President Barack Obama took his jobs bill on the road on Friday, urging college students in Virginia to contact their lawmakers and tell them to support the legislation.
"I want you to call, I want you to e-mail, I want you to tweet, I want you to fax, I want you to visit, I want you to Facebook, send a carrier pigeon,” Obama said to a crowd of nearly 9,000 on the campus of the University of Richmond, according to The New York Times. “I want you to tell your congressperson, ‘The time for gridlock and games is over; the time for action is now."
On Thursday, Obama unveiled his $447 billion jobs package in a televised speech before a joint session of Congress. The package includes tax cuts, aid to states and infrastructure spending.
"Regardless of the arguments we’ve had in the past, regardless of the arguments we will have in the future, this plan is the right thing to do right now. You should pass it," Obama told lawmakers on Thursday. "And I intend to take that message to every corner of this country."
The Times reports that the Virginia stop was the first in what the White House says will be a sustained campaign to sell the bill, called the American Jobs Act, to the public. On Tuesday, Obama will visit Columbus, Ohio.
The locations of the first to stops are no accident: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor is from Virginia, and Speaker John Boehner is from Ohio.
The Times reports that Obama took a partisan tone in his address Friday.
He gleefully recycled the better lines from his Thursday speech, including a sarcastic plea to Republicans not to break their no-new-taxes-ever pledge by refusing to extend the cut in payroll taxes.
The tax cut is the centerpiece of Mr. Obama’s plan, and he pitched it to this young crowd by saying it “will put more people back to work and more money in the pockets of people who are working.”