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

Tired of Waiting, South Africans Demand Change ‘Now’

With chronic poverty and lack of basic services largely fueling recent xenophobic attacks, many in Rainbow Nation say it’s time for government to act More

Challenges Ahead for China's Development Plans in Pakistan

Planned $46 billion in energy and infrastructure investments in Pakistan are aimed at transforming the country into a regional hub for trade and investment More

Audio 'Forbidden City' Revisits Little Known Era of Asian-American Entertainment

Little-known chapter of entertainment history captured in 80s documentary is revisited in new digitally remastered format and book 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.
Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populationsi
X
April 24, 2015 10:13 PM
A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Study: Insecticide Damaging Wild Bee Populations

A popular but controversial type of insecticide is damaging important wild bee populations, according to a new study. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Data Servers Could Heat Private Homes

As every computer owner knows, when their machines run a complex program they get pretty hot. In fact, cooling the processors can be expensive, especially when you're dealing with huge banks of computer servers. But what if that energy could heat private homes? VOA’s George Putic reports that a Dutch energy firm aims to do just that.
Video

Video Cinema That Crosses Borders Showcased at Tribeca Film Festival

Among the nearly 100 feature length films being shown at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival in New York City are more than 20 documentaries and features with international appeal, from a film about a Congolese businessman in China, to documentaries shot in Pakistan and diaspora communities in the U.S., to a poetic look at disaffected South African youth. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video UN Confronts Threat of Young Radicals

The radicalization and recruitment of young people into Islamist extremist groups has become a growing challenge for governments worldwide. On Thursday, the U.N. Security Council heard from experts on the issue, which has become a potent threat to international peace and security. VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports.
Video

Video Growing Numbers of Turks Discover Armenian Ancestry

In a climate of improved tolerance, growing numbers of people in Turkey are discovering their grandmothers were Armenian. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians escaped the mass deportations and slaughter of the early 1900's by forced conversion to Islam. Or, Armenian children were taken in by Turkish families and assimilated. Now their stories are increasingly being heard. Dorian Jones reports from Istanbul that the revelations are viewed as an important step.
Video

Video Migrants Trek Through Western Balkans to Reach EU

Migrants from Africa and other places are finding different routes into the European Union in search of a better life. The Associated Press followed one clandestine group to document their trek through the western Balkans to Hungary. Zlatica Hoke reports that the migrants started using that route about four years ago. Since then, it has become the second-most popular path into Western Europe, after the option of sailing from North Africa to Italy.
Video

Video TIME Magazine Honors Activists, Pioneers Seen as Influential

TIME Magazine has released its list of celebrities, leaders and activists, whom it deems the world’s “most influential” in 2015. VOA's Ramon Taylor reports from New York.
Video

Video US Businesses See Cuba as New Frontier

The Obama administration's opening toward Cuba is giving U.S. companies hope they'll be able to do business in Cuba despite the continuation of the U.S. economic embargo against the communist nation. Some American companies have been able to export some products to Cuba, but the recent lifting of Cuba's terrorism designation could relax other restrictions. As VOA's Daniela Schrier reports, corporate heavy hitters are lining up to head across the Florida Straits - though experts urge caution.
Video

Video Kenya Launches Police Recruitment Drive After Terror Attacks

Kenya launched a major police recruitment drive this week as part of a large-scale effort to boost security following a recent spate of terror attacks. VOA’s Gabe Joselow reports that allegations of corruption in the process are raising old concerns about the integrity of Kenya’s security forces.
Video

Video Japan, China in Race for Asia High-Speed Rail Projects

A lucrative competition is underway in Asia for billions of dollars in high-speed rail projects. Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries planning to move onto the fast track. They are negotiating with Japan and the upstart Chinese who are locked in a duel to revolutionize transportation across Asia. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Bangkok has details.
Video

Video Scientists: Mosquitoes Attracted By Our Genes

Some people always seem to get bitten by mosquitoes more than others. Now, scientists have proved that is really the case - and they say it’s all because of genes. It’s hoped the research might lead to new preventative treatments for diseases like malaria, as Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Bible Museum Coming to Washington DC

Washington is the center of American political power and also home to some of the nation’s most visited museums. A new one that will showcase the Bible has skeptics questioning the motives of its conservative Christian funders. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Armenia and Politics of Word 'Genocide'

A century ago this April, hundreds of thousands of Armenians of the Turkish Ottoman empire were deported and massacred, and their culture erased from their traditional lands. While broadly accepted by the U.N. and at least 20 countries as “genocide”, the United States and Turkey have resisted using that word to describe the atrocities that stretched from 1915 to 1923. But Armenians have never forgotten.
Video

Video Afghan First Lady Pledges No Roll Back on Women's Rights

Afghan First Lady Rula Ghani, named one of Time's 100 Most Influential, says women should take part in talks with Taliban. VOA's Rokhsar Azamee has more from Kabul.
Video

Video New Brain Mapping Techniques Could Ease Chronic Pain

From Boulder, Colorado, Shelley Schlender reports that new methods for mapping pain in the brain are providing validation for chronic pain and might someday guide better treatment.

VOA Blogs