Obama criticizes GOP over economy
during wisconsin visit, he takes shots at specific leaders
RACINE, Wis. — President Barack Obama leveled a harsh indictment against congressional Republicans on Wednesday, accusing them of doing the bidding of bankers and oil executives while cutting “working folks loose to fend for themselves.”
In a visit to an economically hard hit area, Obama tried to deflect blame for stubborn joblessness and turn the tables on Republicans, who have been trying to ride a wave of economic populism. Although the economy remains in tenuous shape, he argued it would have been worse without his spending and policy agenda.
“I just want everyone to remember — we’ve tried the other side’s theories,” he said at a town hall-style meeting. “We know what their ideas are. We know where they led us. So now we’ve got a choice: We can return to what we know did not work, or we can build a stronger future.”
Obama criticized Republicans for opposing an extension of unemployment benefits and further aid to state governments to avert mass layoffs, as well as new regulations on Wall Street financial firms.
“They think that our economy will do better if we just let the banks or the oil companies or the insurance industry make their own rules,” he said. “They still believe that even after the Wall Street crash, even after the BP oil well blew, that we should keep a hands-off attitude.”
The president’s appearance had the feel of a campaign outing as Democrats struggle to hold onto Congress in the face of bad poll numbers heading into this fall’s midterm elections. He used the occasion to take particularly sharp shots at a couple of specific Republican leaders, belittling some of their recent statements as examples of their being out of touch with At a town hall event at Racine Memorial Hall in Racine, Wis., President Barack Obama urged people to remember ‘we’ve tried the other side’s theories.’ He says the economy would be worse now without his spending and policy agenda. struggling Americans.
Obama singled out House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio for saying that financial regulation legislation was like “killing an ant with a nuclear weapon,” even as the Democratic National Committee and other allies amplified the attack on the Web.
“He compared the financial crisis to an ant,” Obama said. “That is the same financial crisis that led to the loss of nearly 8 million jobs. Same crisis that cost people their homes, their life savings. He can’t be that out of touch with the struggles of American families. And if he is, then he’s got to come here to Racine and ask people what they think.”
Boehner said in a statement that he was not comparing the financial crisis to an ant but instead arguing that the financial regulation bill would kill more jobs and make the situation worse without tackling the problems of the government-controlled lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
“Attacking Republicans is a lot easier than explaining to the citizens of Racine, who face 14 percent unemployment, why one in every 10 Americans in our workforce is unemployed nearly 18 months after the president’s trillion-dollar ‘stimulus’ spending bill was enacted,” Boehner said. “The American people want leadership from the White House, not more childish partisanship.”