Obama pushes jobs plan at the University of Richmond

RICHMOND (WWBT)-  The president chose Richmond to launch a campaign to get his new jobs bill passed. It is a plan he promises will ignite a stagnate economy. It was a long line at the University of Richmond campus, with some of the people getting there as early as four AM.

During his speech, Mr. Obama pushed some key proposals that his opponents have been resistant to.

It is a statistic that has dogged this president from the start of his presidency: unemployment more than 9 percent.  He is determined to bring that number down by investing $400 billion in job creation efforts.

That push led to the one word being said over and over again.


The country needs jobs and President Obama thinks he has the plan to make that happen. His "American Jobs Act" is a $400 billion dollar proposal designed to get people back to work.

"Everything in there is the kind of proposal that has been supported in the past by Democrats and Republicans," said Mr. Obama during his speech.

The proposal includes a mix of tax incentives, infrastructure investments and boosts for small businesses. But that is only part of the plan.

"Everything in it," said Mr. Obama. "Will be paid for."

That $400 billion will have to come from somewhere. University of Richmond political professor Dr. Dan Palazzolo believes that is where the president will run into trouble with republicans.

"There is no consensus there," he said. "It's the 'and there all paid for' part that is not covered by both sides."

Mr. Obama is not backing down in the areas where House Republicans have been unwilling to budge. In particular, raising taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

"Should we keep tax breaks for millionaires and billionaires," he asked.  "Or should we put teachers back to work?"

It is a stance those in attendance at the Robins Center support and they encouraged the president to push forward.

"We need to put politics aside and instead focus on the people," said Josh Wheeler an Obama supporter who lives in Shockoe Bottom.

It was a message received by this crowd, and one the leader of the free world strongly encouraged them to share with everyone they know.

"If you will fight for tax breaks for middle class people as you do for oil companies and rich folks, pass this bill," he implored. "Now let's get something done!"

The president encouraged the faithful here today to call, write e-mail, even tweet and facebook their congressman. Many of whom are represented by the president's chief critic Eric Cantor.

Andy Jenks covered Rep. Cantor's side of the story. You can see his report here.

There is more on the President's speech, including reaction from Governor Tim Kaine, an Obama supporter, on DecisionVirginia.com