Obama Talks Jobs; Collins Bashes Terrorism ‘Blind Spot’

Posted January 30, 2010 at 5:00am

President Barack Obama used his weekly Saturday radio address to follow up on his State of the Union speech and give more details on how he plans to make job creation his No. 1 focus this year.Maine Sen. Susan Collins, who delivered the weekly Republican response, spoke instead about the administration having “a blind spot— when it comes to the war on terrorism.In his address, Obama laid out three ways he plans to rein in deficits: by restoring budget-neutral, pay-as-you-go rules in Congress; by imposing a three-year freeze on discretionary, nonmilitary spending; and by creating a bipartisan fiscal commission to come up with deficit-reduction proposals by a set deadline.Obama noted that 53 Senate Democrats and Republicans voted this week to create the fiscal commission, but the measure was defeated when seven Republicans who originally co-sponsored the idea decided to vote against it. He chided those lawmakers for changing their position on the measure “for opposition’s sake.—“It’s one thing to have an honest difference of opinion about something … But what I won’t accept is changing positions because it’s good politics. … We cannot have a serious discussion and take meaningful action to create jobs and control our deficits if politicians just do what’s necessary to win the next election instead of what’s best for the next generation,— Obama said. Meanwhile, Collins bashed the administration for treating the terrorist in the aborted Christmas Day airline attack as “a common criminal— by giving him a Miranda warning and a lawyer. The FBI questioned him for “less than an hour— before that, said Collins, and since then, per advice from the Justice Department, he has stopped talking.“How did we get to this point?… Once afforded the protection our Constitution guarantees American citizens, this foreign terrorist ‘lawyered up’ and stopped talking?— Collins said. The Maine Republican said the administration suffers from “blindness— by treating the terrorist as a regular criminal, since they “cannot see a foreign terrorist even when he stands right in front of them.—