President Obama today met with Congessional Republicans on their turf -- the Capitol -- in order to try to sell them on his stimulus package.
Between meetings with House Republican leaders and Senate GOP leaders, Mr. Obama made a few comments to the press.
He called the first meeting , with House Republicans, "constructive," despite the fact that there are "legitimate philosophical differences."
"I don't expect a hundred percent agreement from my Republican colleagues, but I do hope that we can all put politics aside and do the American people's business right now," he said.
You can read more on Mr. Obama's day on Capitol Hill here.
Below is video and then text, as transcribed by the White House, of Mr. Obama's statement:
Hello, everybody. We had a very constructive meeting with the House members, members of the Republican Caucus. I'm a little bit late for my Senate colleagues -- former Senate colleagues.
And the main message I have is that the statistics every day underscore the urgency of the economic situation. The American people expect action. They want us to put together a recovery package that puts people back to work, that creates investments that assure our long-term energy independence, an effective health care system, an education system that works; they want our infrastructure rebuilt, and they want it done wisely, so that we're not wasting taxpayer money.
As I explained to the Republican House Caucus, and I'll explain to my former Senate colleagues, the recovery package that we have proposed and is moving its way through Congress is just one leg in a multi-legged stool. We're still going to have to have much better financial regulation, we've got to get credit flowing again, we're going to have to deal with the troubled assets that many banks are still carrying and that make the -- that have locked up the credit system. We're going to have to coordinate with other countries, because we now have a global problem.
I am absolutely confident that we can deal with these issues, but the key right now is to make sure that we keep politics to a minimum. There are some legitimate philosophical differences with parts of my plan that the Republicans have, and I respect that. In some cases they may just not be as familiar with what's in the package as I would like. I don't expect a hundred percent agreement from my Republican colleagues, but I do hope that we can all put politics aside and do the American people's business right now. All right.