Taking direct aim at Mitt Romney and Republican lawmakers, this week President Obama speaks about the turnaround in the U.S. auto industry:
Just a few years ago, their industry was shedding hundreds of thousands of jobs. Two of the Big Three – GM and…
Rick Santorum on Friday walked back calling President Barack Obama a “snob” for wanting every American to complete some higher-level education.
Speaking with CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the GOP presidential hopeful acknowledged his word choice was “a little over the top” but defended it within the context of the speech he was giving.
“I was giving a long riff about the president mandating things on people. I was talking about the government and president mandating health care and, you know, what kind of loans we’re going to get,” he said. “I went in and talked about the, you know, the — the issue of — of him now coming forward with the statement that every child should go to college. And — and it was this attitude that government knows best.”
Santorum continued, “It was a strong term, probably not the smartest thing but you know what, I don’t give prepared talking points speeches written by other people.”
As The Blaze previously reported, Santorum was speaking during a campaign stop in Michigan last week when he said: “President Obama said he wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!”
Watch below, via CNN:
In a speech to donors in New York Friday, President Obama tried to make the case for reelecting him using an unusual spin on his typical “change takes time riff.” Specifically, the President drew historical comparisons between what he’s trying to accomplish and the accomplishments of…Nelson Mandela and Gandhi? The President’s quote:
The civil rights movement was hard. Winning the vote for women was hard. Making sure that workers had some basic protections was hard.
Around the world — Gandhi, Nelson Mandela — what they did was hard. It takes time. It takes more than a single term, it takes more than a single president, it takes more than a single individual.
What it takes is ordinary citizens who keep believing, who are committed to fighting and pushing and inching this country closer and closer to our highest ideals. And I said in 2008, that I am not a perfect man and I will not be a perfect president. But I promised you back then that I would always tell you what I believe. I would always tell you where I stood.
The President’s remarks were also caught on video:
The President’s remarks can be interpreted as more than simply a comparison of his ambitions with those of the titans he mentions. He does explicitly mention that winning major political battles takes “more than one individual.” However, his citation of two specific individuals suggests that he may view himself in the role of a Mandela or a Gandhi, even if his followers are providing the mass movement grunt work.
Do you think the President’s comparison is just ill-advised campaign rhetoric? Or does he actually believe that he’s a historical figure on par with Mandela and Gandhi? Weigh in below.
Let’s say President Obama soundly defeats the GOP in November and he hunkers down for a second term. If that happens, some critics think he will allow all of the Bush tax cuts to expire. All of them. Arguably, this would lead to a increase in taxes on the middle class.
Noam Scheiber, author of The Escape Artists: How Obama’s Team Fumbled the Recovery, thinks there’s reason enough to suspect the president would allow this to happen.
What’s even more unpleasant than the thought of tax increases during this time of economic stagnation is the fact that the White House originally floated this idea back in 2009.
According to Scheiber (via The Daily Beast):
In the fall of 2009, Obama’s chief congressional lobbyist, Phil Schiliro, touted a clever idea for dealing with the tax cuts: introduce a bill that would extend the middle-class cuts for two years while allowing the upper-income portions to expire. After two years, the middle-class cuts would also expire unless Congress paid for them with offsetting savings or tax increases.
By November 2009, Orszag [the former Director of the Office of Management and Budget] had become so fond of the idea that he insisted on presenting it to the president in the Oval Office. Orszag’s fellow wonks were cool to the plan, having heard him and Schiliro sing its praises repeatedly. But the administration’s chief wonk—Barack Obama—was intrigued. He asked a series of encouraging questions about how the proposal would work. According to two sources in the room, he was taken with both the political merits—that is, putting Republicans on the defensive—and the policy rationale of lopping trillions off the deficit. He gave no indication that he was troubled by the plan’s most explosive feature: that it would likely break a central campaign promise—not raising taxes on the middle class—one Republicans would surely wrap around his neck with populist glee.
So let’s say President Obama is reelected. What happens when these tax cuts come up again? He doesn’t have to fear losing an election. He doesn’t need to worry about appealing to moderates. Simply put, “the chance to let the Bush tax cuts lapse may simply be too tempting to pass up,” Scheiber writes.
And the implications could be devastating.
“Were this to happen, 2013 really could be the brutal year of fiscal contraction people have been fearing,” writes Business Insider’s Joe Weisenthal.
“And even if nothing happens, it’s depressing to think that in 2009, when things were going horribly for the economy, there was a serious discussion of tax hikes and deficit reduction at the highest levels of government.”