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“If you’re the leader of the free world, would you please come to the microphone and quit hiding in the basement about your proposals, and come on up and address the American people? Is he chicken?” the former Minnesota governor told CNN’s “State of the Union.”
He said Mr. Obama needs to talk specifically and publicly about where he would cut entitlement programs to reduce the nation’s debt. Mr. Obama has been negotiating with congressional leaders in an attempt to raise the government’s borrowing limit ahead of an Aug. 2 deadline to avoid a financial default.
“Where’s the president of the United States on the most pressing financial challenges of our country on entitlement reform? Where is his specific Medicaid reform proposal? Where is his specific Medicare reform proposal? Where is his Social Security reform proposal?” Mr. Pawlenty asked.
“The answer is, he doesn’t have one. You can’t find him publicly talking about that. He’s ducking, he’s bobbing, he’s weaving. He’s not leading, and that’s not the kind of president we need, and that’s why he needs to be removed from office.”
Mr. Pawlenty himself has been criticized for not being aggressive enough in his 2012 campaign.
Geithner says economy may have slowed
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner says the economy may have slowed during the second quarter of the year, but he’s looking for it to pick up.
The economy grew at a rate of 1.9 percent from January to March. The April-to-June figures for the gross domestic product aren’t yet in, but some economists have forecast them to be lower.
Mr. Geithner said growth for the first half of 2011 will probably come in at 2 percent, perhaps even slightly lower.
He blamed slow growth on rising oil prices, bad weather, the nuclear crisis in Japan, and tight budgets for local and state governments. He also said the specter of a government default is taking a toll.
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