With the team behind President Barack Obama targeting the Sunshine State in their bid for a second term in 2012, the White House sent U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis to speak to the Florida Democratic Convention on Saturday.
A day after Vice President Joe Biden told the convention at Walt Disney World that Obama needed to carry Florida to win in 2012, Solis attempted to rally Democrats for the elections and urged them to push for the Obama jobs plan which, with Republicans controlling the U.S. House, has no chance of passing Congress.
Speaking at a luncheon event on Saturday, Solis carried water for Obama, bashing Republicans and praising the administration’s economic policies.
Solis offered harsh words about conservatives. Looking at 2012, Solis slammed the tea party movement, calling them “teabaggers” and promising the Obama administration will take them on.
Combating the noise of a crowd often more concerned with holding their own conversations and eating their lunches than listening to her speech, Solis attempted to defend the Obama economic policies, praising the federal stimulus that the White House backed and the president’s job plan.
Solis claimed that the Obama job plan was backed by 65 percent of the American people and would “put 2 million people, especially construction workers, back to work.”
Besides attempting to sell the Obama jobs plan, Solis took aim at the Republicans. She attacked Republican Gov. Rick Scott’s labor policies, arguing that he is looking to take away collective bargaining and other rights from public-sector employees.
Solis accused Republicans in Florida and other states, including Ohio and Wisconsin, of “picking on” teachers, police officers and other government workers.
Blaming globalization and market changes for the decline of organized labor in the private sector, Solis conceded that government workers retained strong unions. “We’ve seen the movement in the labor house diminish in the private sector,” said Solis.
Solis urged the crowd to back Obama and his jobs plan.“You need to understand that this president is fighting for you,” she insisted.
When Obama took the oath of office in January 2009, the national unemployment rate stood at 7.6 percent. In September 2011, the national unemployment rate was 9.1 percent.
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