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

Report: $60 Billion Leaves Africa Illegally Each Year

Report by joint UN and African Union panel says African countries need to take concrete measures to stop illegal money flow from continent each year More

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Some analysts say Russian Tu-95 bombers were flying near British airspace to warn Britain about an inquest into a murdered Russian spy More

Mugabe Defends Image Amid Controversy at Close of AU Summit

He rejects concerns about how the West might perceive his leadership, saying he's focused on African development 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.
Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relationsi
X
Henry Ridgwell
January 31, 2015 10:50 PM
Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Spy Murder Probe Likely to Further Strain British-Russian Relations

Relations between Russia and the West are set to become even more strained amid an inquiry in London into the murder of a former Russian spy. Lawyers at the inquiry accuse Russian President Vladimir Putin of directing a "mafia state." Meanwhile, Royal Air Force fighters intercepted Russian bombers close to British airspace this week, prompting authorities to summon Moscow’s ambassador. Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Neighborhood Divided Over Conflict

People in eastern Ukraine’s Donetsk and Luhansk districts find themselves squarely in the path of advancing Russian-backed rebels, who want to take back the territory they held at the beginning of the conflict last year. Many local residents are afraid, but others would welcome the change, even when a rebel shell lands in their neighborhood. From the Luhansk district, 15 kilometers from where the Ukrainian government marks the front line, VOA’s Al Pessin reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

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 Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein 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 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.

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