Hoyer: Defeating Obama Is GOP’s ‘Number One Priority’ Even over Job Creation

By Melanie Arter | September 6, 2012 | 11:25 AM EDT

Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) (AP Photo)

(CNSNews.com) House Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer said Wednesday that the Republicans’ number one priority is to see President Barack Obama to fail – over the defeat of terrorism, job creation, reducing the deficit, ensuring access to health care, and educating the nation’s children.

Speaking at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C., the Maryland congressman said, “Last week, Mr. Romney said he wished President Obama had succeeded when he took office. If so, he was alone in his party. Let's review the history.

“Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader in the Senate, said that Republicans' number one priority was the defeat of President Obama. Not the defeat of terrorism, not the creation of jobs, not the reduction of our deficit and debt, not ensuring access to health care, not educating our children, not tending to the needs of Americans with disabilities, but to simply defeat our president,” Hoyer said.

“As the Rev. Jesse Jackson describes it, they want to drown the captain, and are prepared to sink the ship to do so,” he said.

“For four years, Republicans in Congress have pursued a strategy of confrontation, obstruction and a refusal to compromise. That's why not a single House Republican voted for the law that brought our economy back from the brink. That's why President Obama's jobs plan was not even put on the House floor. Instead of trying to fix the problem, the Republicans unfortunately played politics.” Hoyer said.

“But despite historic levels of obstruction, President Obama was able to bring the economy back from the verge of a second Great Depression. Here me, delegates and my fellow Americans. In January 2009, when the president took office, our economy lost more than 800,000 jobs in January,” Hoyer added.

“This past July, the economy added 172,000 jobs, the 29th consecutive month of private sector job gains. Now ladies and gentlemen, we know that's not enough, but it's a turnaround of nearly one million jobs from when President Obama took office. Surely, even Mr. Romney thinks we're better off today than we were then,” he said.