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. grandma

    He just doesn't get it. HE IS THE PROBLEM. Stop blaming others. Stop the speeches no one is listening to you . WE DON'T LIKE YOUR AGENDA.

    September 8, 2010 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  2. Bill in California

    THE WOULD BE EMPEROR WOULD DO BETTER TO FOLLOW HIS TALENTS. A stooge lawyer and community con artist for ACORN. He came in way over his head and he's sinking fast. The facade is over and only the truly blinded cannot see his agenda for what it is.

    September 8, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  3. Bill from GA

    None of the tax cuts should be made permanent. Maybe a one or two year renewal on the first $250K of income, then see how the economy looks.

    We gotta get out of this mess.

    September 8, 2010 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    Thank Boehner for this inane talking point:

    "Burning a copy of the Koran is an expression of opinion that is protected by the First Amendment and cannot be curtailed by the government. It's also wrong, indecent, and insensitive.
    Building a mosque adjacent to Ground Zero is an expression of religion that is protected by the First Amendment and cannot be curtailed by the government. It's also wrong, indecent, and insensitive."

    There is NO MORAL EQUIVALENCY HERE. The analogy is inept and shows a depth of oblivious bigotry that astounds. That pastor is motivated by unabashed hate, bigotry, a thorough non-understanding of Islam and the Koran (he even admitted to TPMuckraker that he has never read the Koran at all) and fear. While his book burning would be protected speech, it is altogether abhorrent and flies in the face of everything this country stands for in terms of freedom from religious persecution and tolerance of our differences. However, NOBODY called for the government to silence him (he just couldn't get a fire permit because it violated legitimate municipal fire codes).

    The imam, on the other hand, has quite clearly stated that the purpose of building the COMMUNITY CENTER (it's not a mosque, you tinfoil hat automaton), is to further bridge the gaps and promote religious understanding and tolerance, as is a proven goal of his life's work via his actions over the past number of years/decades. Any other ulterior motive or purpose ascribed to it, such as "victory mosque" is purely conjecture is a projection of the same fear, bigotry, and lack of understanding that motivated the pastor in FL and is purely a baseless, unsupportted product of the accuser's addled mind. Developing the community center is an exercise of numerous Constitutionally protected rights, including property rights which cannot be taken without just compensation. In direct contrast to the people who criticized the pastor, those who oppose and criticize the mosque, such as Newt Gingrich, have called for the government to step in and abuse its powers, muscling the developers into moving the location or even exercising the power of eminent domain to take their land away from them if all else fails.

    It's apples and orangmen. Nuance....get some.

    September 8, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  5. Duck Fallas

    Boner is the most pro-abortion minority leader in history.

    September 8, 2010 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  6. Bill from GA

    I was glad to see our President attacking bonehead's ideas in his (boner's) own state.

    Go get em, Barry.

    September 8, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  7. Naqib


    Still thinks the "Blame the last guy" tactic works...
    Take a look at the polls... it's over

    Get mad, hold your breath, whatever...
    In the end you might just go down as worst ever
    Edging out Jimmy Carter of course

    Meanwhile... Bush keeps going up.


    September 8, 2010 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  8. ART

    Mr Bone head please explain to me why extending tax cuts for the small percentage of wealthy Americans , which i might remind you has failed in the past would do anything to help the economy? This trickle down economics does not work the rich keep getting richer and the poor keep getting even poorer.If there ever is a class war I know exactly who to look for.

    September 8, 2010 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  9. j

    Two years to dig our way out of 10 years of " unfettered spending". Come on folks, get real. Obama was handed a bucket of S#@t economy and the Repubs are dumping on him. -- All I hear is more tax cuts, less Gov`t. The lack of Gov`t oversight practiced by the last administration allowed Wall Street to run the economy into the ground.

    September 8, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  10. JES

    Mr. Obama,

    Before you slam anyone you might want to check your facts.

    You and your party are the reason we have the overspend we have now. It seems your party spends what they don't have and you are one of the main reason this country is in debt. All of your forced bills you have to strong arm your party to get passed and the Health Care is one of them. It seems nobody wants to listen to term limits and balanced budgets.

    The Washington Post babbled again today about
    Obama inheriting a huge deficit from Bush. Amazingly
    enough, a lot of people swallow this nonsense. So once
    more, a short civics lesson.
    Budgets do not come from the White House. They come
    from Congress, and the party that controlled Congress
    since January 2007 is the Democrat Party. They
    controlled the budget process for FY 2008 and FY 2009,
    as well as FY 2010 and FY 2011. In that first year, they
    had to contend with George Bush, which caused them to
    compromise on spending, when Bush somewhat
    belatedly got tough on spending increases.
    For FY 2009 though, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid
    bypassed George Bush entirely, passing continuing
    resolutions to keep government running. At that time, they passed a
    massive omnibus spending bill to complete the FY 2009
    And where was Barack Obama during this time? He
    was a member of that very Congress that passed all of
    these massive spending bills, and he signed the omnibus
    bill as President to complete FY 2009. Let's remember
    what the deficits looked like during that period.
    If the Democrats inherited any deficit, it was the FY
    2007 deficit, the last of the Republican budgets. That
    deficit was the lowest in five years, and the fourth
    straight decline in deficit spending. After that,
    Democrats in Congress took control of spending, and
    that includes Barack Obama, who voted for the
    budgets. If Obama inherited anything, he inherited
    it from himself.
    In a nutshell, what Obama is saying is I inherited a
    deficit that I voted for and then I voted to expand
    that deficit four-fold since January 20th.

    September 8, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  11. Orlando Patriot

    What justification does Obama have to "slam" the Republicans? When he took office in January 2009 unemployment was around 7%. Since then Obama has increased our national debt by 3 TRILLION DOLLARS AND unemployment is hovering around 10% with no sign of any recovery. Where did that money go? Certainly not to stimulate the economy!! Instead it was money to unions and building "turtle tunnels".

    Mr. Obama, don't you DARE think you have any justification to "slam" the Republicans!! With the way you have spiraled this economy off of a cliff (and then have the audacity to call it a "Summer of Recovery"?) you would do the entire world a favor to simply resign. Of course if you resigned that would mean Joe "I will put a foot in my mouth" Biden will become president. Gosh, I don't know which is worse – Dumb or Dumber???

    September 8, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  12. Haren

    Burning of quran by florida pastor is nothing but direct result of FOX news involment in Mosque near ground zero.
    Remember blood on the hands of FOX news for killing of abortion doctor.
    If any of our brave solders are killed than we should blame FOX news for that.

    September 8, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  13. leo PA

    fire up ready to go......................

    September 8, 2010 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  14. Bob

    Message to Obama......Democrats have controlled congress since 2007. You have had almost 2 years to fix this mess all the while making sure the unions were happy. Stop blaming others and fix the mess. It is your mess now and America holds you responsible. Get to work and stop campaigning and blaming others.

    September 8, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  15. Ray

    The only mantra the Republicans keep screaming is "cut taxes." Nothing constructive, just the same-old, same-old. Yet nearly 50% of the US electorate eats it up. Do they want 8 more years of Bushonmoics? If so, they're either rich or ignorant. Probably both. Sad day for the US.

    September 8, 2010 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  16. Marty, FL

    President Obama is correct to call out Boehner's nonsense, considering our president respectfully offered a cooperative proposal of infrastructure & tax incentives directly from publicly acknowledged statements last year from Boehner & his Republicans.

    All of a sudden our president supports it, and Boehner/McConnell again revert to blatantly partisan nonsense against these same proposals for the American people.

    And some would consider putting Boehner "in charge?" In charge of what–doublespeak for uncooperative governing? No thanks.

    September 8, 2010 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  17. Duck Fallas

    That's right- you neo-cuns did such a grat job with the country that America elected a black guy named Hussein President.

    September 8, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. norma

    I really don't know how Mr. Boehner, McConnell and so many other tea drinkers got voted into politics in the first place. Like Oliver North, until you commit a crime, no one has even heard of you. At least we learned of Sarah Palin by her big mouth, but these other imbeciles(sp) came in quietly by way of their lobbyists. It behooves me that they can show their faces let alone say the heinous and dastardly things they spew to the public. You never see wives of these worms showing their faces. Their families must be so ashamed, and their poor children must hang their heads in shame. On the other hand, to live with someone this crude and cruel, you'd have to agree with them, and that's pathetic. Hopefully in the end, intelligent Americans will wake up – if not, we're doomed! Gee, I wonder how Mr. Bush spends his time when he's not riding his bike or golfing, or counting his blessings. Does he cry when he hears that his soldiers are still being massacred; or that houses are burning in Detroit, almost like the burning of Atlanta, or does he just have a beer, watch his favorite Fox comedy show and fall asleep in his million dollar home. We should feel sorry for a man who has turned this country upside down, created civil disobedience and strife. The one thing I disagree with Obama on is not convicting these criminals for war crimes.

    September 8, 2010 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. beevee

    I hope that the president will be relentless in his offensive attack of the GOP leadership from now on. I think it is the only way that the American public seem to look up to his leadership. So far the GOP has banded together in saying 'No" to everything that the president wanted to do to this country and to get us out of the economic mess without offering any concrete solutions of their own. It is high time for the president to be aggressive and whip the GOP leadership hard.

    September 8, 2010 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Jerry - Florida

    "You won't be surprised, Wolf, to know that I tend to be a little more helpful to those who are energetically and enthusiastically telling about the good things their party has done," added Kaine.

    Wow!!! When did my fellow Democrats start behaving in this moronic fashion?! Must be after the Bully-in-Chief was elected president.

    Is our illustrious Mr. Kaine threatening fellow Democrats with "you either tow the Democratic line or you are history?" Since when is it not OK to agree to disagree? These are the people (President NObama, Harry Reid, Plastic Pelosi, etc., etc., and now Mr. "Thug" Kaine; that have destroyed our once fledging Democratic party.

    On the other hand, isn't this essentially the same thing they have done to the populace of America? In other words, they are the ones that know what is good for us, they are the elite, so they are telling us: sit down and shut your mouth.

    Additionally, when President NObama and his lapdogs hypocritically want to reach across the isle, should they not be showing Republicans some respect? How can this administration expect to get support from Republicans when, including the president, they are always blasting the Republicans? No wonder even some elected Democrats are turning against the administration; and particularly distancing themselves from President NObama.

    During a speech to a captive/hand picked audience (labor unions) this past Sunday, some of our presidents comments were not only down right stupid, but embarrassing as well. I guess President NObama still thinks he is doing community organizing in the tough areas of Chicago. Worst, some (not all) of the bought and paid for labor unions representatives were applauding his stupidity.

    If our wimpy president expects the American people to respect him and his office, he really needs to start respecting the will of the people of America.

    September 8, 2010 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. The Real Me

    That is a new tactic for him!

    September 8, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  22. Liz the First

    Tell it like it is, Mr. President! the do-nothing party is doing nothing to help the American people out of the mess it created and thinks we will flock back to them because the Dems haven't been able to wave a magic wand and make their 8 year in the making mess go away in ten minutes. time to talk straight and tough about what's going on here. the smart ones already know. but there seem to be more idiots out there than smart ones anymore. you've got your work cut out for you.

    September 8, 2010 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  23. Andy

    An excellent speech by our president. He clearly illustrated the choice to be made this election season. Clearly laid out the party platforms and the visions for our futures – for the working class. When was the last time you heard a republican say the words "working class" or "middle class"?

    Well done Mr. President, I'll choose hope and progression over fear and regression. Keep up the good work!

    September 8, 2010 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. CK in MN

    Go Mr. President. Call the hypocrites out!

    September 8, 2010 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  25. Dt

    I am a liberal dem and i kinda wish the repubs do win one house just to show they have no policies or ideas. just on fox news lastnight of all places they were saying repubs should stick to the fear tactics and not go into details until after the elections, lol. dems should really hammer their ass until they start talking. And again how much did these 2 wars, 2001&2003 tax cuts, medicare part d cost?

    September 8, 2010 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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