AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — President Barack Obama ridiculed congressional Republicans on Thursday, accusing them of doing little more than opposing his agenda in a campaign-style rally with less than four months remaining before midterm elections.
“Do something,” Obama pointedly demanded of his political rivals. “It is lonely me just doing stuff. I’d love it if the Republicans did stuff, too.”
Obama’s speech in the Texas capital came at the end of a three-day swing to raise Democratic money in Colorado and Texas. Republicans and some Democrats criticized him for avoiding a visit to the border to address an influx of Central American children sneaking into the country to escape their violent homelands.
Obama had lunch with a college student who wrote a letter to him about her family’s economic troubles, and he held up her family as an example of Republican inaction.
“So far this year, Republicans in Congress have blocked or voted down every serious idea to strengthen the middle class,” Obama said. They don’t even have the energy to vote down his immigration plan, he said.
“The best things you can say for them this year is that so far they haven’t shut down the government,” the president said. “But of course it’s only July.”
House Speaker John Boehner’s office said in response that the Republican-led House has passed nearly four times the number of bills as the Democratic-led Senate. Boehner said during a news conference earlier Thursday that House Republicans have passed nearly 40 jobs bills that are being blocked by Senate Democrats.
“We’ve seen enough of Senate gridlock. The president should join us in pushing the Senate for more action,” he said.