EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — President Barack Obama acknowledged his pivotal role in the midterm political campaign Thursday, arguing that the November congressional elections are a referendum on his economic policies and blaming Republicans for blocking his efforts to boost wages and create more jobs.
In a speech at Northwestern University that marked a shift in attention from foreign entanglements to domestic concerns, Obama laid claim to an economic recovery that he said has made steady progress, yet he conceded that many families have not benefited from lower unemployment, beefed-up corporate profits and a pumped-up stock market.
Obama offered a lengthy defense of his policies, from bailing out the auto industry to his health care law, and he renewed his call for a higher minimum wage and equal pay legislation. He said that while he’s not seeking election in November, “these policies are on the ballot, every single one of them.”
Promoting pocketbook issues in the homestretch of the midterm election campaign, Obama fluctuated between bullish assurances that the recovery was real and recognition that joblessness and low wages still afflict millions of Americans.
“These truths aren’t incompatible,” he. “Our broader economy in the aggregate has come a long way, but the gains of recovery aren’t yet broadly shared.”
He underscored the political climate just four weeks before congressional elections, accusing Republicans of rejecting efforts to increase the minimum wage, refinance student loans or extend unemployment benefits and of pressing for more tax cuts for the wealthy.
“When nearly all the gains of the recovery have gone to the top 1 percent, when income inequality is at as high a rate as we’ve seen in decades,” he said, “I find that hard to swallow.”
The speech came after Obama spent weeks consumed with international crises, though the White House had always planned to refocus on the economy to assure voters that he hasn’t forgotten about their money struggles. […]
What kind of strategy is it when a president who’s so obviously been so hobbled by the complete obstruction of the opposition as to keep millions from working and the economy from recovering fully, just cannot bring himself to pointing the finger back and FIGHTING?!?It’s not only the president but the rest of the leadership of the Democratic party. We all know what has been happening these last few years. We all know the price millions are still paying for Republican obstruction. Why not approach the electorate and have a frank conversation? Why not engage voters and finally get the GOP voted out?Why does the party think it can win with this strategy of essentially silently taking the blame for failure while not fully acknowledging failure?