Former Gov. Ed Rendell - never one to mince words - had a few choice ones for the president today:
Step up and lay out your plan to fix the economy.
"It’s time for the president to say, ‘Here it is.'” said Rendell on CNBC's Squawk Box.
Rendell's plea comes as Obama's approval numbers slide to 35 percent in Pennsylvania.
Appearing with Rendell was Sen. Judd Gregg (R., NH), who echoed the sentiment and suggested it might not be a good time for Obama to be taking that New England vacation, reports Newsmax.com.
“If I were in his shoes and I wanted to show some serious leadership,” Gregg said, “I’d demand that the Congress come back to Washington, and we sit down and reach a [target] number [for cuts] that’s a lot larger than what this alleged supercommittee has been charged with.
“You’ve got to hit a number of about $5.5 trillion over 10 years to get this debt-to-GDP ratio down below 60 percent, which is what is a viable number for us as a nation,” said Gregg. “And he ought to simply say, ‘Don’t leave town until we’ve done it, come back here and stay until we fix it.’”
“What the president needs to do now is lead,” Rendell said. “If he could have kept the Congress in Washington, then I would have canceled the vacation. “Without the Congress in Washington, then I think the White House moves to where ever the president is, and he gets the work done regardless of where he is.”
Rendell agreed with Gregg’s contention that much larger spending cuts are in order than what the supercommittee agreed to.
But he added that it's time to tax loopholes and put forth a targeted investment program to generate jobs.
New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Rendell: “When you think about the grand bargain, what number do you think we need to reach? And also strategically, should the president put that number out there, if he can’t ultimately get there?”
To which Rendell replied:
“If he led and put that package together, either we get it done and it’s great for the country, or if not, the Republicans would have, as we say in Philadelphia, ‘some explainin’ to do.’”
Click here for Philly.com's politics page.