WASHINGTON -- Former White House press secretary Robert Gibbs says Republicans must decide whether they're going to "swear allegiance to the tea party" or work with Democrats to create jobs.
Gibbs, who now advises President Barack Obama's re-election campaign, said during an appearance on MSNBC on Tuesday morning that Congress should "pay attention to creating jobs again."
He also suggested that some Republicans "do not want to see this economy get better" because they know continuing misery will likely improve their election prospects.
Gibbs says Obama favors a number of moves to help businesses step up hiring. He says "the president is not focused on keeping his job, most of all. He's focused on creating jobs for the American people."
The former White House spokesman also says that Congress likely will be asked to continue payroll tax relief.
Looking ahead to 2012, Gibbs said, "We're not running against George W. Bush." He added, "But many of the policies that got us into the mess that we're trying to dig out of now, are the same policies that the frontrunners for the Republican nomination seek to go back to."