On his way to party with millionaires in NYC, President Obama stopped off in Ohio to give a "major" speech about the economy. Obviously the grim economic news of the past couple of weeks is a major problem for the president, because many American voters are too brain dead to remember how the Bush administration left a flaming bag of excrement on the nation's front stoop for Obama to stomp out while Republicans in Congress refuse to turn on water to the hose. Today Obama took aim on Republicans who would rather see Obama lose than stimulate the economy:
This isn’t some abstract debate. This is not another trivial Washington argument. I have said that this is the defining issue of our time and I mean it. I said that this is a make-or-break moment for America’s middle class, and I believe it..What is holding us back is a stalemate in Washington between two fundamentally different views between what direction America should take. And this election is your chance to break that stalemate...
Over the last few decades the income of the top 1 percent grew by more than 275 percent, to an average of $1.3 million a year. Big financial institutions, corporations saw their profits soar. But prosperity never trickled down to the middle class. From 2001 to 2008 we had the slowest job growth in half a century. The typical family saw their incomes halt.
The failure to pay for the tax cuts and the wars took us from record surpluses under President Bill Clinton to record deficits. And it left us unprepared to deal with the retirement of an aging population that’s placing a greater strain on programs like Medicare and Social Security.
And with Republicans pushing to renew the Bush-era tax cuts for wealthiest Americans, Obama took the opportunity to declare, "I’ve cut taxes for small businesses 18 times. I have approved fewer regulations in the first three years of my presidency than my Republican predecessor did in his. And I’m implementing over 500 reforms to fix regulations that were costing folks too much for no reason... When my opponent was arguing that we should let Detroit go bankrupt, we made a bet on American ingenuity, and today our auto industry is back."
Presumptive Republican nominee Mitt Romney was also in Ohio today, and was quick to hit back at his opponent. "Now, I know that he will have all sorts of excuses, and he’ll have all sorts of ideas he’ll describe about how he’ll make things better," Romney remarked. “But what he says and what he does are not always the exact same thing. And so if people want to know how his economic policies have worked and how they perform, why they can talk to their neighbor and ask if things are better."
You can peruse the entire transcript of Obama's speech here at your leisure. Before the speech, White House spokesman Jay Carney was asked about the contrast between Obama's economy speech and his fundraising activities tonight. "That is an interesting question," Carney replied. "The President is campaigning for reelection. It requires any candidate who would do so to raise money. A simple fact not mentioned in your question is that by comparison to his opponent, the President’s reelection campaign...relies overwhelmingly on small donations under $200. The difference is staggering."