U.S. President Barack Obama, in a weekly radio address released during his holiday on Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, said members of Congress should stop bickering and find ways to create jobs.
Obama and family are vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard, but in a message recorded ahead of the trip he said Congress should set aside politics and find ways to get people back to work, the Associated Press reports.
"These are common-sense ideas — ideas that have been supported by both Democrats and Republicans," Obama said in his address, broadcast on radio and on the internet.
"The only thing holding them back is politics. The only thing preventing us from passing these bills is the refusal by some in Congress to put country ahead of party. That's the problem right now. That's what's holding this country back. That's what we have to change."
Obama, on a yearly holiday criticized by political opponents, is taking time for summer reading and a bit of golf.
He went book shopping with daughters Sasha and Malia at the “Bunch of Grapes” bookstore, and later went golfing at a private course.
Obama was seen holding five or six books including Aldous Huxley’s dystopian classic “Brave New World.”
Obama is scheduled to spend the next week vacationing with his family at Blue Heron Farm, a 28-acre, sub-private estate. It is the Obama clan's third visit to the posh island.
White House press secretary Jay Carney told reporters Obama will continue to work on the economy and receive regular security briefings even while he is away.
"I don't think Americans out there would begrudge that notion that the president would spend some time with his family,” Carney said last week.
But a former White House spokesman for President George W. Bush said Obama should skip his vacation, as did Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, because of the country's ongoing economic crisis.
“At a time when most Americans can barely afford a vacation that doesn’t involve pitching a tent in their backyard, President Obama isn’t doing himself any public relations favors by choosing to vacation in one of the country’s most exclusive and expensive destinations,” Scott Stanzel, a former White House deputy press secretary, told Politico.
Romney told Politico that “if you’re the president of the United States, and the nation is in crisis, and we’re in a jobs crisis right now, then you shouldn’t be out vacationing. Instead, you should be focusing on getting the economy going again.”