The Washington Times - October 3, 2011, 03:31PM

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Monday took President Obama to task for calling the United States “soft,” saying the administration is to blame for any malaise afflicting the country.

“Last week the president said that America has grown a little soft, and I just respond to that and say to the president, with all due respect, I disagree,” said the Virginia Republican during his weekly briefly with reporters at the Capitol.


“America is the greatest nation in the world. We are really the birthplace of game-changing innovations that have really changed the world.”

Mr. Cantor held up Facebook, the popular social networking Web site whose Palo Alto, Calif.-headquarters he visited last week, as a prime example of “the kind of innovation that we need more of.”

The U.S. “is where the best and the brightest come to be educated and to take a risk and to seek the opportunity that they’ve only dreamed of,” he said.

“The real issue is the Obama administration policies have taken away from that. And clearly, these polices have made it harder for people to succeed, to earn that success.”

The majority leader said the president’s health care reforms, proposals to raise taxes for some high-wage earners and big businesses, and “reluctance” to deal with the nation’s ballooning debt have held back the economy and hurt average Americans.

Mr. Obama told an Orlando TV station last week that while the U.S. still was “great,” the nation has lost some of its competitiveness in the global economic race.

“The way I think about it is, this is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and we didn’t have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades,” the president said. “We need to get back on track.”