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. Hogwash from the great 57th state of obama's mind

    obama's an idiot!

    his plans are not working and he just continues to blame others.
    the democrats can do anything they want and still cannot get it done so just continue to blame someone else rather than take responsibility for your job!

    as I said
    obama's an idiot!

    September 8, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  2. Incompetents in High Places

    America should be slamming obama and the congressional leaders for lack of good sense when it comes to what is good for America. It seems they worry more about bowing down to third world dictators and appeasing foreign interests.

    September 8, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  3. Steve (the real one)

    Slam as hard as you like, especially with that "summer of recovery" going so well! 9.6% unemployment when we were promised no more than 8%. Slam away! You just may want t rethink your target! Just sayin'!

    September 8, 2010 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  4. oracle

    Obama's presidency is now effectively kaput, over, fini, a distinct failure.

    September 8, 2010 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Marcus

    First, let's face it. Spiners are on full throttle today.
    For instance, Orlando Patriot, did you tried to sell the idea to extend forever the tax cuts for the rich with that post about 'extending or not the current tax rate'?
    Then comes Boehner and uses Orszag's ideas (and former position in the government) to strike back at the President. But of course he did not used all Orszag's ideas, just the parts that are interesting to the GOP...
    Secondly, the president has a plan. Don't like it? Show a VIABLE alternative GOP, not 'more of the same' (which did not brought the economy to its current status all by itself, but it helped a lot to do that!).

    September 8, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  6. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Republicans were for this before they were against it. It is time for the right wing nullifiers to go back to their rubber rooms. We are not turning this country back to the days of the Bush culture of corruption without a fight.

    September 8, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  7. False and Biased brought to you by the GOP

    The GOP has NO new ideas. They want to recycle the ideas of the Bush administration - tax cuts the for the wealthy and large corporations and lots of deregulation - and those of us without short memories know what that got us. The GOP hopes that the economy worsens because they think (and maybe rightly so reading some people's comments) that the American people will automatically give them back control of the economy if they keep saying NO to every idea that may help and keep harping on how awful things are (hurting consumer confidence that we need to get back on our feet). The fact that the GOP puts their political power grab above what would help Americans is disgusting and the fact that people would turn back to them when it is obvious they would simply bring back the Bush administration plan is amazing (and doesn't speak well for our national intelligence). They will not be getting my vote.

    September 8, 2010 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |

    John Boehner is the reason I am no longer a Republican. I am now a conservative Democrat.

    September 8, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  9. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Boner really needs to take a short course on the republican economic policies he wants to take us back to. Been there, and it was not pretty.

    September 8, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Where's Waldo Steele on this?

    September 8, 2010 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  11. NVa Native

    The new Republican Party is a desperate circus of fear and intolerance. Repubs are trying to get Americans to turn on one another for the purpose of manipulating their followers so they can have a chance to win elections. And sadly in the past they have been successful.
    The question for America is are we going to let the terrorists win, or are we going to continue moving forward and vote for Democratic candidates in November?
    I don't think the majority of Americans are as weak as the Republicans think we are.

    Keep your thumb on the pin-heads of Washington Mr. President.

    September 8, 2010 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  12. Hammerer

    What a joke!
    obama accusing the Repbus of offering the same old thing.
    Like the stimulus he is pushing now is not the same as the one that has this country mired in a depression.
    Jobless numbers at record numbers, debt at record highs, economy in reverse and obama wants more of the same.
    Who is out of touch? If he is really trying to bankrupt America as some think, he claims that the economy is headed in the right direction, then he is nearing success.

    September 8, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  13. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    How is killing innocent people who never attacked you in order to spread "Islam" any worse than killing innocent people who never attacked you in order to spread "democracy?" It seems all ideologies have their terrorist fringe. Have a nice day!

    September 8, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  14. Debi

    And exactly where is all this money going to come from??? Mr. President why were you not concentrating on these issues in the beginning of your Presidency when everyone was asking you too, now that it is election time, you start preaching. Seems I have heard this before, Let's see oh yeah, Campaign promises. Well we all know how well you kept your word.

    September 8, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  15. Tom-Vermillion Ohio

    I just watched the President in Cleveland give his speech. I also just watched the 'cheap' video clips put out by the Republican Party. Absolutely no question about it. Blaming the deficit on Obama? What a joke. Just how stupid do the Republicans think we are? I think it would be a good idea for President Obama to pay a visit to Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton, Ohio. I wonder what John Boehner would say to that. For those who don't know, Wright-Patterson is in Ohio's 8th Congressional District, which is where John Boehner's voters reside. Obama could repeat the same speech he gave in Cleveland. Justin Coussoule (D) is John Boehner's opponent. He's a West Point grad and an Attorney with a clean background. President Obama, please go to Wright-Patterson AFB while you are in Ohio. Security should be much more than adequate.

    September 8, 2010 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  16. Brig

    Obama is such a joke. How the Amateur and Chief can accuse anyone of bankrupt economic policies is the beyond me. He has been so completely inept as a President I never thought it imaginable.

    September 8, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  17. Duane St.Petersburg Florida

    Obama slams the GOP???? ok, yeah.....lets tax any small business that brings in $250,000 a year or higher and sock them with higher taxes durning these crappy times.....good thinking Obama....that's why your going to get your butt handed to you this November. Obama has not had a good idea since he got into office......

    September 8, 2010 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  18. Peter s

    GOP has no ideas they just use slogans day in day out! take this words away from them " freedom, tax cuts, small business, activist judges,intellectual elite,socialist,Marxist,faith and values, un-American, I know there are much, much more, Abraham Lincoln said of secessionist slaveowners, The perfect liberty they seek is the liberty of making slaves of other people." AND YOU WILL FIND HOW VUNERABLE THEY ARE!! they only know how to twist the language of conscience in to its opposite! plain and simple conservatism can't survive except by pretending to be the opposite of what it is!!

    September 8, 2010 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. Anonymous

    Go back to an old question- are you better off now than 10 years ago?
    That was when George Bush won election and manged with a Republican Congress to push through:
    Tax cuts for the rich- soemthing Republicnas are calling for agian despite the deficit
    Deregulations for financialinstitutions beyonfdthose originated under Clitnon
    Deregulated the oil and gas exploration laws
    Allowed for healthcare to quadrupal in cost
    Start two wars-with no financing- something NEVER done in our history.
    Now ask yourself- is the country better off thanit was 2 years ago?
    We stopped the financial debacle on Wall St.
    Changed laws for subb-prime lenders,
    Brought in healthcare reform that will help 30 million people when fully implemneted
    Ended one of the two wars
    Saved two of our countries largest employers ( auto companies) and prifited from it.
    Saved our major banked form folding that would ave forced a Depression- and profited from it.
    Saved the jobs of school teacher and kept class room doors open.
    And still have yet to spend 50% of the money set aside for the stimulous.

    September 8, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. Can't We All Just Get Along?

    Wait a minute!

    There's "leadership" in the GOP?
    When did that happen?

    The GOP is nothing more than a train wreck happening right in front of our eyes. I didn't know there was a conductor.

    September 8, 2010 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  21. bkbf

    I watched Obama's speech and I have never seen such an arrogant, blame and attack president. He IS the worst president we have ever had. I am a registered Dem and I will be voting a straight Republican ticket. The dems don't understand STOP SPENDING!

    September 8, 2010 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. USA

    Blame Bush blah blah blah blah. Republican won't work with us blah blah blah. This guy is as incompetent as any president in the history of our country including Jimmy Carter. November can't come soon enough and 2012 will be the end of Socialism in this country once Obama is shown the door.

    September 8, 2010 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  23. Kelly Kahoe

    I am seriously insulted by Mitch McConnell's assertion that our economic problems were caused by the Obama Administrations policies. Does Mitch McConnell think that the American people are stupid? Does he not remember voting to eliminate the budget surplus handed over by Bill Clinton? Does he not remember voting to eliminate the economic protections put in place after the Great Depression to protect us from another such crash.

    Thank you Republicans for giving us a big mess and then saying (like Shaggy) "Wasn't me!".

    September 8, 2010 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  24. ABM

    Keep the pressure on the GOP Mr. President. Show them who comes to the table with plans vs. those who do not have anything to show for 18 months on whining!

    Thank you for representing the American people – not corporations, lobbyists, and the rich!

    Message to anyone who says "community organizer" – who do you prefer – an elitist or someone who knows how to work FOR & WITH the people he is supposed to represent. Yes he may be a CO but I would take him over someone who can relate to a community rather than Wall Street.

    Message to anyone who says "healthcare was rammed down our throats" – This was what he was elected to do. After 40 years of false promises and another year hashing out the details this was reviewed, discussed at nauseum, and passed WITH transparency. It was made to HELP people so stop crying over it – you will be using it eventually and will be thankful it was passed.

    September 8, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  25. Jack

    If Boehner was serious about anything, he would tell the corporate people to get out of his office and concentrate on what is right for the common man and not corporate interests. He continues to prove he lacks his own mental mettle bring ideas that aren't rehashed from the bush years.

    September 8, 2010 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
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