Rendell says Obama Meeting was Success

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Ed Rendell joined Arnold Schwarzenegger and other governors from across the country for a meeting with Barack Obama in Philadelphia this afternoon. (Matt Rourke/AP)

Gov. Rendell says today's meeting between 48 governors and President-elect Barack Obama at Philadelphia's Congress Hall to talk about economic stimulus was a success.

"We think it was a very productive meeting," Rendell said at a press conference after the session broke up.

The local meeting of the National Governors Association drew 48 of the 59 invited governors and governor-elects, including those from territories. Among the bold-faced names at Congress Hall on Independence Mall were Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin and California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The governors came together to discuss a multi-billion stimulus plan that Obama wants to sign upon taking office. Governors want Obama to provide dollars for infrastructure projects, as well as additional funding for social programs like food stamps, unemployment benefits and Medicaid.

Most states -- including Pennsylvania -- are currently facing massive budget deficits and are grappling with substantial buget cuts.

Rendell said Obama was supportive of the governors' requests, but no hard commitments were made and no dollar amounts pledged. But he said he was hopeful the states will get support when Obama takes office.

"This is the best of all the financial recovery plans," Rendell said. "All of the previous bailouts don't do one thing to create one new job."

Palin was asked if she supported the plan, given that on the campaign trail she had railed against excessive government spending.

"We still have great concerns about the perhaps the philosophy even, much of the economic problems we are facing today perhaps was caused by too much debt, that solving the problems will not come from incurring more debt. So we do have some concerns about things. This is going to be a matter of re-prioritizing federal dollars and putting them to use in the wisest fashion," Palin said.

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