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Obama Makes Infrastructure Push During NY Visit

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With the new Tappan Zee Bridge as a backdrop, President Barack Obama joined Governor Andrew Cuomo in Westchester on Wednesday to discuss the importance of investing to repair the nation's aging infrastructure. NY1's Josh Robin filed the following report.

The president had a backdrop of a shimmering Hudson River.

"This is a gorgeous part of the world," he said.

More to the point of his speech, there were also cranes building a replacement to the Tappan Zee.

Obama said there would be more of those across the country if only Republicans in Washington would do their jobs.

"They're still convinced that prosperity trickles down from the very top. If you want to tell them what you think about that, don't worry, because usually they show up at ribbon cuttings for projects they refuse to fund," said Obama.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says that's not happening here. As he runs for a second term he says the bridge is a proud metaphor.

"This is a bridge from gridlock to bipartisanship. This is a bridge from paralysis to progress. And this is a bridge from yesterday to tomorrow," said Cuomo.

Some call that a stretch, though perhaps, not in how the bridge is being built as in how politicians planned Wednesday's ceremony to mark it.

Rob Astorino, Cuomo's GOP opponent, says he was left to stand through the event, even though he represents the area as Westchester County Executive.

"This was a partisan rally. This was a democratic event, not a real, governmental, substantive speech on infrastructure, so it makes sense why I am standing in the back as opposed to the official head of state for Westchester County," Astorino said.

Cuomo officials say seating fell to the White House.

No matter who drew up the plans, Cuomo clearly benefits, especially with a nod from the president for working well across the aisle.

"We don't need a can't-do spirit; we need a can-do spirit. That's what Governor Cuomo has," Obama said.

National Republicans are a different story. They seem to be exasperating the president. The stalemate is even causing him to rethink his slogan from his first race back in 2008.

"A great nation does these things. A great nation doesn't say 'no, we can't,' it says, 'yes, we can,'" Obama said.

The president was to attend a pair of fundraisers in Manhattan on Wednesday night. Then, he and the First Lady are expected to attend the opening of the September 11th Memorial Museum on Thursday.

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