On tonight's Hardball, host Chris Matthews expressed dismay in what he called, "what's left in that so-called American Jobs bill."
Matthews' rebuke was prompted by Obama's call today for Congress to pass a jobs bill that has, in Matthews' words, "been on the table over there since September of last year." Obama argued that, had the jobs plan been passed in its original form several months ago, the unemployment rate would be lower than it is today.
"My take on this is it's time for the president to go big," Matthews replied. "Force the Republicans to say no to a big jobs bill that would actually put millions of people back to work." He later added:
The economy is $15 trillion in this country. It suffered from a low growth rate this year of less than 2%. He thinks he can goose that up with a jobs bill that's less than $140 billion? That's less than like half a percent of our economy. If he got every nickel of this, he'd be moving the economy by a little less than half a percent.
"He has never been the big full loaf guy," said guest Nia-Malika Henderson of The Washington Post, explaining Obama's preference for a less ambitious jobs bill. "He's always been the half loaf."