McGovern said Obama can and should be much tougher on insisting on a jobs package and increased tax revenues because these goals are supported by most Americans.
"Seventy percent of the American people agree that we should put revenues on the table, so the American people are on the president's side," McGovern said. "I want him to be bolder in his leadership."
But while McGovern said he would prefer that Congress and the president return to Washington to work on a jobs package, he also said he doubted much progress could be made.
"[U]nless Speaker Boehner is willing to, you know, work with him to actually come up with a jobs package, being back in Washington might not produce a lot," he said.
McGovern also said Republicans should either agree to end overseas wars as a way to cut federal spending, or impose a new war tax to pay for them. McGovern was then asked what Obama says when Democrats bring up the question of how to end the wars.
"Well, he gives kind of a long, complicated answer about how he's, you know, kind of with me, that he wants to end these wars, but it's proving to be a lot more difficult than he had hoped," he said.
McGovern stressed that despite his criticisms of Obama, he is only getting more fired up to help Obama win a second term.
"I have my disappointments with him, but you know, when I look at the Republicans who are running against him, my enthusiasm level, in terms of going out and fighting for his reelection, intensifies," he said. "I look at Rick Perry, I look at Michele Bachmann. Please. For the sake of our country, this president has to be reelected, notwithstanding my disappointments."