News / USA

Obama Blasts Republicans on First 2012 Campaign Trip

President Barack Obama (r), accompanied by Richard Cordray, the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in Cleveland, Ohio,  Jan. 4, 2012.
President Barack Obama (r), accompanied by Richard Cordray, the head of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, in Cleveland, Ohio, Jan. 4, 2012.
Kent Klein

President Barack Obama has made his first campaign trip of 2012, taking his re-election campaign to Ohio, one of the states where the election is likely to be decided.  The president defied Republican lawmakers by announcing a key appointment over their objections.

A day after the first battle in the presidential election, President Obama directly confronted the opposition Republicans Wednesday by appointing a director for the new U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.  

The president had nominated former Ohio attorney general Richard Cordray to lead the financial watchdog agency last July. But Senate Republicans refused to confirm him, saying the agency would be too powerful and unaccountable.

Mr. Obama told a crowd at a suburban high school the U.S. financial industry needs more regulation, not less.

“The only reason Republicans in the Senate have blocked Richard is because they do not agree with the law that set up a consumer watchdog in the first place," said President Obama. "They want to weaken the law.  They want to water it down.”

The president, frustrated by the blocked nomination, Wednesday sidestepped the Senate and appointed Cordray.

“When Congress refuses to act and as a result hurts our economy and puts people at risk, then I have an obligation as president to do what I can without them," said Obama.

Angry Republican lawmakers were quick to react, saying the president overstepped his authority in making the appointment.

A so-called recess appointment can only be made when the Senate is out of session.  Republicans say that since Senators have been meeting every three days, the Senate is in session.  The White House disagrees.  

In a written statement, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Mr. Obama’s move an “unprecedented power grab” that “arrogantly circumvented the American people.”

A statement from House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said he expects the courts to find the appointment to be illegitimate.

House Republicans have asked Cordray to testify before Congress later this month.

Mr. Obama spoke one day after Republican contenders Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum finished in a virtual first place tie in the Iowa caucuses, with Ron Paul coming in a close third.

Mr. Obama’s visit to Ohio enabled him to take his campaign to one of the states that could decide whether he is re-elected this November.

Much of his speech focused on the president’s advocacy of the middle class, a theme he is likely to highlight throughout the campaign.

“I promise to do everything I can, every day, every minute, every second, to make sure this is a country where hard work and responsibility mean something and everybody can get ahead," said President Obama.

With the Iowa caucuses over, the Republican candidates will battle next in New Hampshire, then South Carolina and Florida, which all have primary elections this month. The candidates have spent much of the campaign so far criticizing Mr. Obama and the Democrats because of the country's weak economy and high unemployment rate.

The president is unopposed for the Democratic Party nomination.

You May Like

Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Seen as a potential driver of recovery, Cairo’s plan to expand waterway had been raising hopes to give country much needed economic boost More

Ebola Maternity Ward in Sierra Leone First of its Kind

Country already had one of world's highest maternal mortality rates before Ebola arrived, virus has added even more complications to health care More

Malaysia Flight 370 Disappearance Ruled Accident

Aircraft disappeared on March 8, 2014; with ruling, families of 239 passengers and crew can now seek compensation from airline 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.
Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Productioni
X
George Putic
January 29, 2015 9:43 PM
The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Groundbreaking Hand-Painted Documentary About Van Gogh in Production

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Super Bowl Ads Compete for Eyes on TV, Web

Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1) is about more than just the NFL's American football championship and big parties to watch the game. Viewers also tune in for the world famous commercials that send Facebook and Twitter abuzz. Daniela Schrier reports on the social media rewards for America’s priciest advertising.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Freedom on Decline Worldwide, Report Says

The state of global freedom declined for the ninth consecutive year in 2014, according to global watchdog Freedom House's annual report released Wednesday. VOA's William Gallo has more.
Video

Video MRI Seems to Help Diagnose Prostate Cancer, Preliminary Study Shows

Just as with mammography used to detect breast cancer, there's a lot of controversy about tests used to diagnose prostate cancer. Fortunately, a new study shows doctors may now have a more reliable way to diagnose prostate cancer for high risk patients. More from VOA's Carol Pearson.
Video

Video Smartphones About to Make Leap, Carry Basic Senses

Long-distance communication contains mostly sounds and pictures - for now. But scientists in Britain say they are close to creating additions for our smartphones that will make it possible to send taste, smell and even a basic touch. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.
Video

Video Crowded Republican Presidential Field Off to Early Start for 2016

It seems early, but the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign is already heating up. Though no one has officially announced a candidacy, several potential Republican contenders have been busy speaking to conservative groups about making a White House run next year. Many of the possible contenders are critical of the Obama administration’s foreign policy record. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid