Obama: If you love me, pass my jobs bill

2011-09-15 10:57

North Carolina - US President Barack Obama told fired-up supporters on Wednesday that if they loved him, they must help pass his jobs bill, injecting more urgency into his push for key legislation.

Obama hit another key 2012 electoral swing state, North Carolina, to hike pressure on Republicans over his $447bn American Jobs Act which is designed to jolt the economy and ease 9.1% unemployment.

One supporter from the raucous crowd shouted to Obama that they loved him, and in a standard response from his 2008 campaign he replied "I love you back" - then added a new twist.

"If you love me, you got to help me pass this bill," Obama said, repeating the line to more cheers.

Obama's appeal may work with his supportive political base, but will cut little ice with Republicans seeking to exploit his diminished job approval ratings which are at 44% in a RealClearPolitics average of recent polls.

The president, on the latest leg of what aides say will be a months-long tour to promote the bill, also complained that some Republicans were against the legislation because they wanted to deprive him of a political victory.

"Give me a win? Give me a break," Obama said, during his pared-down stump speech which is peppered with demands that Republicans "pass this bill".

Republicans however are increasingly dismissing the jobs plan as a political stunt, complaining Obama proposes to finance it by reducing itemised deductions for Americans earning over $200 000 a year and closing corporate tax breaks.

They have said that they are interested in some aspects of the bill which is weighted towards payroll tax cuts and includes infrastructure spending, but may pass those pieces separately, not in the whole bill as Obama demands.