President Obama kept up the heated rhetoric on day two of his three-day road trip through North Carolina and Virginia to challenge congressional Republicans to act swiftly on portions of his jobs bill.
“We don’t need a Republican jobs act or a Democratic jobs act: We need a jobs act. We need to put people back to work right now,” said Obama at the opening of a round table with educators at Guilford Technical Community College in Jamestown, North Carolina. “As I said, the ideas we put forward are ideas that in the past have been supported by Democrats and Republicans. So the question is, what makes it different this time — other than that I proposed it?”
In remarks delivered later before a larger crowd gathered at the school, the president continued to hammer the jobs package Senate Republicans proposed last week, which he said is “a plan, but it’s not a jobs plan.” In addition, he accused GOP lawmakers of promoting policies that would put the nation at peril, both environmentally and economically.
“We can have an argument about how much regulation we should have. We can have an argument, if you want, about health care. I think we did the right thing,” Obama said. “But you can’t pretend that creating dirtier air and water for our kids and fewer people on health care and less accountability on Wall Street is a jobs plan.”
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) criticized Obama for what GOP lawmakers view as attacks on them, and accused the president of being divisive to turn attention away from his own failed policies.
“He wants to deflect attention from that record. He wants people to think that the problem isn’t his policies; it’s those mean Republicans in Congress who oppose them,” McConnell said on the Senate floor on Tuesday.
The Republican National Committee also is hitting back, and on Tuesday released a web video titled “The DEBT End Tour Bus Rides Again,” in which RNC chairman Reince Priebus says that the president would rather campaign than govern.
“President Obama is at it again, hitting the road to sell his Stimulus 2.0 on the taxpayers dime,” said RNC Chairman Reince Priebus. “America doesn’t need another gas bill from the White House, we need leadership. Time and again, this president talks a big game about ‘turning the economy around’ but has nothing to show for it. Instead of finding common ground with Republicans, President Obama would rather campaign instead of lead.”
(Photo: AP Photo/Susan Walsh)