President Barack Obama is giving a speech on the U.S. economy and the European debt crisis, urging Congress to take up his “to-do list” and the Jobs Act he proposed in September.
Obama hit on Congressional Republicans for not moving on his proposals. The speech came a week after a dismal May jobs report gave Republican challenger Mitt Romney and other Republicans chances to hammer him. With the economy expected to be a referendum on the direction of the country on the economy and jobs, that report also sent his chances of re-election spiraling down.
He also remarked on the debt crisis in Europe, saying, it affects the U.S. because Europe is the country’s largest trading partner.
Obama cited Italy and Spain’s good structural reforms, but advocated against further austerity.
“The situation in Europe is not simply a debt crisis,” Obama said.
Of why it’s been difficult for reform in Europe, Obama hits Congress again: “Imagine dealing with 17 Congresses instead of just one. That makes things more challenging.”
He moved back to the situation at home, commending the private sector for creating jobs but further advocating his jobs plan for help in the public sector. He said the private sector is doing “fine.” Specifically, he said, his plan would help hiring among teachers, police, firefighters, and in construction.
“State and local government hiring has been going in the wrong direction,” Obama said.
Obama also got a question about the national security leaks and some suggestions that his administration has been deliberately leaking information to boost his re-election efforts. “The notion that my White House would purposely release national security information is offensive.”
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.