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Entries in The Dream Act (1)

Monday
Jul252011

Obama on Debt, Immigration: 'I Need a Dance Partner, the Floor's Empty'

William Thomas Cain/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Though President Obama didn't talk specifics on the current debt limit negotiations, at the annual meeting of the National Council of La Raza in Washington, D.C., the president summed up his outlook on the two hottest topics for his audience: the debt limit and his stalled immigration reform plan.

“Believe me, the idea of doing things on my own is very tempting.  I promise you not just on immigration reform. But that's not how our system works,” Obama said.  “Neither party is blameless for the decisions that lead to our debt, but both parties have a responsibility to come together to solve the problem and make sure the American people aren’t hurt on this issue.”

He reiterated that he is willing to “cut spending that we don't need in historic amounts...But we can’t just close our deficits by cutting spending...Not only is it not fair if all of this is done on the backs of middle-class families and poor families, it doesn’t make sense.  It may sound good to save a lot of money over the next five years, but not if we sacrifice our future for the next fifty,” Obama said.

“That’s not who we are, we are better than that...we are people who look out for each other,” he said.

Before the president's speech, White House press secretary Jay Carney posted on Twitter: “House GOP risks our economy by refusing to compromise. #Speaker walked away twice from fair deals backed by the public. THAT’S indefensible.”

On immigration, the president said he was disappointed that Republicans in the Senate blocked his reform package last year but contended that getting The Dream Act passed is still the right thing for which to fight.

“It was heartbreaking to get so close and see politics get in the way,” he said.  “They've walked away ...So let’s be honest.  I need a dance partner here -- and the floor is empty,” leaving the president “enforcing flawed laws in the most humane and best possible way.”

The solution, he said, was to rally the voices outside Washington for change and to keep the pressure on Republicans, though he didn’t mention them by name.

“This is a city where 'compromise' is becoming a dirty word, where there's more political  upside in doing what's easier for re-election, what's easier for an attack ad than what's best for the country,” Obama said. “The Democrats and your president are with you.  Don't get confused about that.  Remember who it is that we need to move in order to actually change the laws.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio