WASHINGTON (CNN) - While never mentioning President Barack Obama by name, Nevada's governor assailed the president's leadership of the country's economy and criticized the White House for refusing to engage with Republican opposition in Congress.
"Good executives, like all good leaders, must expect opposition when making decisions or when making or enforcing the law," Gov. Brian Sandoval said. "But executives must engage those that disagree with them."
As Congress steels itself for a potential shutdown standoff, Sandoval called for Washington to pause its factious battle over the budget and whether to raise the debt ceiling in order to refocus on talking responsibly about the "tough choices" facing the country over the coming weeks.
Still, Nevada's top lawmaker trumpeted the oft-used Republican talking points triad for job creation: reducing the size of government, balancing budgets and cutting taxes. In contrasting his "no stone unturned" approach to propelling job creation in the Silver State with Washington's inaction, Sandoval side-swiped the president and Democrat's prescribed fixes to help lower the still-high nationwide unemployment rate, although unemployment in Nevada hovers above the national average at 9.5 percent.
"It's no accident that the fastest growing states with the best economies are all led by Republican governors," Sandoval said.
However, Sandoval's claim is incorrect. West Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, Utah, California, Minnesota, Washington, Oregon, Texas and North Dakota are the fastest growing states in the country, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. Only half of the governors from those states are Republicans.
Watch the entirety of Sandoval's weekly address below:
Read his full comments below:
“Hello, my name is Brian Sandoval and I have the honor of serving as Governor of the Great State of Nevada.
“When I first came to office, our country was in the depths of the great recession. And, no state had been hit harder than Nevada.
“At our peak, Nevada’s unemployment rate was almost 15 percent, and we led the nation in foreclosures and bankruptcies.
“Jobs disappeared almost overnight, leaving behind steel skeletons of half-built buildings to memorialize the day the economy froze and the work stopped.
“But, despite those dark days, I knew that a brighter future was just around the corner.
“Nevadans and all Americans are resilient. Overcoming adversity is a part of our national heritage.
“Mere survival, though, was not enough. We needed decisive action and a significant course correction to meet the challenges that lay ahead.
“Upon taking office, I ordered an immediate freeze to all state regulations until they could be reviewed.
“Because our state’s budget situation was so dire, we reduced spending by more than $500 million, eliminated approximately 600 positions across state government, and merged or eliminated more than a dozen state agencies.
“Unlike Washington, we had to balance our state budget as Nevada could not borrow its way out of problems.
“While working to balance the budget, we began putting in motion our plans to help create jobs and get Nevadans working again.
“Economic opportunity has been and continues to be the foundation of this country and is the source of the American Dream.
“And I sensed that the future of the American Dream was at risk.
“Like then-Governor Ronald Reagan stated in 1964, I believed that we faced a ‘Time for Choosing.’
“So, we chose a simple approach to state government: it should be a protector of rights and a partner in prosperity.
“To that end, I fought against excessive tax increases, and instead was able to expand tax exemptions for businesses, and extend tax abatements to encourage businesses to grow.
“When it comes to growing jobs, it is my responsibility to leave no stone unturned when it comes to getting Nevada working again.
“Can you just imagine what our economy would look like today if Washington would just take that approach?
“Like Washington, Nevada has a politically divided government, but that hasn’t stopped our efforts to grow Nevada’s economy.
“Good executives, like all good leaders, must expect opposition when making decisions or when making or enforcing the law.
“But executives must engage those that disagree with them.
“They must listen to all ideas, persuade when possible, and respectfully and firmly disagree when necessary.
“And despite having a politically divided government, in the last two years, Nevada has been able to accomplish much. We have strengthened employment, our economy, and education in our state.
“In large part because we sit down, put partisanship aside, talk through our disagreements, and find common ground.
“Now while I will be the first to say there is still work to be done, Nevada has now experienced 31 straight months of economic growth, we have had the second strongest decline in unemployment in the country, and we continue to add much needed jobs.
“The list of companies wishing to relocate to Nevada once fit on an index card; now it is long and diverse.
“When it came to our schools, we eliminated teacher tenure to improve education for our children, and are now focusing on ensuring that our kids read and write at grade level, which benefits everyone.
“Fortunately, good policy, true principles, and effective leadership work whenever they are tried.
“When we reduce government, balance budgets, and keep taxes as low as possible, states respond in a positive way.
“When tough times force tough choices, we act decisively and move forward.
“It’s no accident that the fastest growing states with the best economies are all led by Republican governors.
“These states differ geographically, economically, and even politically.
“But our ideas have and continue to work.
“Our founding fathers got it right. Free enterprise and limited government have made, and will continue to make, this country great.
“Despite all we have endured, I could not be more proud and optimistic about the greatest nation on earth.
“I am confident that our core convictions provide the surest path to an America where economic opportunity still abounds, hard work still rewards, and dreams are still realized.
“We just need Washington to pause, reflect, and see what is possible in our great nation.
“Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.
“God bless the Great State of Nevada and God bless the United States of America.”