Obama pays tribute to nation’s governors at White House dinner

President Obama on Sunday paid tribute to the nation's governors during a dinner at the White House.

Obama told the delegation, in Washington to attend the annual winter meeting of the National Governors Association, that they hold one of the "toughest jobs" in public service.

"I’ve always said that governors have one of the best, but also one of the toughest, jobs around," said the president.  

Obama said the state leaders were "in a position to make real and lasting change every single day.” 

"I want you to know that you’ve got a partner here in the White House," he added. "We’re not going to agree on every single issue, every single day. But the thing about governors is that by nature, and if not by nature then by virtue of the position, you end up having to be pragmatic, because you have to figure out what works."

Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman (R), the chairman of the National Governors Association, offered a toast thanking the president and first lady for their service to the country. 

"America is the land of opportunity, and each of us are grateful for the opportunity to lead our states," he said. "And I can say personally, as a young man growing up in Wahoo, Nebraska, I never dreamed that I’d be here in the White House tonight."

Obama and Vice President Biden will host a meeting with the governors at the White House on Monday.