Obama Attacks GOP Over Transportation Bill

In a speech yesterday to the AFL-CIO’s Building and Construction Trades Department Conference, President Obama made his most pointed remarks yet on the failure of the House to take up the Senate's bipartisan transportation bill.

May 1, 2012, 12:00 PM PDT

By Jonathan Nettler @nettsj


Andrea Bernstein reports on Obama's speech, delivered in front of a union crowd to "thunderous" applause, which blamed the Republican-led House of Representatives for "refusing to pass a bipartisan bill that could guarantee work for millions of construction workers," argued Obama. He continued, "Congress needs to do the right thing. Pass this bill right away. It shouldn't be that hard. It shouldn't be that hard. Not everything should be subject to thinking about the next election instead of thinking about the next generation."

Amie Parnes, writing in The Hill, saw the speech as an escalation of the personally pointed war of words between Obama and Boehner that has brewed over the past week. "While the new Obama rhetoric is about construction, the speech highlights the White House strategy of railing against congressional Republicans to build a case for another four years in the White House for Obama.

Obama increasingly is seeking to portray Boehner, his conference and presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney as out of touch with the nation. On Monday, he also sought to portray Boehner as out of touch with the needs of his own district."

"I went to the Speaker's hometown, stood under a bridge that was crumbling, everybody acknowledges it needs to be rebuilt," Obama said. "Maybe he doesn't drive anymore. Maybe he doesn't notice how messed up it was ... they still said no."

Monday, April 30, 2012 in Transportation Nation

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