President Obama struck a sarcastic tone in a jobs speech Monday, which will likely be the framework for his message on the rest of his three-day bus tour through North Carolina and Virginia.
The president kicked off the tour in Fletcher, North Carolina where he compared his recently-defeated ‘American Jobs Act' to the plan the GOP laid out last week.
"My plan says we're going to put teachers back in the classroom; construction workers back to work rebuilding America, rebuilding our schools, tax cuts for small businesses; tax cuts for hiring veterans; tax cuts if you give your workers a raise. That's my plan," the president said at an outdoor rally. "And then you got their plan, which is let's have dirtier air, dirtier water, less people with health insurance. All right so, so far at least, I feel better about my plan."
While recognizing the fate his own bill suffered, the president said its core elements must remain and be voted on individually.
House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman Brendan Buck says that idea isn't new. "It was Speaker Boehner and Leader Cantor who, back on September 6th, first proposed working together to break up the President's bill to see parts of it passed," he said in a statement. "The Speaker has attempted through letter, public statement, and direct appeal to work with the President. He's instead opted for a bus tour."
The president is using his bus tour to illustrate portions of the plan that he's attempting to push through individually. Monday's appearance at the Asheville Regional Airport was to emphasize infrastructure.
Taking a political tone, the president made it clear this piecemeal approach wasn't his first choice, "So this week, I'm asking members of Congress to vote -- what we're going to do is we're going to break up my jobs bill. Maybe they just couldn't understand the whole all at once," the president said to laughter.
He says he's worked hard to come to an agreement with the GOP, despite dismay from some in his own party.
Buck agrees there's been negotiating, but says the results have not been fruitful, "Congress has passed just about everything the President has asked for in the past and the unemployment rate is still 9.1%."