President Barack Obama continued to slam Republicans in Congress for opposing a minimum wage increase Wednesday, saying that the GOP’s refusal to back the measure is “pretty consistent with their general worldview” and blasting the new budget proposal from Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin.
“Here’s the truth: They’re not necessarily cold-hearted,” Obama said of Republicans during an appearance at the University of Michigan. “They just sincerely believe that if we give more tax breaks to a fortunate few; and we invest less in the middle class; and we reduce or eliminate the safety net for the poor and the sick; and we cut food stamps and we cut Medicaid; and we let banks and polluters and credit card companies and insurers do only what’s best for their bottom line without the responsibility to the rest of us, then somehow the economy will boom and jobs and prosperity will trickle down to everybody.”
Obama alluded to the new budget proposal unveiled earlier this week by budget committee head Ryan, telling students the plan would “shrink opportunity for your generation.”
He joked that much of Ryan’s plan has been recycled from previous proposals in other election cycles.
“It’s like that movie Groundhog Day, except it’s not funny,” he said.
Saying that the minimum wage hike would “lift millions of people out of poverty right away,” Obama urged Congress to “get on board” with the proposal, which generally garners broad support in public polls.
Obama was joined by Michigan Senate Democratic candidate Gary Peters, who is in a tight race to replace retiring Sen. Carl Levin.
First published April 2 2014, 12:40 PM
Carrie Dann is a national political writer for NBCNews.com. She has worked for NBC and NBCNews.com since 2006. Dann writes about politics and Congress. Dann rejoined the web team after 18 months as a campaign reporter for NBC News, covering presidential and vice presidential candidates during the 2012 election. She also covered the 2007-2008 presidential campaign for NBC, including extensive reporting on the Iowa caucuses.
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Prior to her work at NBCNews.com, Dann was a staff reporter at CongressDaily, where she covered lobbying and government reform.
A Virginia native, she now lives in Washington, D.C.