In response to a question at a town hall in Decorah, Iowa, Monday evening, President Obama said that when Congress returns in September, "I'll be putting forward…a very specific plan to boost the economy, to create jobs and to control our deficit. And my attitude is get it done.
"And if they don't get it done," he continued, "then we'll be running against a Congress that isn't doing anything for the American people and the choice will be very stark and very clear."
Later in the town hall, the president offered more information about the economic plan, when pressed for more details by an attendee.
"What I can do is to present my best ideas about how we move the country forward," the president said. "Many, many of these ideas traditionally have had Republican support. It’s amusing to watch one of the major Republican candidates now trying to wriggle out of the fact that my health care bill is very similar to the health care bill he passed at a time when he, he needed to compromise because he wasliving in a Democratic-majority state."
The president was making a clear reference to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a GOP front-runner. It was unclear if he wasn't naming him because he was trying to stay above the fray, or because this an official White House trip, not a campaign trip, however difficult it may be to tell the difference.
The president continued, "some of these folks know better, all I can do is to say I’m going to take the best ideas we have from everyone, Republicans, independents and Democrats, present to them, 'This is what you should do.' I can’t force them to do it, you can force them to do it. I will take my case to the American people that this vision is how we move the country forward and if they have an alternative vision and they don’t want to sit there and do nothing for the next 16 months while unemployment is still high and small businesses are still suffering, then ultimately they are going to be held to account by you, just like I’m going to be held to account by you."
Said the president, "We’ve got to reward folks that are more serious about solving problems than scoring political points."
-Jake Tapper and Mary Bruce