Obama in N.C.: ‘If You Love Me, You’ve Got to Help Me Pass This Bill!’
President Obama continued his campaign to rally support for his $447 billion jobs bill, working the battleground state of North Carolina today, telling the people of Raleigh that he is “fed up” with Washington games that put politics before the needs of the country.
Once again, Obama spoke out against lawmakers who may try to “kick our problems down the road” to the next election and called out Republicans who oppose the bill because they don’t want to give the president “a win” by passing it.
”Give me a win? Give me a break!” Obama told the supportive crowd of 9,300 at the campaign-style event at North Carolina State University. “I get fed up with that kind of game plan. And we’ve been seeing it for too long. … We’re in a national emergency. We’ve been grappling with a crisis for three years, and instead of getting folks to rise up above partisanship in a spirit that says we’re all in this together, you’ve got folks who are purposely dividing, purposely thinking just in terms of how does this play out in terms of this election.”
The president, who catered his pitch to North Carolina, which has an unemployment rate of 10 percent, spent the bulk of his speech explaining how his bill would create tens of thousands of jobs in the state, put more money back in the pockets of middle-class families and help small business owners in the area.
Obama also announced a new initiative that would direct federal agencies to speed up their roughly $100 billion in annual payments to small businesses. Under the new policy, the government would cut the time in half, from 30 to 15 days.
Today’s event marked the president’s fifth jobs speech in seven days, his third in a critical swing state, which he carried narrowly in 2008. Obama has held similar events in Virginia and Ohio.
Despite his multistate sales pitch, Americans seem skeptical that the president’s plan can create jobs and grow the economy. According to a new Bloomberg poll, 51 percent of Americans do not believe Obama’s jobs bill will lower the nation’s 9.1 percent unemployment rate.
Furthermore, the president’s attempts to rally public momentum to “pass this bill” are falling flat. Obama’s repeated calls to action have not led to an outpouring of public support, and lawmakers’ inboxes are not overflowing with messages from constituents urging them to act.
On Capitol Hill, Republicans continue to oppose the president’s plan to pay for his $447 billion bill through a series of tax increases, and the White House has suggested Obama would accept a piecemeal approach to passing the legislation if Congress rejects the package in full.
That has not, however, stopped the president from continuing to put political pressure on Congress. “If you love me, you’ve got to help me pass this bill!” Obama told a man in the crowd who shouted out his admiration for the president.
“Every single one of you can help make this bill a reality by telling Congress to pass this bill,” Obama said, assigning the students some additional homework. “I need you to lift your voice. Make it heard. You can call. You can email. You can tweet. You can fax. You can Facebook. You can visit. You can write a letter — when was the last time you did that? Tell your congressperson that the time for partisanship and politics is over. Now is not the time for it. The time for gridlock and games is over. The time for action is now.”