Democratic governors in Washington for the National Governors Association Winter Meeting met with President Obama at the White House Friday morning, and while jobs and innovation were among the topics of discussion, the ongoing dispute over public employee unions in Wisconsin that is spreading to other states was not.
"We were focused today on the things we can do together to create jobs, like coming together to advocate with our business leaders for a transportation reauthorization bill so we can build that infrastructure," said DGA chairman Martin O'Malley, addressing reporters at the White House after the meeting. "We didn't talk about whatever it is they're doing in Wisconsin," he added.
"I think most of us see that as a distraction, really, from the most important work that we can do which is creating jobs," he said, when asked again about whether the spreading battle over public employee unions came up in the meeting.
When asked if the meeting included a discussion on pension obligations more broadly, O'Malley responded, "not really, we spent this day talking about the things we need to do to create jobs."
"This was really an hour where we were focused on jobs," he said.
"The spirit is one of unrelenting optimism and faith in the people we serve that we're going to be able to make the tough decisions necessary in order to create jobs," said O'Malley, when asked about the mood of the Democratic governors after the November election.