ABC News’ Mary Bruce ( @marykbruce ) Reports:
In Michigan today, an impassioned President Obama accused Republicans in Congress of trying to score political points “at the expense of our country” and said that the “constant bickering” in Washington was partly to blame for the nation’s slow economic recovery.
“There is nothing wrong with our country. There is something wrong with our politics,” Obama told workers at the Johnson Control Inc. advanced battery factory in Holland, Mich.
In the aftermath of the debt debate, the president told Americans that he shares their frustrations with the partisan gridlock in Washington.
“What we've seen in Washington the last few months has been the worst kind of partisanship, the worst kind of gridlock, and that gridlock has undermined public confidence and impeded our efforts to take the steps we need for our economy,” he said. “There are things we have to do to erase a legacy of debt that hangs over the economy. But time and again we've seen partisan brinksmanship get in the way, as if winning the next election is more important than fulfilling our responsibilities to you and to our country.”
Once again, Obama called on Congress to pass stalled measures that he said would help create jobs immediately, including investing in infrastructure, extending the payroll tax cuts and reforming the patent system.
“The only thing keeping us back is our politics. The only thing preventing these bills from being passed is the refusal of some folks in Congress to put country ahead of party. There are some in Congress
right now who would rather see their opponents lose than see America win, and that has to stop. It's got to stop,” he said.
But Obama admitted that “given the weakness of the economy, we need to do even more” and said that he is prepared to offer up additional proposals of his own to spur job growth and boost the economy.
“Over the coming weeks, I'm going to be putting out more proposals, week by week, that will help businesses hire and put people back to work. And I'm going to keep at it until every single American who wants a job can find one,” he announced.
Again, the president called for a long-term plan to reduce the deficit and reiterated that both parties have to be willing to compromise. “Everybody's got to do their part. Everybody's got to chip in. That's fair. You learn it in kindergarten,” he said. “The problem is not that we don't have answers. The problem is, is that folks are playing political games.”
The president, who is set to go on vacation himself later this month, also addressed the criticism he’s received for not calling Congress back from its August recess to focus on the economy.
Instead of “spending more time arguing in D.C.,” the president, who is about to embark on a three day Midwest bus tour, said, not surprisingly, that “they need to spend more time out here listening to you and hearing how fed up you are. That's why I'm here.”