Despite submitting the first $4 trillion federal budget and breaking a record for new regulations last year, President Obama rejected the notion Monday that he is a “big government” liberal.
“This idea that somehow, I get a kick out of big government, it is just not the case,” Mr. Obama insisted at a meeting with the nation’s governors at the White House.
Addressing criticism that his administration imposes too many regulations, the president countered that his advisers are always looking to “scrub” obsolete or unnecessary rules.
“For those of you who think that I’m just a big government crazy liberal, you know … we crunch some numbers around here. We take it very seriously,” he said.
The president was responding to a question from Republican Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland, who asked the president if he’d be willing to join the governors in a review of regulations at all levels of government.
“I don’t believe in regulations for regulations sake,” he told the governors.
But last year was a record-setting year for the Federal Register, according to the Competitive Enterprise Institute in Washington. The daily publication of the federal government’s proposed and finalized rules and notices amounted to more than 81,600 pages, higher than the previous record of 81,405 pages in 2010.