Obama turns to state governors in policy push

President Obama said late Sunday that he is looking forward to working with state governors over the next year.

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Speaking at the White House’s National Governors Association dinner, Obama said he wants to “partner” with each governor. The president said he has worked with governors in the past on several issues, including climate change, education and healthcare.

“When we’ve got a Congress that sometimes seems to have a difficult time acting, I want to make sure that I have the opportunity to partner with each of you in any way that I can to help more Americans work and study and strive, and make sure that they see their efforts and their faith in this country rewarded,” Obama said.

The president has pledged to accomplish his agenda through executive action without Capitol Hill’s input. Cooperation between the White House and the governors is “vital” for the country, according to the president.

Obama recalled time spent with governors in 2013, from visiting victims of the Boston Marathon bombing with Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick (D) to thanking first responders with Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R), after a tornado struck Moore, Okla.

“If there’s one thing in common in the moments like these, it’s that our cooperation is vital to make sure that we’re doing right by the American people,” Obama said. “That, of course, will require that we collectively take action on what matters to them — jobs and opportunity.”

The president said he and the governors will talk more on Monday about areas in which they can work together. Obama also raised a toast to “the families that support us, to the citizens that inspire us and to this exceptional country that has given us so much. Cheers.”