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

UN Fears Rights Violations in China-backed Projects

UNHCHR investigates link between financing development and ignoring safeguards for human rights More

Boko Haram Violence Tests Nigerians’ Faith in Buhari

New president has promised to stem insurgency; he’s scheduled to meet with President Obama at White House July 20 More

Social Media Network Wants Privacy in User’s Hands

Encryption's popularity in messaging is exploding; now it's the foundation of a new social network 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.
Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugeesi
X
Carolyn Weaver
July 06, 2015 6:47 PM
In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Making Music, Fleeing Bombs: New Film on Sudan’s Internal Refugees

In 2012, Sudanese filmmaker Hajooj Kuka went to make a documentary among civil war refugees in Sudan’s Blue Nile and Nuba Mountains region. What he found surprised him: music was helping to save people from bombing raids by their own government. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more.
Video

Video Rice Farmers Frustrated As Drought Grips Thailand

A severe drought in Thailand is limiting the growing season of the country’s important rice crop. Farmers are blaming the government for not doing more to protect a key export. Steve Sandford reports from Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Video

Video 'From This Day Forward' Reveals Difficult Journey of Transgender Parent

In her documentary, "From This Day Forward", filmmaker Sharon Shattuck reveals the personal journey of her transgender father, as he told his family that he always felt he was a woman inside and decided to live as one. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Floodwaters Threaten Iconic American Home

The Farnsworth House in the Midwest State of Illinois is one of the most iconic homes in America. Thousands of tourists visit the site every year. Its location near a river inspired the design of the house, but, as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, that very location is now threatening the existence of this National Historic Landmark.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.

VOA Blogs