Obama pushes Congress to help states hire teachers
(CBS News) In his weekly address, President Obama urged Congress to pass aid for states to hire more public sector workers, including teachers.
"When states struggle, it's up to Congress to step in and help out," the president said, referring to layoffs in some states of public sector workers because of tight state budgets.
The president's weekly address is a continuation of the message he delivered on Friday to pressure Congress to pass his "to-do" list aimed at assisting the struggling economy. But his message was overshadowed when he said during a question and answer session of a news conference that the private sector is "doing fine."
Republicans, including presidential challenger Mitt Romney, pushed back, calling the president "out of touch."
"It's an extraordinary miscalculation and misunderstanding by a President who is out of touch, and we're going to take back this country and get America working again," Romney said in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Mr. Obama then walked back his statement saying, "If you look at what I said this morning, we've actually seen some good momentum in the private sector... record corporate profits...so that has not been the greatest drag on the economy."
Obama hits Republicans for lack of action on jobs
Romney: Is Obama "really that out of touch?"
Obama backtracks on comments that the economy is "fine"
The president, however, continues to press his message, blaming Congress for inaction.
"That's why a critical part of the jobs bill that I sent to Congress back in September was to help states prevent even more layoffs and rehire even more teachers who had lost their jobs," the president said. "But months later, we're still waiting on Congress to act."
"I know this is an election year. But some things are bigger than an election," he said.
In the Republicans' weekly address, Rep. Erik Paulson of Minnesota also talked about the economy in the context of health care. He said Republicans in Congress are working to "removing government barriers to job creation," including repealing parts of the president's health care law.
"The bottom line is this: the president's health care law is driving up health care costs and hurting small businesses, and for the sake of our economy, it must fully be repealed," Paulson said.
Popular in Politics
- IRS' Lerner: "I have not done anything wrong" 453 Comments
- Officials on Benghazi: "We made mistakes, but without malice"
- Anthony Weiner comeback try begins: Running for NYC mayor 118 Comments
- Obama to view Oklahoma tornado damage Sunday
- Christie: Keep politics out of Oklahoma disaster relief
- Major immigration overhaul passes first big test 73 Comments
- Will tornado relief funding escape politics?
- Top IRS official to invoke 5th Amendment at congressional testimony 219 Comments