The campaigner in chief was in North Carolina at a confab supposedly on Jobs and Competitiveness, two things his administration has been attacking at every turn, when he made the quip that will live forever in infamy.
The Republican National Committee could not have scripted a more damning sound bite. President Obama on Monday attended his administration's Council on Jobs and Competitiveness at an enviro-friendly lighting firm in North Carolina. Considering the dismal state of the economy, it should have been a subdued event.
But when it was explained to the president that the federal permit process for construction and infrastructure projects can cause delays ranging from "months to years," and "in many cases even cause projects to be abandoned," a gaffe ensued.
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It was remarked to the president, "I'm sure that when you implemented the Recovery Act, your staff briefed you on many of these challenges." A smiling Obama responded, "shovel-ready was not as . .. uh ... shovel-ready as we expected."