October 4th, 2011
01:03 PM ET
3 years ago

Obama blasts Cantor for denying vote on jobs bill

(CNN) - President Barack Obama is set to blast a top congressional Republican Tuesday for announcing that the GOP-controlled House of Representatives will not bring the administration's $447 billion jobs bill to a vote, calling the decision another setback for an already shaky economy.

Obama strongly criticizes House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Virginia, in excerpts of a speech scheduled to be delivered in Texas. The excerpts were released early by the White House.

"I'd like Mr. Cantor to come down here to Dallas and explain what in this jobs bill he doesn't believe in," Obama says in the excerpts. "Does he not believe in rebuilding America's roads and bridges? Does he not believe in tax breaks for small businesses, or efforts to help veterans?"

"Come tell Dallas construction workers why they should be sitting home instead of fixing our bridges and our schools," the president says. "Come tell the small business owners and workers in this community why you'd rather defend tax breaks for millionaires than tax cuts for the middle-class."

"And if you won't do that," he adds, "at least put this jobs bill up for a vote so that the entire country knows exactly where every member of Congress stands."

Obama's blueprint - presented last month to Congress - includes a series of targeted tax cuts, infrastructure spending, and new job training assistance that would be paid for by ending tax loopholes for corporations and some tax cuts for American families earning more than $250,000 a year.

Top Republicans are vehemently opposed to any measure raising taxes, characterizing such ideas as economically counterproductive.

Cantor spokesman Brad Dayspring responded to Obama's remarks by releasing a statement asking if "House Republicans sent our plan for America's job creators to the president, would he promise not to veto it in its entirety?"

"House Republicans have different ideas on how to grow the economy and create jobs, but that shouldn't prevent us from trying to find areas of common ground with the president," Dayspring said. "That is precisely why ... Cantor has given his word to the president that the House will pass portions of his jobs bill in the next month."

Obama, Dayspring argued, "needs to understand that his 'my way or the highway' approach simply isn't going to work in the House or the Democratic Senate, especially in light of his abysmal record on jobs. Serious problems deserve serious leadership."

Cantor announced Monday that the House will instead consider several measures this month that House Republicans and the White House can agree on, including pending free trade agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama.

The majority leader also said the House will vote on legislation to permanently repeal a 3% withholding tax on businesses that hold government contracts, and take up bills to roll back regulatory barriers for businesses.

Meeting with reporters on Capitol Hill, Cantor criticized recent appearances by the president in both his congressional district and the home district of House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

"I believe it would be a lot more helpful for the president to focus on areas of commonality rather than targeting House Republicans in campaign-style tactics," Cantor said. "Perhaps he can start compromising with us."

The weak economy promises to be the dominant issue of next year's presidential campaign, with an overwhelming majority of Americans consistently calling it their top concern.

"The president said yesterday that people in this country are worse off than they were when he was elected," Cantor told reporters Tuesday. "We feel the same way."

– CNN's Alan Silverleib and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this story.


Filed under: Eric Cantor • Jobs • President Obama
soundoff (65 Responses)
  1. Jake

    we need more of this side of Obama! He has got to stay tough on the harm the GOP is purposefully inflicting on our country for political gain!

    October 4, 2011 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  2. GI Joe

    OOPS
    People in this country need to be informed. THE HOUSE OF DELEGATES HASS RESPONSIBILITY FOR THE MONEY ISSUES OF THIS COUNTRY.

    The President cannot do anything unless they Write it and APPROVE IT. If something goes wrong, THEY DID IT, Not the President.

    October 4, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. ss26mar

    Doublespeak - obama is a master of it
    1/20/13 can not get here soon enough

    October 4, 2011 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  4. don

    When will people realize that republicans in Congress don't CARE about jobs. If they did they would have done something about it already.

    October 4, 2011 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. asm_ith

    It's so interesting to hear the Republicans accuse Obama of demanding that things be his "way or the highway" when they've been doing precisely that from the start of his administration, saying "no" to everything, refusing $1 in revenue for $3 in cuts, etc. It was so absurd to see ALL of the Republican presidential candidates say that they wouldn't accept $1 in revenue for $10 in spending cuts.

    October 4, 2011 01:12 pm at 1:12 pm |
  6. GI Joe

    If every attempt to get things moving is obstructed, we need to get rid of the OBSTRUCTIONISTS.

    October 4, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  7. TonyInNYC

    It may well be that "Serious problems deserve serious leadership," but I'm not seeing any leadership from Eric Cantor either.

    October 4, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  8. ConservaFASCISTS/TEAliban/TEAhadists

    I'd like to take a ride up I-64 and have some words with Mr. Obstruction himself.

    October 4, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  9. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Republicans have been on the wrong side of every issue that would help Americans for 30 years. It does not look like they are going to change.

    October 4, 2011 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  10. Liz the First

    The rethugs don't want to vote on the jobs bill because if the country starts healing that would make Obama look better. they'd rather it go down the drain so the idiots will turn to them to fix it, forgetting they broke it in the first place!!!!!!

    October 4, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  11. guest

    This is such a tired act...even members of his own party hate this bill....

    October 4, 2011 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  12. ted

    Typical Repuklican balderdash from Cantor – Boner and McClownell both are saying my way or the highway. Glad Obama is going toe to toe with the unpatriotic treasonous repthug leader lunatics and calling them out. The GOP obstruction has brought us to where we are, regardless if any rightwingers want to believe it or not. The stance of no new taxes is such horse excrement. Everyone is going to get taxed in some way shape or form to get our butts out of the GOP created deficit. Remember GW and his insane wars? HA.

    Obama/Biden 2012

    October 4, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  13. GI Joe

    Don't give them free trade agreements until EVERY AMERICAN IS BACK TO WORK.

    October 4, 2011 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  14. blf83

    Is it Can'tor or Won'tor? Go get him, Mr. President!

    October 4, 2011 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  15. Rudy NYC

    "House Republicans sent our plan for America's job creators to the president, would he promise not to veto it in its entirety?"
    ------------–
    That statement is cynical ignorance on display by making such a remark. It suggests that the President is able to selective veto portions of bills that he likes, which point blank impossible for hime to do. Unlike some state governers, the President does not have the power of line item veto. To suggest otherwise to the American shows a contempt for the intelligence of the average American voter who they feel is none the wiser.

    This is who and what the Republican Party has become. I don't think some Republican voters even know what they have turned into a political nightmare for America.

    October 4, 2011 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    GI Joe

    Don't give them free trade agreements until EVERY AMERICAN IS BACK TO WORK.
    -------------
    I'd make the promise and deliver them not a thing.

    October 4, 2011 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  17. Rudy NYC

    ted wrote:
    The GOP obstruction has brought us to where we are, regardless if any rightwingers want to believe it or not.
    ------------–
    I am not sure if you fully understand the true nature of the beast. The extremists on the right wing are fully aware of the obstructionism, offer full throat endorsements of it, and rejoice in the damage it and harm it causes to the economy. Telling them about the Republican dirty deeds only makes them celebrate.

    October 4, 2011 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Russ from Md

    When will you all learn that if you want to create jobs you have to stabilize the economy not increase dept by $450 billion. A stable economy relaxes the consumer. A relaxed consumer buys more good which creates demand for those good which means businesses need to hire more people to make the goods so the consumer can buy them and that is what the republicans are trying to do but all the democrats want to do is raise revenues with hire taxes so they can throw more money away with a second failed attempt at stimulating the economy.

    October 4, 2011 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  19. Dennis1020

    We have to end this political posturing in the media. Washington could do that if congreassional leaders from both the House and Senate, and the White House, quietly got together to hammer out the basic framework for legislation to fix this economy. They could then refine the Bill in congressional debate and get to compromise legislation. Unfortunately what is happening is both sides are announcing a plan without any advanced consultation, oftentimes knowing the other side will not accept the plan–and why would they when they are being surprised–then both sides dig their heels in and we have legislative gridlock. They are all worse than school ground children.

    October 4, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  20. Rudy NYC

    asm_ith wrote:
    It's so interesting to hear the Republicans accuse Obama of demanding that things be his "way or the highway" when they've been doing precisely that from the start of his administration, saying "no" to everything, refusing $1 in revenue for $3 in cuts, etc. It was so absurd to see ALL of the Republican presidential candidates say that they wouldn't accept $1 in revenue for $10 in spending cuts
    -------------
    What was most remarkable about that moment is the order in which the hands were raised. Rep. Bachmann moved first, but brought her hand back down. After a few uncertain moves by others, Bachmann was eventually the last person to raise their hand. Isn't that ironic and weak?

    October 4, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  21. Len

    We elected the GOP/Tea Party folks in 2010......nothing has happened except the same......The GOP does not care, they just want to win the White House so they can continue to make the rich richer. We are a very unintelligent country....you got what you voted for......Wake up and reelect President Obama and get rid of the Tea Party who signs pledges not to help all Ameicans!!!! Wake up!!!

    October 4, 2011 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  22. anthony78

    Dear Obama.. the Republicans have rammed "NO NO NO" down the throats of America preventing any form of recovery. I think it's time you start ramming some things of your own down their throats (whether they like it or not). Americans need action, and it's time you started doing some pushing around of your own. You're from Chicago.. you know how to play dirty when you have to. I suggest you start doing so, as it seems the Republicans are playing by their own rules, for their own incentives (to make you a 1 term President at the expense of the country.)
    And by the way.. facts and the truth are kryptonite to these (R)s, I suggest you utilize as much as possible.

    October 4, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  23. Liberty Queen

    Eric Cantor: goose-stepping fascist for israel and wall street.

    October 4, 2011 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  24. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Stay tough! Stay strong! Stay on them Mr. President!
    No more Mr. Nice Guy. You have given them opportunites aplenty to work with you.
    Your hand is raw from their smacking it away.
    Fight for us Mr. President otherwise your country is literally going to the dogs in 2012.

    Obama 2012!

    October 4, 2011 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  25. wgf

    A free trade agreement with Panama - that should really get our country moving.

    October 4, 2011 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
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