4777674President Obama today signaled a shift in his rhetoric on the stimulus package, taking a more aggressive tone and targeting critics who doubt the sincerity of his goals.
In an appearance at the Department Of Energy today, Mr. Obama attacked those who have dubbed a provision in his stimulus bill to modernize the fleet of federal vehicles "pork."
Said the president: "...when you hear these attacks deriding something of such obvious importance as this, you have to ask yourself -- are these folks serious? Is it any wonder that we haven't had a real energy policy in this country?"
"The time for talk is over," he added. "The time for action is now, because we know that if we do not act, a bad situation will become dramatically worse. Crisis could turn into catastrophe for families and businesses across the country."
During the White House press briefing this afternoon, spokesman Robert Gibbs was asked if reporters should take Mr. Obama's comments today as evidence that he is becoming more combative and impatient regarding the debate over the stimulus package, which has been harshly criticized in recent days by Senate Republicans.
Gibbs gave little doubt as to the answer.
"I think when he said the time to talk is over, I think it's fair to read impatience into that," Gibbs said.
"...the debate over something the size and scope of this is important to have, but I think, Mark, he would tell you that the numbers that he sees and the briefings that he gets about the worsening economy demands action by Congress and the President, and that a failure to act will result in millions more jobs lost, far greater economic output," added Gibbs.