WASHINGTON -- House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), while once again calling for cooperation with the White House, took a shot at President Barack Obama on Thursday, saying the White House is no longer focused on governing and has turned its sights to reelection at the expense of the economy.
"Nothing has disappointed me more than to watch what's happened over the past five weeks," Boehner (R-Ohio) said at the Washington Ideas Forum. "To watch the president of the United States give up on governing, give up on leading, and spend full time campaigning."
Boehner weaved his criticism of Obama into a few appeals for the White House and House Republicans to find "common ground," part of his recent push for the president to compromise on his jobs bill. Boehner and his colleagues, such as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.), have said over the last few weeks that they'd like to see more civility between Republicans and Democrats.
Still, they seem willing to make jabs at the president, dismissing his jobs bill as pure politics. Obama has made several speeches and appearances around the country in recent weeks to tout his American Jobs Act, which faces stiff opposition in the Republican-controlled House.
Republicans in the House and Senate repeatedly called for the president to lead on the issue of jobs before he unveiled his bill, but now that he has put forth a proposal, they say they disagree with a number of portions of the legislation.
Boehner dismissed Obama's calls for congressional action on the bill, which included a White House press conference that overlapped with the Speaker's appearance at the forum, as campaigning.
"I can't tell you how dangerous our situation, our economy is in," he said. "Yet the president, some 14 months before the election, throws in the towel and decides he's going to go out campaigning."
Boehner did have some words of praise for the president. He said he has been "very supportive" of Obama's actions in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"I think so far the president has done just fine," he said, acknowledging successes such as rooting out Osama bin Laden. "I think that when you look at the prosecution in of the war effort against the enemy in the tribal areas, there's clearly more been done under President Obama than there was under President Bush, in terms of a more aggressive focus at it."