Obama in Texas: 'I've Been Doing a Lot of Stuff Today...Hanging Out With Your Governor'

July 11, 2014 - 7:11 AM

Obama

President Barack Obama meets with Kinsey Button, a student at the University of Austin, who wrote him a letter about her family, at Magnolia Cafe in Austin, Texas, Thursday, July 10, 2014. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

(CNSNews.com) - "I've been doing a lot stuff today," President Obama told a crowd of admirers in Austin, Texas Thursday.

Visiting the overwhelmed U.S.-Mexico border was not on his list, but he did eat some barbecue (cutting the long line), crack some jokes, raise some money, and snap a selfie with some high school students he met along the way.

"I was in Denver to start with, and then I was in Dallas, hanging out with your governor," Obama told one fundraiser. "Hanging out" may not describe it: The two men discussed the humanitarian and security crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

"And then I'm ending up in Austin," Obama told the crowd.

Speaking at a private home, Obama hinted that the presidency has become a burden to him:

"Love Austin, Texas. I do," Obama said. "The last time I took a walk unencumbered was in Austin, Texas. True story. This is before a debate in the primary. And I walked along the river, and I got about probably a mile, mile and a half, and then some people started spotting me so that by the time -- Secret Service got nervous, and then by the time we got back, there was a big rope line and there was all the fuss. And I have wistful memories of that walk. And I remember going to a bar or club, honkytonk around here and singing on stage. (Laughter) I wasn't very good, but people were enthusiastic anyway..."

The president also took a swipe at his critics:

"I'm going to use my creativity by taking off my jacket," Obama told the gathering on a hot day. "And perhaps if the press wasn't here, I'd be creative and jump in the pool. (Laughter and applause.) But the (media) pool report might reflect bad judgment on my part. There's a fine line between creativity and bad judgment.  You want your President to be on the right side of that line. So taking off the jacket -- creative. Jumping in the pool -- bad judgment. (Laughter)

In his remarks, Obama once again called for immigration reform. And he complained about "Washington," saying it's not "working the way it's supposed to."

People know that and they feel anxious about it, he said: "And so what I've said to my team is, get me out of Washington. Let me talk to people who are doing the right thing and struggling, so that they know they're being heard by at least somebody in Washington.  Let's remind the country what we should be focused on. So that we can also maybe prod Congress into doing the right thing."

Obama then blamed Republicans -- the party he says he wants to work with -- for the gridlock. And he suggested their opposition to him is personal:

"You've got one party whose main goal seems just to say no." Obama said Republicans say no to immigration reform, raising the minimum wage, extending unemployment benefits, equal pay and climate change: And they "definitely say no to me," he added, making it personal.

Later in the day, at another fund-raiser, Obama mocked Republicans -- then said it's "lonely" to have to do things on his own.

"You hear some of them (Republicans). All right. Sue him. Impeach him. Really? (Laughter) Really? For -- for what? You're going to sue me for doing my job? (Cheers, applause.) OK. (Laughs) I mean, think about that. You're going to use taxpayer money to sue me for doing my job -- while you don't do your job. Huh."

Obama then mentioned a scene in the movie "The Departed," where actor Mark Wahlberg is on a "stakeout."

"And somehow the guy loses the guy that they're tracking. And Wahlberg's all upset and, you know, yelling at the guy. And the guy looks up and he says, well, who are you? And Wahlberg says: 'I'm the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy.' Sometimes I feel like saying to these guys: I'm the guy doing my job. You must be the other guy." (Laughter, cheers, applause.)

A short time later, Obama suggested that if Republicans are "mad at me for helping people on my own, let's team up. Let's pass some bills. Let's help America together.

"You know, it is lonely, me just doing stuff. I'd love it if the Republicans did stuff too."