Besides that, it doesn't appear to be remotely true. The generally accepted definition of a recession is 2 consecutive quarters (or more) of negative GDP growth.
I've had a little trouble finding officially published monthly GDP data for the third quarter, and the third quarter summary hasn't yet been issued, but:
According to this site in July, the GDP shrunk by 1.9%, grew by 1.1% in August, and shrunk again by 1.0% in September for a net loss of 1.8%.
According to the Department of Commerce:
- Q4 '90 and Q1 '91 had 3% and 2% drops in GDP.
- Q4 '81 and Q1 '82 had 4.9% and 6.4% drops.
- Q2 '80 and Q3 '80 had 7.8% and 0.7% drops.
- Q3 '74 thru Q1 '75: 3.8% drop, 1.6% drop, 4.7% drop (3 quarters)
- Q4 '57 and Q1 '58: 4.2% and 10.4% drops.
- Q3 '53 thru Q1 '54: 2.4%, 6.2%, and 2.0% drop (3 quarters)
- Q1 '49 and Q2 '49: 5.8% and 1.2% drops
So how bad was the depression. Heck if I know. I wasn't around at the time. That's true for most of the voter base, and that's why Obama gets away with saying it.