In Raleigh, NC today, President Obama slammed Republicans for trying to drag their feet and stall on creating jobs until after the 2012 election.
Here’s a clip of his speech from the AP:
After describing his plan Obama took the GOP to school,
THE PRESIDENT: Already, you’ve got some Republicans in Washington who have said that some of this stuff may have to wait until the next election. And said maybe we can just kick our problems down the road and stretch this thing out rather than work together right now. Some of them were even quoted as saying even if they agreed with some of the things in this bill, that they don’t want to pass it because it would give me a win.
THE PRESIDENT: Give me a win? Give me a break! That’s exactly why folks are fed up with Washington. This isn’t about me. This isn’t about giving me a win. This isn’t about giving Democrats or Republicans a win. It’s not about positioning for the election. It’s about giving the American people a win. That’s what it’s about. It’s about giving small business owners and entrepreneurs a win. It’s about giving students a win. It’s about giving working families a win. It’s about giving all of us a win. I get fed up with that kind of game-playing. And we’ve been seeing it for too long. Too long. We’re in a national emergency. We’ve had — we’ve been grappling with a crisis for three years, and instead of getting folks to rise up above partisanship in a spirit that says we’re all in this together, you got folks who are purposely dividing — purposely — thinking just in terms of how does this play out in terms of this election?
Now, that’s not all Republicans; there are some Republicans who get it. I was in Ohio yesterday, and their Republican governor, who — he doesn’t agree with me on a lot of stuff, but he agreed that it’s a good idea to cut taxes for the middle class. He said, “This is not a time for partisanship. This is a time to figure out a way in which we can get things moving in this country.” He’s absolutely right. A faction in Washington may be content to wait until the next election to do anything, but I’ve got news for them: The next election is 14 months away. And the American people don’t have the luxury to wait that long. There are a whole bunch of students here who will graduate by then and will be looking for a job. They can’t wait that long. There are a lot of folks living paycheck to paycheck, day to day. They can’t wait that long. They need action; they need action now. So, Raleigh, you need to put leaders — you need leaders who will put country before party — and your jobs and your lives and your well-being and your futures above everything else.
By not presenting a real and detailed jobs plan, by passing zero jobs creating bills, and offering the same old tax cuts for the wealthy solution that has failed for a decade, the Republicans have made this easy for Obama. The American Jobs Act is a win for Obama no matter what. If the bill passes, unemployment goes down, and Obama is likely to win reelection. If Republicans refuse to help create job, the President is going to use that to run against them for the next year.
The American Jobs Act also provides Obama with the added bonus of having a detailed plan. The GOP nominee will criticize Obama’s plan, but they will also be expected to have one of their own. The people who are measuring success only on the basis of legislative process are missing the point. The main issues in 2012 will be the economy and jobs. The American Jobs Act is where legislative process and political campaigning come together.
It is possible for Obama to not get his bill, but win the political battle. If Republicans refuse to create jobs, it will only serve to strengthen the Democratic Party’s case against them in 2012. Obama has nothing to lose and everything to gain by making jobs the focus of his attention. Already new polling has revealed that Democratic support for Obama has increased since his jobs speech.
President Obama is forcing the Republicans to hold the jobs discussion on his terms, and getting his Democratic base unified around the common cause of creating jobs.
Americans want jobs, and Barack Obama is positioning himself to be their champion. There is an out of control freight train of voter anger heading straight for the GOP. They either have to do what Obama has done and get on board, or prepared to be run over in November 2012.