President Obama on Monday urged governors to meet with their states' congressional delegations while they are in Washington this week for the National Governor's Association winter meeting and press them to find a way to avoid the looming sequester cuts.

"I hope that you speak with your congressional delegation and remind them in no uncertain terms exactly what is at stake and exactly who is at risk," Obama said in an address to members of the National Governors Association at the White House. "Because here's the thing. These cuts do not have to happen. Congress can turn them off anytime with just a little bit of compromise." 

Obama also called for new spending on infrastructure and education to spur growth, listing by name some of the ways the governors gathered there had worked across the aisle in their states to improve infrastructure and education.

"All of us are elected officials. All of us are concerned about our politics, both in our own parties as well as the other parties," Obama said. "But at some point we've got to do some governing. And certainly what we can't do is keep careening from manufactured crisis to manufactured crisis.

At the end of his remarks, Obama asked the press to leave before a question-and-answer session with the governors.