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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Mike Beebe said Thursday that it was an “intentional misrepresentation” to call food vendor Aramark’s $700,000 offer to the University of Central Arkansas a gift when it would have been in exchange for a renewed contract. - Photo by Gavin Lesnick

— Gov. Mike Beebe told a crowd of business leaders Wednesday that partisanship in Washington is unacceptable as the nation grapples with the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.

Beebe, speaking at a Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce breakfast at Philander Smith College, blamed ideological bickering in part for the country's problems emerging from the recession.

Companies are improving financially, Beebe said, but are hesitant to hire because of uncertainty tied to the political scene in Washington.

"I don't care who you are," Beebe said. "They didn't build this country based on my way or the highway. It never was done that way. And if these folks up here don't start to get it, they're going to be coming back home."

Beebe, a Democrat, told the crowd of about 100 people that he had a personal idea of which party was more to blame.

"I'll let you all try and determine where I am on that," he said, directing the group to look to "who's reaching out and who's slapping that hand away."

Beebe said voters need to hold the state's representatives and senators accountable to ensure progress is made in Washington.

"Send the message," he said. "Send the message to your elected representatives in Congress and the U.S. Senate that you're tired of this garbage when they just fight each other for political points ... And if they can't [work together], then kick their tail back home."

Beebe prefaced his remarks on the Washington partisanship by reiterating recent statements that he has no plans to run for Senate or president when his second term as governor ends in three years. He joked that most politicians considering running for another office will say they haven't decided.

"That's the standard political answer," Beebe said. "That's not my answer. It's no."

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  • kk1kk1kk1_yahoo_com
    September 7, 2011 at 1:18 p.m.

    PROFESSIONAL POLITICIANS A R E Making the USA a 'laughing stock'!IF their ego's & egocentricities ARN'T&CAN'T DO ANY BETTER FOR AMERICAN CITIZENS.........I SAY THOSE ELECTED TO POLITICAL OFFICE ARE W H O
    N E E D to find a DIFFERANT JOB!PUT THEM OUT OF ELECTED OFFICE,SOONER
    BETTER THAN LATER!OR THE DAMAGE THEY DO TO AMERICA COULD BECOME IRREVACABLE!

  • johnwmcmaster
    September 7, 2011 at 1:49 p.m.

    Lets take the sons of guns out the union way. Lets break some arms and legs. I wonder which party is controlled by the thug unions? Would that be the gov's party or the other party?????

  • Populist
    September 7, 2011 at 3:34 p.m.

    Thuggetter,

    There are thugs in both parties. They try to dig up dirt on their opponents and when they can't find any, they usually spread lies and/or cause financial harm. Breaking arms and legs is so old school.

  • UCAWHY
    September 7, 2011 at 4:05 p.m.

    hAHAHAHAHA!!Beebe trying to tell people to be bi-partisan. Now that is a laugh right there.

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