- The Washington Times
Friday, March 15, 2013

Freshman Democratic Rep. Dan Kildee got a quick schooling on Capitol Hill politics this week, after President Obama answered his long-winded question with a snappy dress-down, served on a plate of mocking tone.

Roll call reports that the Michigan lawmaker, who’s been in office for about two months, asked during a closed-door session with congressional colleagues and the president, about the need for job creation in his economically struggling district.

“I can tell you’re a freshman because you didn’t pay much attention to the State of the Union,” Mr. Obama shot back, Roll Call reported. “I talked about that.”

Sources at the meeting told Roll Call that Democrats at the meeting broke into laughter. And House Democratic Caucus Chairman Xavier Becerra offered to give Mr. Kildee a copy of the president’s speech, which contained references to the development of 15 “innovation centers.” The details of these centers aren’t clear — but the cost is proposed at $1 billion, Roll Call reports.

But Mr. Kildee’s question wasn’t rooted in ignorance: Roll Call says he had just met a day earlier with White House officials about the planned innovation centers and that his remarks to the president during the closed-door session were aimed at soliciting a broader explanation about economic reforms.

“Dan wasn’t specifically talking about innovation centers in his question,” a spokesman said, in the Roll Call report.

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