Obama talks education, GOP's focus on drought in weekly addresses
August 18th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Obama talks education, GOP's focus on drought in weekly addresses

(CNN) – President Barack Obama had a message on Saturday which some students may prefer to ignore: summer is nearly over, and the school year is about to begin.

Obama spoke on education in his weekly address, calling for action from Congress to "prevent further (teacher) layoffs and rehire teachers who'd lost their jobs."

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On the Republican side, presidential candidate Mitt Romney delivered what his campaign billed as his first weekly podcast, where he drove home criticism of Obama over Medicare. Rep. Vicky Hartzler of Missouri separately delivered a Republican address in which she also criticized Obama over Medicare as well as the way Obama and Senate Democrats have handled federal budgeting and the expansive drought.

"A lot was riding on this (farmer assistance) bill, but the Senate, a body controlled by the president's party, left Washington for the month of August without even bringing it to a vote," she said.

"The president has seen to politicize this issue, but the fact is he didn't urge the Senate to act," she continued. "Drought conditions continue to worsen, and the shaky state of the economy only amplifies our anxiety."

She went on to suggest that Senate Democrats were asleep at the wheel on a host of other issues, including the fiscal cliff, jobs creation, and budgeting.

Obama also expressed frustration with Capitol Hill in his remarks, but his gripes were with Republicans.

"Teachers matter," he said. "But here's the thing: this year, several thousand fewer educators will be going back to school. Since 2009, we've lost more than 300,000 education jobs, in part because of budget cuts at the state and local level."

Obama repeated his call for Congress to pass his jobs bill, a collection of measures including funding for local governments to hire teachers.

He also touted the student loan legislation he supported, saying that "higher education can not be a luxury – it's an economic necessity every family should be able to afford."

Obama is set to campaign in New Hampshire on Saturday, while Romney will be in Massachusetts fundraising. Romney's running mate, Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, will hold a campaign event in Florida on Saturday and Congress is on recess for the month.

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. RD

    Potus doesn't get it. When teachers, policeman and fireman loose their employment it's because their State and local government officials needed to make tough choices. They need to take a scalple to their budgets or raise the taxes of the middle class AGAIN to keep union contract mandates in place. If these local politicians made the wrong choice, we'll vote them out. In most cases, they are making the right choice to "right-size" their over-bloated services.

    If the President wants to help, he needs to get the rest of America working which drive the revenue through state and local tax venues to keep these people working protecting our local services.

    August 18, 2012 06:31 am at 6:31 am |
  2. Anonymous

    I'll be around. Where there's a rich white guy in need of another tax break, I'll be there. Wherever there's a brain dead woman in need of expensive life support her husband doesn't want, I'll be there. Wherever there's a country that needs invading for reasons that don't quite pan out, I'll be there. THE GOP

    August 18, 2012 07:49 am at 7:49 am |
  3. jony

    Education layoffs are no more important than other industry layoffs, a further sign that the president has failed to fix the problem. He simply does not posess the leadership skills to get the job done. One term is all the nation can afford to give him.

    August 18, 2012 08:25 am at 8:25 am |

    The Gop should have talk about the farm bill in congress ,in stead. Of Ryan and the teaparty stonewalling it ,the same with education. How can a crowd listen to the two teaparty extremest and cheer when Ryan lead the pack that stalls all these programs ,now the targets is defund Medicare and give you a voucher ,what a joke Gop ticket with a tax cheat romney and teaparty extremest Ryan !!!!!

    August 18, 2012 08:36 am at 8:36 am |
  5. Crismn

    Republicans blaming Mr. Obama of the Congress failure to act on the drought emergency? What's new? Well, after all the drought is caused by globa warming which for them doesn't exist, ergo the drought doesn't exist... Righ? What a bunch!

    August 18, 2012 08:41 am at 8:41 am |

    Well if the Gop bafoon teaparty ,with Ryan as their leader in the house didn't block the farm bill ,maybe we could talk about something else , like romney the tax cheat runing for president , now that's a joke !!!!!!!!!!!

    August 18, 2012 08:42 am at 8:42 am |

    The Gop bafoon party that Ryan the teaparty extremest write the bills that go to the senate and load them up with all kinds of extremest nonvoting nonvoting that no body in their right mind can vote for ,their Gop bafoons party plan is to drive up unemployment before the election, let's make them pay in Nov, than there's romney the tax cheat for president,what a joke the Gop is !!!!

    August 18, 2012 08:51 am at 8:51 am |
  8. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    Paul Ryan is in The Villages in Florida today, telling seniors that he no longer believes in the Ryan economic plan, and he no longer wants to change social security, medicare and medicaid. Mittens completely supports the Ryan Plan, so now what? These two idiots are not the sharpest knives in the silverware drawer, but maybe seniors will buy their python snake oil.

    August 18, 2012 09:29 am at 9:29 am |
  9. GI Joe

    Hmmmm - I thought the republican HOUSE left town without the drought bill being passed.

    Romnney/s pod-cast? I don't buy into his bull, don't read his pod-cast, but I can only imagine the hate and bad-mouthing that he did

    August 18, 2012 09:53 am at 9:53 am |
  10. geggyg

    Repub Rep. Vicky Hartzler is not telling the full truth about the Farm Bill . The senate did pass the five year Farm Bill (which included drought assistance) with repub support. The House refused to vote on the Senate bill and didnt offer their own 5 year Farm bill , but passed a one year emergency drought package , not a complete Farm Bill, the Senate didnt vote on that . Why do repubs like to pass short term emergency bills (that only kick the problem down the road) instead of long term solutions which would give farmers more certainty and confidence to plan.

    August 18, 2012 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. george of the jungle

    romney is such a lier that it amazes me anyone would believe the garbage spouted from his lying lips. The repos have tried to make it seem that everyone on wealfare doesnt want to work that we have voter fraud running rampet. They found 12 cases in florida none in PA . But they are spending millions on it. The repos would have you think that poor people choose to be that way just looking for hand outs. Tell that to the millions of Americans looking for work trying to survive. Romney and ryan are not here to help but to help themselves to your tax money. Vote all repos out.

    August 18, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |