Political firebrands hit Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. from both his left and his right Thursday afternoon, reacting to the Illinois congressman’s call for the president to bypass the Constitution to deal with the jobs crisis.
During a Wednesday interview with The Daily Caller, Jackson said President Obama should “declare a national emergency” and use “extra-constitutional” measures to create jobs.
Debbie Halvorson, his likely 2012 primary Democratic challenger, said their shared district’s residents do not want “a do-nothing politician who is looking to get a quick headline.”
“In Rep. Jackson’s entire congressional career, he has never introduced a single jobs bill,” Halvorson said. “Now, he’s calling on the president to suspend the Constitution? As a representative of the people, you don’t give up when you hit a roadblock and throw the Constitution out the window — you keep working to get something done.”
Illinois Republican Rep. Joe Walsh issued a similarly harsh rebuke.
On his Facebook page, Walsh wrote, “Jesse Jackson Jr., you asked Obama to declare a jobs state of emergency, bypass Congress, and take action by himself? If you want a dictator and state run jobs program, you might be happier living in North Korea with Kim Jong Il.”
“Contact my district office if you need to expedite your passport,” Walsh snarked.
A press release issued by Halvorson’s campaign noted that Jackson has introduced ten constitutional amendments as a congressman, all of them unsuccessful. The release also mocked Jackson’s “struggles” to support President Obama’s American Jobs Act, saying he initially opposed the bill and only emerged as a supporter after its defeat in the Senate. (RELATED: Jackson: Obama should declare a ‘national emergency,’ add jobs with ‘extra-constitutional’ action)
Halvorson was elected to Congress in 2008 in a neighboring district, but lost her re-election bid in 2010. This year’s redistricting in Illinois is fueling her political comeback, as she now seeks to defeat Jackson in his long-held 2nd Congressional District.