Obama says GOP tax stance contrary to mantra
July 13th, 2012
03:51 PM ET
11 years ago

Obama says GOP tax stance contrary to mantra

Virginia Beach, Virginia (CNN) – Once again setting up this election as a battle between "different visions" for the future of America, President Barack Obama took his campaign to Virginia on Friday and questioned Republicans' commitment to one of their central campaign themes.

Repeating his pledge to let lower tax rates for upper-income workers expire at the end of the year, the president said that his opponents' disagreement means they're not determined to reduce the nation's deficit.

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"Let's not hold middle class folks hostage," Obama said, to cheers from the friendly crowd. "The top two percent, those tax cuts, that'll be settled in the next election and I'm looking forward to having a debate, because if you say you want to bring down the deficit but you're not willing to let tax cuts lapse for the top two percent it tells me you're not serious about deficit reduction."

Throughout much of his remarks before roughly 1,400 supporters gathered in the Green Run High School gymnasium, the president touted his administration's various political accomplishments. After describing policies he deemed successful, Obama tried to label promises made by his likely Republican opponent Mitt Romney to roll back his actions as attempts to move the country backwards.

In trumpeting his decision to halt deportations of certain undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children, Obama took a dig at an immigration proposal Romney suggested at a GOP primary debate earlier this year.

"Mr. Romney says that undocumented workers in this country should self deport," Obama said. "My belief is that we are a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants and I want to make sure we have comprehensive immigration reform that gives people who've been raised here a chance to live out their own American dream. I don't want to go backwards. I want to go forwards."

Thematically the president tried to frame his pitch to voters as an offshoot of his own biography. While his campaign has spent the past several months highlighting Romney's wealth and experience as a corporate CEO, Obama bracketed his remarks in a reminder to Virginia voters of the comparatively modest upbringing he and Michelle had in middle class families.

The president told the audience about his grandparents' reliance on government programs to go to college and buy a home. He told them about Michelle's father's struggles with multiple sclerosis, and her mother's decision to stay home to raise her children.

He even reminisced about a cross-country trip he took with his family as a child, "but we didn't do it on jets, we took Greyhound, and the train, and I think twice we rented a car."

"It all goes back to my family, and your family," Obama said, linking his biography to politics. And as he often does at campaign events, he repeated a promise he made in 2008 to spend every day trying to make Americans' lives better.

"I made that promise because I saw myself in you, and I saw Michelle in you, and when I look at your kids I see my kids, and when I look at your grandparents I see my grandparents, and because of the values we share I believe in you," Obama said. "And I hope you still believe in me."

Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Virginia
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. Rudy NYC

    The original Bush Tax Cuts, he had two rounds of them, were exclusively for the wealthy and were supposed to be "temporary". They were meant to stimulate the econom, at a time when it didn't need a tax cut to stimulate it.

    People point to the fact that economy perked up when the original cuts were enacted. That was coincidence. We were in a recession because Fed. Reserve Chairman Greenspan though the economy was showing "irrational exuberance" and kept raising the prime rate to slow down the rate of growth. He kept raising and raising the rate until the economy stalled. And it stalled hard, right into a recession. He restored sensible rates and the economy picked up. The tax cuts had nothing to do with it, as borne out over the past decade.

    July 13, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  2. Sam

    This guy really knows how to connect with his audiances. He is so comfortable in his own skin! The exact opposite of

    July 13, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  3. Name willardbullock

    I don't understand why hillary clinton was complain against obama so why obama called liar to hillary
    I'm belived that presdient obama will be guilty so he make trying liar with amercian people
    No no no thanks vote for presdient obama

    July 13, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    More truth. Up next: denial temper tantrums from the right.

    July 13, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. Darryl

    The Bush Tax cuts ? Pres.Obama extended them because the republicans said it would create jobs.Corporations would hire more people.What happened ? they did NOT. It's over for the Greed and the people will make sure of that. The Tax cuts for the middle class ? They will get them..........because if they dont ? Represenatives and Congress men will get voted right out of office period.If they think they can run us into another cliff hanger they better think first.If the Taxes are not extended for the middle class by November 6th thats exactly what will happen, mark my words.Because President Obama will be re-elected and we will not suffer anymore with all the obstruction they have caused.

    July 13, 2012 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Obama 2012 - MOVE Forward America, NOT another round of DUBYA's FAILURES

    Based on Willard's commentary that suspending the Bush Tax Cuts for the top two brackets (those that make more than $250k) will be a huge tax increase on the middle class is a clear indicator of how out of touch with reality he really is. Even the Teapugs know that those making $250K+ are in the 1%, NOT the middle class!!!

    July 13, 2012 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  7. gurgyl

    Raise the Tax on who make more than 250K or more. Keep going on Infrastructure, Green-Energy, Education, HealthCare for all. Good Luck, Buddy, Good Luck. Just Push "Made In USA". I am campaigning for you. Yes, On obama12.
    PS: This Election is all about Rich v/s American Middle Class. Period.

    July 13, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |

    You get my vote in Nov ,four more year ,move forward ,not backwards with the Gop bafoons party !!!!

    July 13, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |

    Mr. President, your motorcade is nightware for I-64 commuters, but we're happy you're back in Hampton Roads. Phoebus H.S. next. Keep pushing your message on taxes. You even had a Romney supporter come out on your side of the issue and his name happens to be George H.W. Bush. We, The People, are not bound to a pledge except the one we swear to this country. On the other hand, the GOP has pledged to Grover Norquist not to raise taxes EVER!!!

    July 13, 2012 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Pres.Obama extended them because the republicans said it would create jobs"

    No, that's NOT why. he extended them because they were holding everything else hostage and refusing to do ANYTHING unless they got their way on the tax cuts for the rich. They wouldn't even allow votes on important bills like the new START treaty. Neither Obama nor the rest of the sane populace actually believes the GOP/Teatrolls when they claim that tax cuts create jobs. The Bush tax cuts have been in effect since 2001 and 2003 and we currently have 8.2% unemployment...and lost upwards of 750K jobs per month starting at the end of Bush's second term. Apparently, the tax cuts are doing a bang up job of creating jobs though, eh?

    July 13, 2012 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |

    I heard that troll Grover explain his reasoning. His philosophy is that if your political stances are so far to the right and you are not willing to compromise, then eventually the policies of the center will turn to a right wing policy. Now how sadistic and evil is that? Seriously! Even John Boehner doesn't want to utter the word compromise. The GOP has been taken over by extremists and it's time for them to go!!!

    July 13, 2012 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  12. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    I made that promise because I saw myself in you, and I saw Michelle in you, and when I look at your kids I see my kids, and when I look at your grandparents I see my grandparents, and because of the values we share I believe in you," Obama said.
    Romney, if he had any sense, should be watching videos of the President's speeches, and taking copious notes.
    This is what a leader sounds like that CONNECTS with his people.
    This is what a President looks like, unafraid of hard work and putting his political life on the line to fulfill a major campaign promise: healthcare reform.
    You can't touch this Romney, but I guess you're going to try to BUY it.
    We got your back Mr. President.
    Obama 2012.

    July 13, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  13. v_mag

    Here is something we have never done that could work: Tax the rich back to the stone age.

    They've taken every break their servant Congress has given them, and we don't see it improving the job situation one bit. So, I think we the people should insist that they give it all back. And give back those off-shore tax shelters and every other perk available only to the super-rich. Who the heck needs (or deserves) more than a million or two? The people who "earned" it by raping the environment, writing their own laws, and forcing masses of people into wage slavery? I don't think so.

    No, the rich won't be properly taxed until we get a real revolution. That's simply because government is owned by the wealthy, and does what the wealthy order it to do. The rest of us are screwed.

    July 13, 2012 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
  14. jean2009

    Bush came into office and immediately went to work cutting taxes for the wealthiest few..then he decided the economy might tank...so to fend that off he would send every family a $600 rebate with the directions to "go buy something" so the economy wouldn't tank on his watch. Come 2007 his policies,..unnecessary tax cuts, unfunded wars, unfunded senior drug benefit, and other calamities and the economy was in the tank.

    Mitt has found his nitch in being Gordon Gecko...he should stick with what he knows.

    Obama-Biden 2012!

    July 13, 2012 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  15. Wire Palladin, S. F.

    bullock – You are getting very good at remembering part of the Fox foreign owned media talking points and lies. Most people understand you better than Mittens, but Mittens group edited the tape about single payer, that was what Hillary was talking about in the negative attack ad.

    July 13, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |