Barack Obama says there's "little doubt" that the US economy has moved into a recession, underscoring the need for a second economic stimulus package, steps to shore up the housing market and a long-term energy policy.
The Democratic presidential contender also says removing US troops from Iraq won't be "perfectly neat" but is justified given calls from the country's own leaders for a withdrawal timetable. Obama made the comments to reporters aboard his campaign plane on Saturday as he flew from Chicago to California.
The Illinois senator also says that Republican Sen Chuck Hagel of Nebraska and Democratic Sen Jack Reed of Rhode Island will accompany him on his trip to the Iraq and Afghanistan battlefields next week.
He also says that he is still negotiating with German officials about a proposed speech at Brandenberg Gate in Berlin.