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SCHAUMBURG, Ill. (CBS) — U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh pointedly skipped President Obama’s jobs speech Thursday, and even passed up the chance to watch it on television shortly before hosting a forum on jobs creation in Schaumburg.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts, after several participants at the forum said congressional Democrats and Republicans must sit down and find a way to compromise, Walsh told them bluntly to “grow up.”
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bob Roberts reports
Aides handed Walsh a copy of the speech upon his arrival at the Prairie Center for the Arts, in Schaumburg, and he read it in a nearby conference room before beginning the two-hour forum.
Walsh said he returned to the northwest suburbs from the Capitol looking for ideas that could present to Mr. Obama upon his return Friday morning.
Aides compiled a list of 20 ideas, several of which duplicated others. The most creative was one man’s proposal to stop publishing patent applications.
Some were general goals, such as repatriating jobs or allowing people to keep more of what they earn. Others were tried and true, such as ending the estate tax, lowering corporate tax rates, eliminating regulations restrictive on business and drilling for oil.
One woman, who is in the business of transporting hazardous materials, said her rulebook changes almost daily and said that she is expected to know all current rules. She said she mostly uses the thick rulebook for “daily exercise.”
Walsh quizzed those who attended several times. Those attending said they did not wish to see any further extension of unemployment benefits or government assistance for those facing foreclosure.
But several attendees called on Congress to find grounds for compromise.
“Put your personal and political ideologies aside,” one man told Walsh. “Get in a rule and start talking for the common good so that the country and the people can stop this stupid bickering.”
But Walsh told the man he has no intention of backing down.
“This will get me in trouble,” Walsh predicted. He then raised his voice and told the crowd: “Grow up! Strap your seat belt on and grow up! This country, for better or for worse — and I say for better — is going through a revolution. It’s a good thing.”
Walsh said he had no regrets about skipping the speech. He called it “political theater” and said he did not want to be a prop.