Obama: ‘I want what’s happening in Albany to happen all across the country’
After last week's depressing jobs report showing the smallest jobs gain in six months, President Obama made an appearance with Andrew Cuomo, the popular Democratic governor of New York, who introduced Obama by saying, "Your leadership has brought this nation through the storm and we thank you."
Cuomo, uncharacteristically reading from prepared remarks at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the University of Albany, credited the president with some of New York's good fortune. "Because of your leadership, this state is not going backwards Mr. President, this state is going forward," Cuomo said.
The manufacturing plant was built with a mix of private and public money, starting more than a decade ago. Cuomo said, "This is the type of private-public sector partnership you've been talking about."
In a conference call with reporters this morning organized by the Romney campaign ahead of Obama's visit, former governor George Pataki, a Republican, said Obama and Cuomo were celebrating what was essentially a Republican-led initiative he started when he was in office.
Obama came onto the stage to cheers from the audience, hugged Cuomo and thanked his fellow Democrat for demonstrating "extraordinary leadership."
"He is doing outstanding work," Obama said.
Obama and Cuomo toured the computer-chip manufacturing plant and said it represented the economic development he wanted to see more of.
"I want what's happening in Albany to happen all across the country," Obama declared.
The event represented an emphatic end to a period in which Cuomo had seemed anxious to keep his political distance from Obama.
The governor greeted Obama at the Albany International Airport, toured the computer manufacturing plant with him, hugged him on stage, and spoke briefly afterward. It appeared that Obama and Cuomo "were never out of the same picture frame."
In his remarks, Obama blamed congressional Republicans for stalling efforts he said could jumpstart the economy and spur job development, and said he would distribute a "to do" list the size of a "Post-it" note for members to refer to. It included refinancing home mortgages, renewing a tax credit for hiring new workers, and eliminating a tax break for companies that move overseas.
Obama urged Congress to pass those and other initiatives before July 1.
"There's no excuse for inaction," he said. "No excuse for dragging our feet. None."
In defending his economic record, Obama said his administration "created over 4 million jobs in the last 2 years." He also said while the only time in American history when the size of government shrunk during a recession was during his administration. During Republican presidential administrations which faced a recession, the size of the public workforce increased, he said.
Obama said he wanted to point that out "just so you don't buy into the bloated-government argument you might hear."