Boehner: Obama busy campaigning, has ‘thrown in the towel’ on economy

The verbal tussle between the White House and Republican leaders over Barack Obama’s jobs bill escalated Thursday when House Speaker John Boehner delivered harsh criticism of the president.

Speaking at The Atlantic Ideas Forum in Washington Thursday morning, Boehner accused Obama of spending more time campaigning than governing, saying the president has “throw[n] in the towel” on the economy.

“Nothing has disappointed me more than what’s happened over the last five weeks — to watch the president of the United States give up on governing, give up on leading and spend full-time campaigning,” Boehner said. “We’re legislating, he’s campaigning. It’s very disappointing.”

Tit-for-tat, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney tweeted back: “Dear Mr. Speaker: you refuse to hold a vote on the Jobs Act, a mainstream bill that would boost economy & jobs now. That’s legislating?”

During the debt ceiling crisis, when the two worked closely to try and negotiate their “grand bargain,” Boehner and Obama were tight, even golfing together. But recent acrimony between GOP leaders and the president suggests there will be few tee times in their immediate future.

Unlike his previous strategy of closely negotiating with Republicans, Obama has crisscrossed the country in the past few weeks to lobby for his American Jobs Act, demanding that Congress “pass this bill now.” House GOP leaders have declared the bill dead on arrival, and are voting on several other bills first. Even its passage in the Senate is considered unlikely.

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