Republicans are jumping all over President Obama for personally lobbying against a measure to expedite approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.
Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney blasted Obama, with campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul telling me: “President Obama will have plenty of time to lobby Congress on behalf of radical environmentalists when he leaves office next year. Until then, he needs to stay focused on the needs of all Americans, which include affordable, reliable energy and good jobs. If the president actually thinks that construction of the Keystone XL pipeline is not in the national interest, he should explain his position publicly instead of saying one thing to the American people and another in the backrooms on Capitol Hill.” Ouch.
Meanwhile, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) took to the floor to blast Obama, saying:
Most Americans strongly support building this pipeline and the jobs that would come with it. And it’s incomprehensible to me that the President of the United States is lobbying against it.
There’s a report this morning that President Obama is personally making phone calls to Democrat Senators he thinks might vote for this amendment. He’s asking them not to. And, frankly, it’s hard to even comprehend how out of touch he is on this issue.
I mean, think about it: at a moment when millions are out of work, gas prices are skyrocketing and the Middle East is in turmoil, we’ve got a president who’s up making phone calls trying to block a pipeline here at home. It’s unbelievable.
What we’re seeing in Congress this week is a study in contrasts.
On the one hand you’ve got a Republican-controlled House that’s about to pass a bipartisan jobs bill that would help entrepreneurs and innovators by getting Washington out of the way. And today we’ve got a Democratic-controlled Senate trying to line up votes against amendments that would create jobs — and a President lobbying against the biggest one.
It will be interesting to see how many Senate Democrats are willing to jump over the cliff with the White House on this one.