Governors go from harmony to testy sniping

WASHINGTON — The nation’s governors emerged from a meeting with President Obama on Monday claiming harmony, only to immediately break into an on-camera partisan feud in front of the West Wing.

Governor Bobby Jindal, Republican of Louisiana, lashed out first, saying if Obama were serious about growing the economy he would approve the Keystone XL pipeline project and take other executive actions.

Instead, Jindal said, Obama ‘‘seems to be waving the white flag of surrender’’ on the economy by focusing on raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10, up from $7.25. ‘‘The Obama economy is now the minimum wage economy. I think we can do better than that,’’ Jindal said.


Other governors had been instead expressing wide agreement and appreciation for the president’s time. As Jindal spoke, some of his colleagues began shaking their heads.

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Governor Dannel Malloy, a Connecticut Democrat, took over the microphone and responded sharply: ‘‘Wait a second, until a few moments ago we were going down a pretty cooperative road. So let me just say that we don’t all agree that moving Canadian oil through the United States is necessarily the best thing for the United States economy.’’

Malloy said Jindal’s ‘‘white flag statement’’ was the most partisan of their weekend conference and that many governors support a minimum wage increase.

Associated Press