September 8th, 2010
03:43 PM ET
8 years ago

Obama slams GOP leadership, economic policies

Washington (CNN) - President Obama opened the post-Labor Day stretch of the midterm campaign in the perennial swing state of Ohio on Wednesday, accusing the GOP of pushing bankrupt economic policies and putting politics ahead of national welfare.

He pushed a new $350 billion plan to lift the sagging economy, including $200 billion in tax cuts for businesses to purchase new equipment and write off 100 percent of new investments through the end of 2011.

The president also highlighted a $50 billion proposal for infrastructure investment, as well as $100 billion to permanently extend tax credits to businesses for research and development.

He stood by his plan to allow the Bush tax cuts to expire for people making over $250,000, while extending the cuts for those making less.

Obama refused to use the word "stimulus" to describe his new proposals. Republicans have repeatedly savaged the White House for the controversial $862 billion recovery stimulus plan passed last year, arguing that it ballooned the deficit while failing to revive the economy.

But Obama saved his strongest rhetoric for his GOP opponents, especially House Minority Leader John Boehner. The Ohio Republican - in line to become
House speaker if the GOP wins control of Congress - has rejected new ideas and embraced "the same philosophy we already tried for the last decade - the same philosophy that led to this mess in the first place," Obama told a crowd outside Cleveland.

Boehner and other Republicans are trying to ride a wave of "fear and anger all the way to Election Day," Obama said.

The election is about "fear versus hope (and) the past versus the future. It's still a choice between sliding backward and moving forward. That's what this election is about. That's the choice you'll face in November."

Obama spoke longingly of a proud Republican tradition of producing "serious leaders for serious times." Current GOP leaders, he said, are more interested in "playing games and scoring points."

Boehner immediately lashed back at Obama, declaring in a written statement that if the president "is serious about finally focusing on jobs, a good start would be taking the advice of his recently departed budget director and freezing all tax rates, coupled with cutting federal spending to where it was before all the bailouts, government takeovers, and 'stimulus' spending sprees."

Former White House Budget Director Peter Orszag recently offered an alternative to Obama's plan on the issue of whether the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy should be scrapped, asserting in a New York Times op-ed that failing to extend the tax cuts for the rich over the next couple of years would make an "already stagnating jobs market worse."

Orszag, however, proposed allowing all of the Bush tax cuts to expire after two more years.

- CNN's Alan Silverleib, Dan Lothian, Emily Schultz and Aaron Smith contributed to this report

Filed under: 2010 • issues • John Boehner • President Obama
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Bill

    Obama is just as bad with the fear mongering ...... LOL ... the American people have not been this divided for a long long time. Thanks Mr. President.

    September 8, 2010 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    Go ahead GOPers, take the bait. He's proposing TAX CUTS and you're going to say "no" solely because there's only 8 weeks until an election that you think will put you in the driver's seat to shut down the government for 2 years while you plan on how to blame all of it on Obama in 2012.

    "$100 billion to permanently extend tax credits to businesses for research and development. "

    NOTHING...I repeat, NOTHING...scares giant corporations more than thriving, innovative small businesses. They get bought out at light speed by the big boys and then the innovation gets tweeked until it is junk so that the product can be made cheaper while being marked up in price on the basis of "branding."

    "$50 billion proposal for infrastructure investment"

    Not a chance here. The GOP would rather every bridge in the country collapse on a truckload of babies than create union jobs that generate union dues.

    "$200 billion in tax cuts for businesses to purchase new equipment and write off 100 percent of new investments through the end of 2011. "

    Someone's gotta build that equipment. Someone's gotta run it. Someone's gotta deliver it. Someone's gotta install it. Someone's gotta repair it. Getting the picture? GOPers won't agree to this simply out of spite. Period. That's all it is.

    September 8, 2010 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. Adalbert

    It is about time that the President told them that they have nothing to offer.

    September 8, 2010 04:43 pm at 4:43 pm |
  4. Marie MD

    boner said that the rethugs would have a major announcement about their "plans" after Labor Day.
    If the big olan is leaving things as they are . . . . . rich getting more money (bush's tax cuts to help his rich friends) and the middle class and the poor getting screwed, then it IS a big announcement of the same old crapola from the right.

    September 8, 2010 04:44 pm at 4:44 pm |
  5. LIP

    So, what's new. Obama has done the 'extended hand of friendship and then the immediate attack and condemnation that it is beginning to look like some kind of sureal movie. It's the way he operates, except that now he is going straight for the attack with no hand of friendship first .

    September 8, 2010 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  6. water bearer

    Keep up the "slamming", Mr. President! Democrats all over the country are getting fired up and we're getting ready to do it again! There is NO WAY John Boehner is going to be the Speaker of the House and anybody who thinks he is is delusional. My dog would make a better Speaker than Boner!

    September 8, 2010 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  7. JES


    Your comment what does this have anything to do with this statement from Obama.

    Are you reading the same thing the rest of us are.


    September 8, 2010 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  8. Eric

    Yep, that's all the economy has been waiting on to get back on track... 50 billion more bucks spent on...

    (do you hear the crickets, hippies? they're mocking you)

    Obama doubles down on stupid, buying another $50 billion worth of failure.

    September 8, 2010 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Wow!!! When did my fellow Democrats start behaving in this moronic fashion?! "

    Advice for Jerry: Nobody believes you when you state that you're a Democrat and then rattle off Limbaugh/Beck talking points like a programmed Speak & Spell. You're not convincing any Dems to suddenly believe the GOP's rhetoric just because you started by claiming that you are or were a if that lends you credibility or gets them to trust you. Same goes for the quasi-PUMA rants that are cropping up lately about Clinton in 2012, as if you're going to convince Dems and liberals to throw Obama and the rest under a bus in hopes of getting Clinton in 2012. She ain't running. Get a life.

    September 8, 2010 05:00 pm at 5:00 pm |
  10. Sam

    How can a party of "No" be ahead in the polls? Conspiracy? The Republicans pride themselves of "Country First", but not if they have to share their wealth with the Middle Class (Do we still have a Middle Class). They have gotten tax break for the rich for many years, what jobs have they created? The more Tax Break to the rich, the more they will deposit them overseas in the Swiss Bank. Come on Americans, you are not that stupid to be fool by the GOP.

    September 8, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  11. John

    When are the GOP going too try and help the President instead of saying NO all the time. VOTE NO FOR THE PARTY OF NO IN NOV.

    September 8, 2010 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    " Let's remember what the deficits looked like during that period."

    Indeed. Let's remember. The primary causes of the deficit DURING THAT PERIOD looked like this:



    IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN MILITARY OPERATIONS (which included massive borrowing...beause of the tax order to fund them)

    Everything else barely made a dent compared to those two factors. Let us also remember that Bush and his clown car full of hooligans cooked the accountings to hide the deficits and national debt increases caused by the borrowing necessitated by the tax cuts. You following along or just ignoring the inconvenient facts?

    September 8, 2010 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  13. Chuck

    The first 800-billion didn't work, so 'bout another $350 billion?

    For those of you who think the economy was in the tank the entire Bush presidency, go look up the unemployment rates from 2003-2007. Guess it wasn't so bad was it?

    Barack Obama is a fool. Just a stupid fool.

    September 8, 2010 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    I’ll be most happy when we put this cry baby in chief in a lame duck status. Democrats have own this economy and congress since 2007.

    September 8, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  15. David

    Good on you Obama way to tell it like we all know it is; the republicans have peaked to early and you no when to go on the attack. Also setting up nicely for 2012 as the republicans have shifted to far right for a general election and they will have an impossible time finding a party leader without an internal war.

    September 8, 2010 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  16. Liberalism is a mental disorder

    Go Obama fire up the 20% of this country who call themselves "progressive" ( I guess liberal is a bad word now). You already have the 43% of the country that doesn't pay ANY income taxes
    and rely on wealthfare, food stamps, or public housing. You have single-handedly divided this country into class warfare and ethnicity.
    You have set back race relations. You have pandered to terrorist sponsoring countries. You have alienated allies. You have acted
    very "stupidly." Your wife (Patrick Ewing in drag) who is finally proud
    of this country, is a fashion whore and a national embarrassment.

    September 8, 2010 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
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