President Obama on Wednesday told Republicans to “stop just hatin’ all the time” and work with Democrats to help raise the nation’s minimum wage, pass an infrastructure investment bill and take other steps to help the middle class.
Speaking to a raucous crowd in Kansas City, the president said the nation has made real progress in recent years, with the stock market soaring, corporate profits up and the jobless rate far below where it was during the darkest days of the great recession.
The economy could grow even more, Mr. Obama said, if the GOP was an effective partner in Washington.
“Come on and help out a little bit. Stop being mad all the time. Stop just hatin’ all the time,” the president said to wild applause. “Come on. Let’s get some work done together.”
But Republicans dismissed the president’s speech as yet another attempt to draw attention away from the administration’s own failures. They also say Mr. Obama, despite his words, simply won’t embrace any Republican-led ideas.
“If the president is willing to work in good faith with Congress, we can spend taxpayer dollars more wisely and pass bipartisan solutions to create more economic certainty for American workers and families,” Sen. Roy Blunt, Missouri Republican, wrote in The Washington Times on Wednesday. “What we don’t need is another empty ‘pivot’ today, or for the president to continue ignoring the law altogether. Missourians and people nationwide want to hear real answers about the president’s plans to work with Congress and help put more people back to work.”
House Republicans on Wednesday are expected to vote on authorizing a lawsuit against Mr. Obama for allegedly overstepping his constitutional authority.
The president made light of that lawsuit during his speech, and said it’s another instance of how Republican lawmakers “haven’t been that helpful.”
“They haven’t been as constructive as I would have hoped,” he said. “And these actions, they come with a cost. When you block policies that would help millions of Americans right now, not only are those families hurt but the economy is hurt.”