Pence questions Obama at House GOP conference

Friday, January 29, 2010; 1:47 PM

After addressing the GOP House Issues Conference in Baltimore on Friday, President Obama took a series questions from the lawmakers. Here is a transcript of one of the questions posed to the president:

REP. MIKE PENCE (R-Ind.): We are pleased to have you return (inaudible) a year ago. House Republicans said then we would make you two promises. Number one, that most people in this room and their families would pray for you and your beautiful family just about every day for the four years. I want to assure you we're keeping that promise.

OBAMA: I appreciate that.

PENCE: Number two, (inaudible) to you, Mr. President, was that door (ph) was always open. And we hope that by evidence of our invitation to you that we can demonstrate that (inaudible).

Mr. President, (inaudible) us in this conference yesterday, on the way into Baltimore, stopped by the Salvation Army homeless facility here in Baltimore yesterday.

I met a little boy, an African-American boy, in the 8th grade, named David Carter Jr.

When he heard that I would be seeing you today, his eyes lit up like I haven't seen. And I told him if he wrote you a letter, I'd give it to you. And I have.

But I had a conversation with little David Jr. and David Sr. And their families are struggling in this economy. His dad said words to me, Mr. President, that I'll never forget. About my age, and he said -- he said, "Congressman, it's not like it was when we were coming up." He said, "There's just no jobs."

Now, last year, about the time you met with us, unemployment was 7.5 percent in this country. Your administration and your party in Congress told us that we'd have to borrow more than $700 billion to pay for a so-called stimulus bill that was a piecemeal list of projects and boutique tax cuts, all of which we were told had to be passed or unemployment would go to 8 percent, as your administration said.

Well, unemployment is 10 percent now, as you well know, Mr. President. Here in Baltimore, it's considerably higher.

Now, Republicans offered a stimulus bill at the same time. It cost half as much as the Democratic proposal in Congress. And using your economic analyst models, it would have created twice the jobs at half the cost. It essentially was across-the-board tax relief, Mr. President.

Now, we know you've come to Baltimore today and you've -- you've raised this -- a tax credit which was last promoted by President Jimmy Carter.

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