"Americans deserve better than the Republicans' repeal-only agenda," Pelosi said. "It's time for Republicans to join Democrats in establishing a better bargain for the middle class."
Not so, said Republicans, who panned the president's remarks as a series of repackaged ideas and empty promises.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called it "a colossal waste of time" that "generates little more than a collective, bipartisan eye roll." GOP House Speaker John Boehner's spokesman, Brendan Buck, chimed in: "Summary of the president's speech: 'I'm going to give more speeches.'"
The broad economic themes Obama planned to illustrate Thursday will be followed up in the coming weeks by another series of speeches drilling down on key sectors such as manufacturing, education, housing, retirement security and health care. Advisers say some of those speeches will contain more specific policy proposals, both for legislation and executive action Obama can take without congressional approval.
The first of those addresses was to come Tuesday, when Obama will travel to Chattanooga, Tenn., to promote American competitiveness at an Amazon fulfillment center, which packs and ships products to online purchasers. The White House said some new policy ideas will be unveiled during that visit.
Follow Josh Lederman on Twitter at http://twitter.com/joshledermanAP
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