April 3, 2012
BOSTON — Gov. Deval Patrick criticized congressional Republicans Tuesday during a speech to the New England Business Council in Boston, saying they're blocking President Barack Obama’s efforts to fix the economy:
"We have been fortunate here to have legislative partners willing to give us the tools that we ask for. The president has not always been so fortunate. He’s been asked to fight the recession effectively with one hand tied behind his back," Patrick said.
He pointed to the failure to reach a deal on the highway bill, which would have authorized spending $100 billion on the nation's roads in the next 2 years.
The governor encouraged the 200-plus-member crowd to fight back, saying, "I hope you'll be willing to call that out and make it clear that subversion is unacceptable."
However, Patrick predicted Republicans would be more cooperative if Obama won a second term.
“If the president wins, and I think he will, and I think he should, then I think that a lot of the sclerosis in the Congress goes away," he said.
The governor is a co-chair of Obama's re-election campaign. Patrick has been stumping for the president, advising him on political strategy, hosting events and organizing Bay State supporters.
In the speech, Patrick also suggested that a Supreme Court ruling against the national Affordable Care Act could impact Massachusetts' health care law. This was a shift from his earlier position that the individual mandate in the state would probably be safe even if the Supreme Court deemed the federal law unconstitutional.