President Barack Obama's opponents are obstructing plans for economic recovery, U.S. Rep. Emanuel Cleaver charged Tuesday.
In a speech to the National Baptist Convention USA in Kansas City, Cleaver said those opponents would "vote no if Barack Obama proposes that tomorrow come."
Cleaver, a Methodist minister, also decried what he called "emptiness" in American politics and government.
"People want to talk about patriotism? There is an emptiness of patriotism," he said in remarks delivered at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown hotel.
"All around the country, when you look at the urban core, you see emptiness," Cleaver said. "Empty walls of diplomas. Empty wallets. Full jails."
In his speech, the Kansas City Democrat defended his support for the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program, which allocated billions of dollars to shore up banks, calling it "the right thing to do." He called on Congress to extend a jobs programs aimed at former welfare recipients and to support the White House proposal for infrastructure repair as a job-producing stimulus.
And he appeared to indirectly support construction of an Islamic center near the site of the twin towers in New York, telling the story of an effort while he was Kansas City mayor to bar a church from building in a neighborhood.
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