‘Stop trying to frighten the American people,’ Obama tells GOP leaders
President Barack Obama may be known for his cool temper and calm demeanor, but a bipartisan group of legislators who met with the president Wednesday to discuss jobs learned the man in the Oval Office can get pretty passionate at times.
When prominent Republicans at the White House meeting criticized the president’s health reform, fiscal reform and energy policies, saying that the policies were causing instability that prevented employers from hiring, the president shot back.
“Stop trying to frighten the American people,” Obama said, according to the Wall Street Journal‘s Jonathan Weisman.
The president even had on hand a chart showing the economic situation improving, The Hill reports.
Outside the meeting, an unapologetic Boehner told reporters: “Employers are sitting there, and they’re frozen. … The president wants to blame us for telling the American people what they’re doing.”
The Hill reports that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid told reporters about the president’s strong words, but a press release from Reid’s office later that day made no mention of the incident.
While both Reid and Pelosi said there is ample opportunity for a bipartisan deal to stimulate job growth through help to small businesses and infrastructure projects, Republicans at the meeting made it clear they want a completely different approach: They want to see a spending freeze and a “no-cost” job stimulus plan consisting mostly of tax cuts.
“We can’t keep spending money we don’t have,” The Hill quoted House Minority Whip Eric Cantor.
“It doesn’t look like Obama’s big jobs push will be getting much Republican help,” Weisman wrote at the WSJ.