President gives nod to Tennessee Democrats

President gives nod to Tennessee Democrats

July 31st, 2013 by Dave Flessner in Local Regional News

Dave Clark, Amazon's vice president of Worldwide Operations and Customer Service, left, watches as President Barack Obama greets Amazon employee Eric Phillips during a tour of the Amazon fulfillment center in Chattanooga. Obama visited the center as part of his cross-country trip aimed at jump-starting his economic agenda. This was his first trip to the Scenic City since he took office as president.

Photo by Dan Henry/Times Free Press.

President Obama said Tuesday he is willing to entertain ideas from Republicans and Democrats to stimulate the economy. But in his speech to Amazon workers Obama singled out only Tennessee Democrats.

With Congress in session in Washington, D.C., this week, no Republican members of Congress appeared with the president.

U.S. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said Tuesday "I almost called an audible" and joined the president on Air Force One.

"I hated for the president to come to my hometown and not accompany him, especially because it would have provided an opportunity for us to talk more about our country's fiscal challenges," Corker said.

But with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee considering several key nominations, Corker said he decided to stay in Washington.

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, a Democrat from Nashville, was the only member of Congress to fly to Chattanooga. Cooper and Chattanooga Mayor Andy Berke greeted the president when he deplaned at Lovell Field.

In his speech at the Amazon center, Obama called out "your congressman Jim Cooper" and recognized Berke, who attended law school at the University of Chicago when Obama was there.

U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, the Republican congressman who represents Chattanooga, said he remains skeptical about Obama's offer Tuesday to cut taxes.

"Until he does more than give a speech on these issues, I'll remain in the 'believe it when I see it' category," Fleischmann said.