[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/05/art.bush.obama.gi.jpg caption ="President Obama has twice mentioned former President Bush in speeches this week."]
(CNN) - President Obama, moving into campaign mode ahead of the midterm elections, has added new, sharper language to his stump speech – twice this week invoking the name of his predecessor.
Obama frequently criticizes Republican policies on the economy – that is certainly nothing new. But the latest wrinkle in Obama's rhetoric is that until now, he has avoided referring to former President Bush by name. That changed this week.
Thursday marked the second time in a week that Obama has mentioned Bush. During a fundraiser in Chicago for Democratic Senate candidate Alexi Giannoulias, Obama said Republicans are "betting on amnesia" as trying to make the economy an issue in fall races around the country.
"They haven't come out with a single solitary idea that is different from policies that held sway for eight years before Democrats took over, not a single policy difference that's discernible from George W. Bush. Not one," he told the crowd at the Palmer House Hilton on Chicago.
Before about 400 donors, Obama said, "they're betting that you just forgot about the eight years that they were in charge of Washington. They're betting that you didn't notice that the recession started under their watch and the deficit started under their watch".
The comments were similar to remarks the President delivered at a party fundraiser in Atlanta Monday. In that speech he also referred to GOP efforts to "extend Bush tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires."
Obama attended 3 fundraising events in Chicago Thursday, including two for the Democratic National Committee. He goes back on the road Monday for fundraising events in Texas.