sell it for a higher price?

Well it's the same thing with the banks. They are being forced to account right away for the bad assets on their books when maybe if they held on to them for a little bit longer or could show you, look, I'm going to put them over here and I'm going to hold on to them for a little bit longer and maybe we're going to get more value for it. You know, it's just a new way to account for, it might give some breathing space for the banks and that's something that Wall Street has been paying attention to the last couple of days too.

COLLINS: We could go on and on, that's a whole segment.

ROMANS: I know it is.

COLLINS: Christine Romans, we're going to hope for positive numbers any where we can find them.


COLLINS: Thank you, appreciate it.

If you've been laid off, you don't always have to pay for job retraining or health care, though. CNN's Gerri Willis is joining us now with some free resources.

We love free stuff, obviously, Gerri. Tell us all about it!

GERRI WILLIS, CNN PERSONAL FINANCE EDITOR: Yes, you know we're always looking for the tools, tips, and strategies to help people out in tough times. Of course, when you're unemployed one of the biggest things you worry about is health care.

Good news here. Walgreen's just rolled out something it's called the Take Care Program. Now this program offers free health care services at Walgreen's clinics.

Now keep in mind here, we're not talking about a doctor, we're talking about nurse practitioners, physician assistants. You're eligible if you lost your job on or after March 31 and you have no health care insurance. OK, no health insurance. What you get is treatment of things like colds, strep throat, allergies, skin conditions but not everything.

If you've been in a car accident, if you have a horrible problem like cancer, this is not for you. It also doesn't include vaccinations, physicals, health evaluations.

They do have a toll-free number 866-825-327 if you want more information.

Keep in mind Wal-Mart and Target have similar clinics. Although, as far as we can tell right now, we contacted them yesterday, they are not providing free services.

One note about the Walgreen's program it's available 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the company's 340 or so clinics. I mean it's something to think about if you're unemployed out there.

COLLINS: Yes, no question. What if you lost your job and obviously you don't have money coming in but a lot of people still have their computers. You can get on the computer and you can do what?

WILLIS: Well, there are other places you can get free help. If you don't have a college degree for example, you've been out of work for a long time, contact your local Goodwill Organization. These folks train people for jobs in IT, health care, retail, banking, even landscaping and it's free. Did I mention free?

COLLINS: Yes, yes. Say it again! Say it again!

WILLIS: is the place to go. Now for more info on retraining career resources, the department of labor has two websites go to,, that's going to give you information about where the jobs are in your community, what they are, what kind of training you need.

COLLINS: All right. Our personal finance editor Gerri Willis, sure do appreciate that and I know a lot of people at home right now are appreciating the free stuff as well.

WILLIS: My pleasure.

COLLINS: Seem to be able to use that right now. Also, looking for some help in finding a job? Get on the bus. Career counseling goes mobile.


COLLINS: Back in the United States, President Obama scores a key victory on Capitol Hill. Both the House and Senate have passed versions of his budget plan for next year. The passage mostly along party lines.


REP. NANCY PELOSI (D), HOUSE SPEAKER: In terms of fairness, I'm so pleased that this budget will give a tax cut to over 95 percent of the American people -- at last in fairness, more fairness in the tax code and fairness that says that health care is a right, not a privilege, and that we can move forward for universal equality, accessible health care for all Americans on the basis of this budget.

REP. JOHN BOEHNER (R), MINORITY LEADER: In sort, the democrat budget spends too much. It taxes too much. And it borrows too much from our kids and grandkids.


COLLINS: The House and Senate versions differ only slightly. Both forecast a deficit of $1.2 trillion.

Here are the headlines now we're watching from the Hill. Finding fault at AIG. The man who built up the insurance giant and was CEO until 2005 has no problem doing that.

At a congressional hearing yesterday, Maurice Greenberg blamed the company's downfall on executives who came after him. Greenburg says they recklessly abandoned proper risk procedures to make more money. He also blasted the government's rescue of AIG calling it a raw deal for taxpayers.


MAURICE GREENBERG, FORMER CEO, AIG: I share your concern and the concern of the American people that the terms of the AIG bailout and its tremendous burden on taxpayers all planned so far advanced by the U.S. government to date have failed and the current plan, in my opinion, will not succeed.


COLLINS: A spokesman for AIG disputes Greenberg's claims saying the former CEO approved of selling risky credit default swaps.

Several banks that received bailout money have already repaid millions of dollars to the government. The treasury department says five banks returned a total of $353 million. The banks are located in Louisiana, Indiana, New York, California, and West Virginia. They were the first to repay the government in order to avoid tough restrictions that go with that bailout cash.

The House passed new tobacco legislation by a wide margin but the measure could face a tougher fight now in the Senate. The bill allows the FDA to regulate tobacco. The FDA cannot ban cigarettes, but it will be able to control advertising and ingredients. Moss tobacco companies are against the bill. The Senate is expected to take up the measure after the Easter recess. The House vote came one day after a new 62 cent tobacco tax went into effect.


COLLINS: President Obama abroad. This week he's in Strousford, France for a two day NATO summit. People have crowded around him trying to meet him, along with his counterpart French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Today, President Obama travels across the border to visit the German chancellor and Angela Merkel. Both France and Germany are hosting the summit which marks the 60th anniversary of the alliance.

Getting on the same page. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner says world leaders must do that when it comes to tackling the economic crisis. Geithner told CNN's Anderson Cooper a go it alone approach just won't work. He also reacted to critics at this week's G-20 summit who blamed the U.S. for starting the financial meltdown.


ANDERSON COOPER, CNN HOST, "ANDERSON COOPER 360": There has been a lot of finger-pointing to the U.S. Does the U.S. have anything to apologize for in terms of creating this financial crisis?

TIMOTHY GEITHNER, U.S. SECRETARY OF TREASURY: We have a huge interest as a country, in making sure we put in place a stronger system in the future and the world depends on a recovery in the United States. Where it depends a lot on us being able, working with the congress to create a more stronger system.

COOPER: But you don't feel that you need to apologize?

GEITHNER: No. I believe the U.S. bears some responsibility for this but responsibility goes around. I think all countries we're sort of overwhelmed by the force of global capitalism. I think you recognize that people recognize that around the room. Our challenge now though is to make sure we're moving with the rest of the world to pull the world towards higher standards. We want to see a race to the top rather a race to the bottom and we need them to come with us if we are going to be effective in strengthening our system.


COLLINS: Geithner say President Obama's strategy to deal with the crisis won broad support at the summit. Tonight, tune in at 10:00 for a special "AC 360" live from London.

Looking for some help in finding a job? Get on the bus! Career counseling goes mobile.


COLLINS: Clearly, a lot going on this morning, and our crews are hard at work keeping us up to date on everything. Good morning, guys. Allan, let's start with you.

ALLAN CHERNOFF, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Yes, good morning. Heidi, more disappointing news on the jobs front. We'll break it all down and I'll have that at the top of the hour.

REYNOLDS WOLF, AMS METEOROLOGIST: Heidi, we've got scattered showers, a few rumbling thunderstorms moving into the eastern half of the country. But back out to the west, we're talking snow, some places could easily see over a foot before all is said and done. We'll talk about that after the top of the hour.

ELIZABETH COHEN, CNN SENIOR MEDICAL CORRESPONDENT: Good morning, I'm Elizabeth Cohen, and we are answering your viewer e-mails, because, well, today is "Empower Me Friday." I'll have that at the top of the hour. COLLINS: All right, guys. Thanks, everybody. We will also be taking a closer look at the summit. You won't want to miss our conversation with the director of the National Economic Council for President Bush and a former labor secretary. It's all coming up.


COLLINS: If you're looking for a job but you don't have a car, you may find it pretty hard to get a career counseling center, to get there, anyway. But right now, those counseling centers are actually coming to you.

CNN's Brooke Baldwin is joining us now with the story.

This is a great idea.

BROOKE BALDWIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: We like the sound of this kind of thing, you know, tough times, mobile measures, it's kind of my phrase I'm throwing into the story. We all like the idea of one stop shopping, right? Yes, we do. How about an unemployment office that can offer it all, job searching assistance, resume workshops, the internet? Best of all the kind of career center travels to you.


BALDWIN (voice-over): These days, a good job is hard to find. According to the federal government, the national unemployment rate rose yet again, meaning more Americans are looking for work. All that economic gloom and doom doesn't deter Jim Montgomery. He knows, desperate times call for mobile measures.

JIM MONTGOMERY, COBB WORKS: With the economy being what it is, we need to do everything we can do to reach people.

BALDWIN: Are you on the road every day?

MONTGOMERY: Pretty much every day.

BALDWIN: Meaning, career centers like Cobb Works in Metro Atlanta, and 2,900 others nationwide are hitting the highways, helping the jobless and often car less find work.

MONTGOMERY: We can take our entire mobile unit out and give them access to our computers, to the internet, they can come on and do a job search, they can work on their resume.

BALDWIN: Montgomery doubles as the driver of this big orange RV and a career counselor, helping hundreds every month.

CARL JOINER, UNEMPLOYED WORKER: This is something -- this tool you can use is right here in my own backyard.

PETER BOWLEG, UNEMPLOYED WORKER: I think it's a great idea, because so many times a lot of people when they lose jobs, they lose some cars. BALDWIN: According to Montgomery, this mobile concept is catching on in states like Ohio, Florida, Michigan and Maryland. Its federally-funded bus makes stops at local libraries where computers are in high demand. Mario McGowan was sick of waiting.

(on camera): What have you been doing so far today?

MARIO MCGOWAN, UNEMPLOYED WORKER: I'm just looking everywhere and posting my resume on probably every job search that's out there and applying a lot. So that's really what I'm here for until they put me out.

BALDWIN: Until they kick you out of the bus?


BALDWIN: Montgomery isn't kicking anyone off, with Georgia's unemployment rate setting record highs, this driver knows he and his RV won't be hitting the brakes any time soon.

MONTGOMERY: Every day, every day we're busy now.


BALDWIN: Busy, busy driving that big orange thing.

The Cobb Works mobile career center started serving the community just last fall in November. And when they compare the number of unemployment people they helped then compared to the first quarter of this year, Heidi, they have seen an increase of 151 percent, which isn't good news when you think about the record-setting Georgia unemployment numbers. We have seen the unemployment nationally this morning. The good news, at least they're there creatively on the road to help.

COLLINS: Yes, absolutely. Well, it's good to see people are taking advantage of it, too.

BALDWIN: Absolutely.

COLLINS: All right. Very good.