Obama: Public employees should not be vilified

February 28, 2011 8:39:12 AM PST
President Barack Obama says public employees should not have their rights infringed upon as states look for ways to cut spending. Speaking to the nation's governors, Obama says he understands the fiscal challenges facing cash-strapped states and says everyone should be prepared "to give something up". But he says that shouldn't mean public employees are "vilified" during budget debates.

Obama's comments come as Republican governors in Wisconsin and Ohio back bills that would end collective bargaining agreements for public employees.

The governors are in town for meeting of the National Governors Association.