Obama: GOP Is ‘on the Sidelines’ in the Fight for Jobs

Posted August 16, 2010 at 12:45pm

Updated: 2:13 p.m.

President Barack Obama on Monday pitted Republicans against American workers in his latest attack on the GOP in the lead-up to the November elections.

During remarks at a Wisconsin manufacturing plant, Obama said it is “clear” that Democratic economic policies are lifting the country out of the recession — he contrasted private-sector jobs being added to the economy for the past seven months to the economy bleeding 750,000 jobs a month under the Bush administration — and warned that Republicans are pushing for a return to failed polices.

“The worst mistake we could make is to turn back. We can’t turn back. We’ve got to keep going forward,” he said, drawing applause from the crowd.

The president went on to chide Republicans in Congress who have “played politics” for the past year and a half; he called them “the same folks in Washington who made the political calculation that it was better to stand on the sidelines than work as a team to help the American worker.” He ran through a laundry list of proposals aimed at boosting American jobs that ran into GOP opposition.

“They said no to small business tax cuts, no to rebuilding infrastructure, no to clean energy projects. They even voted against getting rid of tax breaks for shipping jobs overseas,” Obama said.

Michael Steel, spokesman for House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio), accused Obama of “resorting to partisan attacks” because he can’t defend the fact that more jobs haven’t been created on his watch. “The American people are asking, where are the jobs? But instead of working with us to get the economy moving again, Washington Democrats are plotting a massive tax increase on American families and small businesses,” Steel said.

Democratic lawmakers at the event included Sen. Russ Feingold, whom Obama called “wonderful,” and Rep. Gwen Moore, whom the president described as “a great friend” and “somebody who really has been doing great work.”