By Frank James
Even as President Barack Obama tried to demonstrate his focus on the jobless recovery with his jobs summit Thursday, Republicans derided the effort, saying it was heavy on rhetoric, light on solutions.
Furthermore, they used the opportunity to blame the Democratic agenda, including initiatives that haven't even gotten through Congress yet and whose future is uncertain, like climate legislation, for double-digit unemployment and the tentative economic recovery.
Before its economic roundtable which was stocked with conservative economists and meant to compete with the White House event, House Minority Leader Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio) bashed the president and other Democratic leaders for a lack of business experience and acumen and said their agenda has made many business people skittish to invest:
BOEHNER: You know, as a former small businessman myself, I know what it takes to meet a payroll, and I can tell you that the policies being proposed by this administration and their Democratic allies here in Congress, are causing employers to sit on their hands. They've got a stimulus bill that's not working, spending that's out of control, deficits that are out of control, a national energy tax and now the government takeover of health care is causing employers to wonder what's the policies here in Washington are going to mean to their future. And because all of these things are hanging in the air, business people are, frankly, sitting on their hands, trying to figure out how do I make the next move? But until Washington provides some certainty, I don't think they will.
You have to remember that President Obama, Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Reid have never run a business, much less ever had a real job in the private sector. So how would they know what it takes to create real jobs?
Boehner's office also provided on its website a page of web links to news stories and opinion pieces that dinged the White House jobs summit.
Not only did it contain negative critiques from journalists but from the president's fellow Democrats, too, who were miffed the president didn't have significant congressional representation at the summit.