O'Malley and McDonnell discuss economy

Squaring off for the first time with the new leader of the Republican Governors Association, Gov. Martin O'Malley said Sunday that the economic stimulus approved by Congress in 2009 didn't go far enough and he called for new investments in infrastructure and education to spur job growth.

O'Malley, who heads the Democratic Governors Association, appeared on CNN's State of the Union opposite Gov. Bob McDonnell, the Virginia Republican who took over the GOP governors group when its former chairman, Texas Gov. Rick Perry, entered the presidential race.


"What I hope the Congress will come back to do is to pass bills that actually make those investments in infrastructure, in research and development, in innovation, and, yes, in the important work of educating the next generation for the jobs that are available," O'Malley said.

McDonnell focused on spending cuts and eliminating federal mandates on states. Asked about a new stimulus, McDonnell said he is skeptical.


"We've tried that. We've tried stimulus spending. We put very little into infrastructure. We put it into a lot of other spending that didn't create jobs. And now we've gone from 7.8 to 9.1 percent unemployment," he said.

President Barack Obama is expected to unveil a jobs-creation package next month that could include tax cuts for companies that hire workers and new spending on roads and construction projects.

The televised exchange was less testy than during O'Malley's recent appearance on ABC's This Week opposite Alabama Republican Sen. Jeff Sessions. McDonnell said he works well with O'Malley on regional issues and at one point described him as a "great Irish-American, just like me."

Later on CNN, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings appeared on the show to discuss Obama and the relationship the president has with black voters.

"He needs to go back to the horse that brought him in. In other words, when he came in he talked about hope, he talked about jobs, he has talked about fairness, he has talked about addressing Wall Street effectively and efficiently, and trying to make a difference," the Baltimore Democrat said. "He has got to go back to those basic points. That's what got him in."

Asked if he thought the president had taken the black vote for granted, Cummings said, "No, I do not."