ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE, Aug. 16 (UPI) -- The White House Monday took aim at Republicans, saying they "have stood on the sidelines and rooted for failure" instead of working to revive the economy.
Aboard Air Force One, White House spokesman Bill Burton said a quote from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., in The New York Times Sunday typified Republicans' desire to "obstruct" passage of legislation that would improve the economy.
McConnell told the Times: "I wish we had been able to obstruct (Democrats' measures) more. They were able to get the healthcare bill through. They were able to get the stimulus through. They were able to get the financial reform through. These were all major pieces of legislation, and if I would have had enough votes to stop them, I would have."
Burton called the quote "proof positive of how Republicans view their role here, and more -- another example of how they've stood on the sidelines and rooted for failure as opposed to actually getting involved to help move this economy forward again."
Asked about President Obama's comments on the mosque that would be built 2 1/2 blocks from Ground Zero, Burton said: "The president thinks that it's his obligation to speak out when he thinks issues of the Constitution arise. And so, in this case, he decided to state clearly how he feels about making sure that people are treated equally, that there is fairness and that our bedrock principles are upheld."
Obama stopped Monday at ZBB Energy Corp., a Menomonee Falls, Wis., company that makes batteries and power systems using renewable energy sources. ZBB received a $1.3 million federal stimulus loan that will enable the company to retain a dozen jobs it would have eliminated and add 80 new ones.
The president was to speak later Monday at a fundraiser for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in the state's gubernatorial race.