President Obama said Thursday night that Republican governors are taking credit for improving their states’ economies when it’s really his administration’s policies that have helped growth.
At a fundraiser in Washington for Democratic governors, Mr. Obama said some Republican governors are trying to fool the public. And he criticized New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, head of the Republican Governors Association, for opposing an increase in the state’s minimum wage last fall, saying “Republican governors are out of touch with their own citizens on this.”
“Some of them, their economies have improved in part because the overall economy has improved, and they take credit for it instead of saying that Obama had anything to do with it,” the president said of Republican governors. “I get that. There’s nothing wrong with that.”
But he said those same Republican governors are “making it harder for working families to access health insurance.”
“In some states, they’re making it harder even for Americans to exercise their right to vote,” Mr. Obama said. His administration has been critical of Voter ID laws implemented in many states controlled by the GOP.
The president also blasted Republicans in Congress, saying they “don’t have an affirmative agenda.”
“We’ve got a Congress that prefers to say ‘no’ rather than ‘yes’ right now,” Mr. Obama said. “Their main strategy is to just try to do nothing and see if they can — falsely — give people a sense that somehow the policies that we’re trying to pursue aren’t working for them.”
He praised Democratic governors for raising their states’ minimum wages and promoting the Affordable Care Act, which Mr. Obama said has now enrolled a total of 10 million people, including those on Medicaid.
Referring to GOP-controlled states that have refused to expand Medicaid rolls under Obamacare, the president said, “As you know, there have been a lot of governors and state legislators that are still resisting doing right by their people.”
The president told donors that this election year is particularly important because of contests taking place for governors’ seats and state legislatures.
“You got to pay attention to the states,” Mr. Obama said. “We know how to win national elections, but all too often, it’s during these midterms where we end up getting ourselves into trouble, because I guess we don’t think it’s sexy enough.”