By Stephen Collinson | AFP – 37 mins ago
President Barack Obama Wednesday said even God wanted to put Americans back to work, invoking divine blessing for his joust with Republicans over measures designed to slice into high unemployment.
Obama also taunted his foes with historic arguments in favor of repairing vital infrastructure once made by conservative icon Ronald Reagan, as he stumped for a $60 billion infrastructure bill being taken up by the Senate.
The president rebuked the House of Representatives for passing a bill reaffirming the US motto "In God We Trust" rather than getting to work on his stalled $447 billion jobs program.
"That's not putting people back to work. I trust in God, but God wants to see us help ourselves by putting people back to work," the president said.
Obama's spokesman Jay Carney denied that Obama had perhaps gone too far by dragging the Almighty into a fierce political spat.
"I believe that the phrase from the Bible is 'the Lord helps those who help themselves,'" Carney said.
"I think the point the president is making is that, you know, we have it within our capacity to do the things to help the American people."