News / USA

Obama Amplifies Messages Four Months Before Mid-Term Elections

Less than four months before the U.S. mid-term congressional elections, President Obama is pushing back hard against opposition Republicans and their criticisms of his economic policies.  Mr. Obama is making clear that in coming months he intends to bring the fight to Republicans he says have positioned themselves as obstructionists.

President Obama arrived back at the White House on Friday after completing the latest in a series of trips to states where candidates from his party, including the Senate majority leader Harry Reid, face stiff challenges from Republicans.

In Nevada, and earlier in Missouri, the president focused on steps by his administration to repair economic damage and deal with still sharply high unemployment, repeatedly emphasizing that the financial crisis and recession began when a Republican was in the White House.

The president's tone has been sharper, marked by the kind of passion, rhetoric and personal touch he employed effectively on the campaign trail before the 2008 presidential election in which he defeated Republican John McCain.

So it was in Missouri where his remarks in support of Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate Robin Carnahan underscored the picture he is trying to paint for voters before the November mid-term elections.

Mr. Obama describes Republicans as the party of 'no' who have refused to work with him on dealing with the nation's major problems.

"They figure if they just keep on saying 'no' it will work for them, they will get more votes in November because if Obama loses, they win," said President Obama. "[Republicans say] if we can stop him then we will look better.  But that's not what is going to lead our country out of this mess that we are in.  That just takes us backwards.  We need to move forward."

As they continue to condemn Obama economic policies, Republicans have not been helped by remarks some of their key members in Congress have made in recent weeks.

In an interview with editors at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, House of Representatives Republican leader John Boehner made this remark about the financial system reform bill Congress is expected to approve soon.

"This is [like] killing an ant with a nuclear weapon," said John Boehner.

In Missouri, and on a previous trip to Wisconsin, the president has referred to the remark by Boehner as an example of Republicans being out of touch with the struggles  Americans are going through.

"He says well, we don't need all of this," said Mr. Obama. "This is like using a nuclear weapon to kill an ant.  The worst crisis since the Great Depression he calls an ant.  You have got to make a movie [out of that].  The ant that ate the economy."  

Mr. Boehner, and fellow Republican Joe Barton, who in June suggested that the White House had subjected the oil company BP to a "shakedown" in demanding it establish a $20 billion compensation fund, later issued clarifications.

Republican and Democratic media operations made good use of the remarks, which both sides combined with statements from the president.

Damage from the Republican remarks has given President Obama additional ammunition as he intensifies personal campaigning across the country before November.

In appearances for Senate Majority Leader Reid, who has been fighting an uphill battle in Nevada against a Republican opponent, President Obama referred to Reid's background as a boxer who "knew how to take a punch" and would always outlast his opponents.

Mr. Obama seemed to be drawing a comparison between the Nevada Senate contest and his own efforts to repair the economy in the face of what he calls a policy of obstruction by Republicans.

Reid who is trying to improve his position in the polls, sought to distinguish the attitude of Republicans in Washington toward Obama economic recovery efforts from Republicans in Nevada and elsewhere in the country.

"Senate Republicans have been the party of 'no', and that's not how Republicans are throughout the country, they're not the party of 'no', but the party of 'no' is in the U.S. Senate," said Harry Reid.

Unclear is whether there will be any improvement between now and the November mid-term elections in the president's job approval ratings which have hovered in the mid to high 40 percent range, below the majority level.

A poll by The Economist showed 52 percent of Americans disapproving of Mr. Obama's performance.   Others show Americans continued skepticism about the effectiveness of his economic recovery program.

There is also concern in the White House about weakness in support among independent voters who will be crucial in the November mid-term elections as well as in the 2012 presidential election.

A Gallup survey showed 38 percent of independents approving of the president's job performance, though his support among members of his own party remained strong at 81 percent.   

You May Like

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

They're seeing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more wildfires, erosion of glaciers, shorelines More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs