President Barack Obama on Thursday reiterated his State of the Union call for Republicans to drop their united opposition to his legislative efforts and for Democrats to stand strong with him rather than “run for the hills.”
“We’re all Americans. We all should anticipate that the other person, even if they disagree with us, has the best of intentions,” Obama told voters and politicians during a town hall in Tampa, Fla.
He and Vice President Joe Biden were there to announce $8 billion of federal funding for high-speed rail projects across the U.S. — integrating infrastructure spending with job creation.
New Yorkers on Thursday said the president was moving in the right direction.
“We need jobs. There’s no question about that,” said Maurice Divino, 42, a Bronx resident who was laid off from his parks department job and has been searching for work.
Solving unemployment was one issue that Democrats and Republicans seemed to agree is a priority, applauding Obama’s announcement Wednesday that he would pursue a jobs creation bill.
The State of the Union address, which some critics said was a campaign-like attempt to defend Obama’s agenda, urged tax cuts for small businesses and breaks for new factories to stimulate job creation.
Leslie Douglas, 48, a plumber who works in midtown, said health care shouldn’t be shelved. “We need jobs, but we need health care first,” said Douglas. “We can’t work if we’re not healthy.”