WASHINGTON — U.S. Rep. Chip Cravaack huddled with his staff in his office to watch and discuss President Barack Obama’s jobs speech in real-time last Thursday, but he regrets that his absence caused such a fuss, he said today.
Four Minnesota reporters who attended the speech were unable to find Cravaack in the House chamber during the address. Cravaack’s spokesman said afterward that the first-term Republican watched the speech with his staff. Minnesota Republican Michele Bachmann also missed the speech, but she was delayed by rain, she said that evening.
A handful of GOP lawmakers skipped Obama’s speech because of their political differences with the president. Not so in Cravaack’s case, he said.
“There was no malice in there at all,” he said in an interview off the House floor on Tuesday. “We were all in my office viewing the thing on TV and discussing it as it went on, and I got a lot of good input from my team.
“If I had known there was going to be that much of an issue, I would have gone.”
As for the jobs plan Obama introduced during the speech, Cravaack said he is withholding offering an opinion on it until the Congressional Budget Office has released its report on the plan’s costs.
Devin Henry can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org