March 30th, 2012
06:08 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama campaigns against GOP 'madness'

Portland, Maine (CNN) - President Barack Obama wrapped up an afternoon fundraising swing through the northeast Friday, declaring his Republican opponents have a go-it-alone attitude that threatens to permanently stifle the country's middle class.

"They would gut things that we've always believed is at the core of making America great - education, science, caring for the most vulnerable." the president to chants of "four more years" in a packed Portland, Maine gymnasium. "They are wrong."

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"The idea that you would keep doing the same thing over and over, even after it's proven not to work, that's the sign of madness," he also said of Republican-backed economic policies.

Obama listed the accomplishments his campaign intends to emphasize between now and November, including the bailout of the auto industry, equal pay for women, and drawing down the war in Iraq. The president also praised his most controversial action just days after it was contended before the Supreme Court, the institution of universal health care.

"Change is the health care reform act we passed after a century of trying," he said without noting it's in danger of being declared unconstitutional by the high court. "We believe that in America, nobody should go bankrupt just because they got sick."

The remarks before a boisterous crowd of nearly 2,000 supporters at Southern Maine Community College is to be followed by a smaller private fundraiser at the Portland Art Museum. Admission to the larger event cost young supporters $44 to attend while most paid at least $100 to gain admittance. The private fundraiser meanwhile is expected to draw 130 supporters who each paid at least $5,000.

"With your help we wont just win another election," Obama said. "We will remind the world why the United States is the greatest country on Earth."

His visit here followed a short visit to Vermont, another reliably-blue state in modern presidential election history that rarely get much attention from candidates during the general election campaign. But Maine is one of two states (the other being Nebraska) that award electoral votes on a proportionate basis and has the potential to be pivotal in a close race.

Together with 2 events earlier the day in Vermont, Obama is expected to haul in well over $2 million for his reelection effort before he heads back to Washington.

The events come a day before the Obama campaign closes the books on their first-quarter fundraising haul, often used as a barmoter of grass roots support and donor enthusiasm. The president's fundraising so far this year has significantly outpaced that of Republicans but lags behind he record amount he amassed at this point for years ago.

The campaign has already said president raised $74 million for his reelection effort in January and February, nearly $20 million less than his total for the first two months of 2008. Obama campaign officials have shrugged off the fundraising drop, noting it's traditionally more difficult for incumbent presidents to raise money among smaller donors. His heated primary battle against now-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that year also helped keep donors interested.

Obama was introduced by Richard Schwartz, a local power plant engineer who said he would be unemployed without the aid of certain programs in the president's stimulus bill.

"That determination to do what it takes, that spirit of Richards exists all across America," the president said. "Although we are starting to make progress, we still have two many folks out of work."

Also see:

Kerry rallies democratic supporters by warning of 'swift boat' redux

Romney, Gingrich held private meeting

Bush asks about son's endorsement

RNC reserves vital cash for eventual GOP nominee

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama
soundoff (23 Responses)
  1. Biotechdev

    The National Debt has now increased more during President Obama’s three years and two months in office than it did during 8 years of the George W. Bush presidency. The Debt rose $4.899 trillion during the two terms of the Bush presidency. It has now gone up $4.939 trillion since President Obama took office. The latest posting from the Bureau of Public Debt at the Treasury Department shows the National Debt now stands at $15.566 trillion. It was $10.626 trillion on President Bush’s last day in office, which coincided with President Obama’s first day. The National Debt also now exceeds 100% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product, the total value of goods and services. It doesn’t get any better, either.

    March 30, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  2. Margaret

    President totally ROCK.

    March 30, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. Dominican mama 4 Obama (the real one)

    Four more years.
    Latinos para Obama.
    Women for Obama.

    March 30, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  4. Four and The Door

    "The idea that you would keep doing the same thing over and over, even after it's proven not to work, that's the sign of madness," he also said of Republican-backed economic policies.
    Like his latest "Jobs" bill modeled after the failed "Stimulus" experiment of 2009? And from where Obama stands here in 2012 after 3 years of misfires and a housing market he just can't seem to spend enough of our federal tax dollars on, isn't it kind of awkward for him to be talking about economic policies?

    March 30, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  5. Cody

    Wow someone needs to proof read this crap before they post it.

    Obama is right though, the GOP has the wrong vision for our country and would set us back decades.

    March 30, 2012 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  6. Myviewis

    Let's get it right: Equal Pay for Women was signed in 1963 in the Equal Pay Act of 1963 – Health Reform Act he passed was the creation of Republican Mitt Romney/Romneycare=Obamacare ( same program except Obama passed it Federal and Romney passed it State) Obama's cuts into Medicare money and raises taxes to pay for it – Romney's does not cut into Medicare and does not raise taxes to pay for it. And finishing the War in Iraq was already in the makings when he became President. Bush had already started to Bail-Out the auto industry and as VP Biden said Obama just finished what Bush had already started with bailing out industries. I think Obama's supporters keep living in a Fantasy of a man they believed to be the next Messiah which is why he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in advance of getting anything done,meanwhile the rest of us keep watching and reading the news and remembering truthful facts, not fantasy.

    March 30, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  7. Mikey

    Stop the madness. Vote the TP out in November.

    Obama 2012!

    March 30, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  8. bullock w

    I said mocking out of presdient obama what about fraud check scam from afrcian amercian cause who people recive cash with fraud check scam so people would help vote for presdient obama
    Warning warning warning to Gop so Gop must keep watch what about vote for presdient obama from fraud check scam

    March 30, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  9. Myviewis

    I forgot to mention that the Equal Pay Act of 1963 was signed by President John F. Kennedy not President Obama. People can't keep giving Obama credit for things he did not start and he did not create, it is foolish.

    March 30, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  10. Karl M

    "Although we are starting to make progress, we still have two many folks out of work." That is two too many.

    March 30, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  11. Jim Hahn

    Really guys: "barmoter of grass roots". Try spell check, grammar check, plain old proofreading, something, anything? Embarrassing!

    March 30, 2012 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  12. Paul

    Although many people don't think so, even the President's Afghanistan policy is based on sound American values. Values like life, liberity and the pursuit of happiness. Not that he wants to turn Afghanistan into the U.S. but that the people there should be able to live free of fear. They shouldn't have to put up with the brutal repression of the taliban. Like it or not we bare some of the responsibility for the mess over there and President Obama devised a sound plan to improve Afghanistan and protect U.S. interest as we withdraw. The recent problems which have increased pressure to withdraw are infact self inflicked and the result of American embarassment. When our troops urinate on the dead, destroy religous material, and shoot people while they sleep it reflects on all of us. This is not who we are, this is not American values. We need to show the world the best of America and stay the course, inspite of the setbacks. If you look pass the headlines and look at how afghanistan is changing as the result of the Presidents policy, you will see that there is hope.

    March 30, 2012 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  13. izy

    obama 2012!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 MORE YEARS!!!!!!

    March 30, 2012 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  14. Greyman

    I could point out the hilarious irony that a lot of Obama policies – including the evil 'Obamacare' – are similar to Republican free-market proposals of yesteryear, but I digress. Such subtle things get lost on foaming-at-the-mouth teabagging loons who scream "SOCIALIST!" every time Obama's name is heard. It's like a dog whistle or something.

    March 30, 2012 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  15. Scef

    Preach the Gospel of truth to them. The enemy and oppressor cannot withstand because the light will overcome the darkness.

    March 30, 2012 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  16. 2012liberal

    I will never understand how anyone votes for republicans. When they do they vote n against their own best interest. When hospitals and doctors start turning away people that dont hv ins or can't pay maybe this country will pull their heads out! A person dying out front of a hsptl n the parking lot cuz they hv no ins or$

    March 30, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. CBR

    On this point I would agree with the President. The Republicans in Congress have never had any plans to work with the President. From day one Senator McConnell stated he would not do anything to help this man win reelection. This was stated at the very beginning of the President's term. The Senator has sat on his hands for four years. The whole time he has been paid to be the Senate Minority Leader. Think about the pay and benefits he has received while refusing to work with the President or the Democrats. If you did not produce anything in a year, you would be fired. Why do we allow politicians to do this and why do we reward them with our votes?

    March 30, 2012 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  18. OrangeW3dge

    When the gloves come off, it will be interesting to see how much of the glitter rubs off as well.
    Right now it's all for one team or the other, but when it comes down to selecting the man things may be a little different. Tan lines will blur.

    March 30, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  19. Mike in Texas

    We lowered taxes in 2001 and 2003 and it didn't create jobs. We did nothing to regulate mortgage underwriting standards or mortgage backed securities and look where it got us.

    Republicans took a surplus and turned it into a massive deficit. A great plan, cut taxes and run up a deficit, lose control of the House, Senate and Presidency, then cry the Democrats have a spending problem and we need to cut spending, when in fact if we wouldn't have cut taxes in 2001 and 2003 we wouldn't be in this situation.

    The old bait and switch game.

    March 30, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  20. buckup

    fascists are wrong and should move back to Republistan.

    Liberals are left, right, and middle of the road.

    March 30, 2012 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  21. normajean @ verizon ,com

    The president is D-M right.... they are wrong and what I don't understand is that there are a great number of their own party, the middle and lower classes of Republicans that are going right down with the Democrats when the Repubs get through trashing our society!!!! They don't even care for their own!!!! As long as the politicians and the wealthy get what they want, they don"t care what happens!!!!If I were repub. I wouldn't even vote for them!!!!!!!

    March 30, 2012 07:37 pm at 7:37 pm |
  22. ThinkAgain

    Thank you, Mr. President, for your thoughtful, steadfast, ADULT leadership of our country during these very challenging times!


    March 30, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  23. Larry L

    Wouldn't it have been wonderful if the Republicans would have embraced the spirit of the recovery efforts rather than work to obstruct every initiative. They exposed themselves as the enemy of the working people and the lackies of the fat-cats.

    March 30, 2012 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |