- The Washington Times - Friday, February 20, 2015

President Obama taunted Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Friday for saying that the economy began to pick up due to the GOP taking full control of Congress.

At the Democratic National Committee winter meeting in Washington, Mr. Obama ridiculed the Kentucky Republican for trying to take credit for the improving economy, and said the GOP is like “chicken little.”

“Our Republican leader in the Senate, as he was coming in, after having tried to block every single thing that we have done to strengthen the economy, starts looking at the job numbers and says, ‘You know, it’s getting better because we just got elected and people are feeling more optimistic,” the president said to laughs from party faithful.

Mr. Obama added, “Not making this up — I didn’t know that’s how the economy worked, but maybe.”

The president also poked fun at Sen. Rand Paul, Kentucky Republican, and a possible presidential candidate in 2016.

Rand’s an interesting guy,” Mr. Obama said. “Rand Paul said, ‘The Republican Party needs to show up on the south side of Chicago and shout at the top of its lungs that the GOP is the ticket to the middle class.’ I think that’s encouraging, that he wants to go to the south side of Chicago.”

The audience interrupted Mr. Obama with laughter.

“No, I want parties to compete everywhere,” Mr. Obama said. “I was just home on the south side of Chicago yesterday. And I guarantee you that Senator Paul would be welcome there. We are a friendly bunch. I mean, it’s a little strange people show up and just start shouting at the top of their lungs, but we’re friendly, and it’d be OK.”

He said Republican lawmakers are being hypocritical about the improving economy after failing to support his domestic agenda.

“Now that their grand predictions of doom and gloom and death panels and Armageddon haven’t come true, sky hasn’t fallen, Chicken Little is quiet,” Mr. Obama said. “I just want everybody to remember that at every step as we made these policies, as we made this progress, we were told by our good friends, the Republicans that our actions would crush jobs, and explode deficits and destroy the country. I want everybody to do a fact check and go back 2009, 2010, ‘11, ‘12, ‘13. Just go back and look at the statements that were made each year by these folks about all these policies. Because apparently, they don’t remember.”

The president said the “facts are before us.”

“The economy kept growing, stock markets has more than doubled, restoring the 401(k)s of millions of people. Our deficits are down by two-thirds,” he said.

The press secretary for Speaker John A. Boehner, Ohio Republican, said Mr. Obama’s leadership has decimated his own party.

“There’s a reason why the Democratic Party has lost the House, the Senate, governorships and more than 900 state legislative seats in recent years,” said Boehner spokesman Cory Fritz. “President Obama’s liberal agenda has left America’s working class families behind.”

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