President Obama: 'Too Many People Hurting... To Do Nothing'07:27
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President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday. (AP)
President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference in the East Room of the White House in Washington, Thursday. (AP)

By: THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

WASHINGTON - Defiant and frustrated, President Barack Obama aggressively challenged Republicans Thursday to get behind his jobs plan or explain why not, declaring that if Congress fails to act "the American people will run them out of town."

The president used a White House news conference to attempt to heighten the pressure he's sought to create on the GOP by traveling around the country, into swing states and onto the home turf of key Republican foes including House Speaker John Boehner and Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Giving a bit of ground on his own plan, he endorsed a new proposal by Senate Democrats to tax people whose income is a million dollars a year or more. "This is not a game," he said.

Obama made no apologies for his decision to abandon seeking compromise with Republicans in favor of assailing them, sometimes by name. He contended that he'd gone out of his way to try to work with the GOP since becoming president, reaching hard-fought deals to raise the government's borrowing limit and avert a government shutdown, and had gotten nothing in return.

"Each time, we have seen game playing," the president said. "I am always open to negotiations. What is also true is they need to do something."

Guest:

  • Rick Klein, Senior Washington Editor for ABC World News, and host of the ABC News political webcast “Top Line.”

This segment aired on October 6, 2011.

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