Obama counters Republican critics on jobs agenda

By Ross Colvin – Rueters

BUFFALO, New York (Reuters) – President Barack Obama defended his administration’s economic recovery efforts on Thursday and accused Republicans of trying to block Democratic policies for political gain.

With public anxiety over the fragile economy threatening Obama’s Democrats in November’s congressional elections, he tried to turn the tables on Republican critics, accusing them of sitting on the sidelines last year when he was tackling the financial crisis.

Obama, speaking to factory workers in Buffalo, New York, made the case that his administration acted “boldly and quickly” to avert anotherGreat Depression and move the country on the path to recovery.

Touting the latest government reports showing job growth for the fourth straight month, Obama argued that his efforts were working despite a 9.9 percent unemployment rate in April.

“Today, we are heading in the right direction,” he said. “Despite all the naysayers who were predicting failure a year ago, our economy is growing again.”

Later, at a Democratic fund-raising speech in Manhattan, Obama was blistering in his criticism of Republicans who are poised to pick up seats against Democratic majorities in November elections for the U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate.

Obama said Republicans have “done their best to gum up the works” and said they generated much of the country’s fiscal deficit that they now complain about.

“Their basic attitude has been, if Democrats lose, we win. After they drove the car in the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back. No. They can’t drive. We don’t want to have to go back in the ditch,” he said.

To read more, visit: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20100513/pl_nm/us_usa_economy_obama

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