News / USA

Obama Warns Against Voter Apathy in November Elections

President Barack Obama shakes hands after speaking at a rally on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, 28 Sep 2010
President Barack Obama shakes hands after speaking at a rally on the University of Wisconsin campus in Madison, 28 Sep 2010
TEXT SIZE - +

On his latest cross-country trip, with visits to four U.S. states, President Obama has ramped up his response to criticisms by opposition Republicans of his handling of the U.S. economy.  Mr. Obama is trying to re-energize the base of his Democratic party ahead of midterm congressional elections in November that could bring big gains for Republicans.

President Obama worries that the traditional base of his party may not turn out in strength in November.  This is amid predictions by political analysts that Democratic losses could equal or be worse than those in 1994 when Republicans won back majority control of Congress under President Bill Clinton.

At a boisterous rally at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Mr. Obama challenged those predictions, saying the stakes are too high for young Democratic voters and others to be apathetic or complacent.

"We cannot sit this one out, we cannot let this country fall backwards because the rest of us didn't care enough to fight," said President Obama. "The stakes are too high for our country, and for your future, and I'm going to get out there and fight as hard as I can and I know you are too to make sure we keep moving forward."

Under their "Pledge to America" unveiled recently, Republicans are calling for tax and spending cuts, federal government hiring freezes, and a repeal of President Obama's health care reform.  They assert that Obama policies have failed to create jobs and are driving the U.S. deeply into debt.

On the floor of the U.S. Senate on Tuesday, Republican Minority Leader Mitch McConnell repeated often-heard Republican's complaints about Mr. Obama's policies.

"A budget that explodes the national debt, a trillion dollar stimulus that failed to hold unemployment down to the levels we were told it would, a health spending bill that is already leading to higher costs, and a raft of other bills that expand Washington's role in people's lives," said Mitch McConnell.

Saying he knows times are tough for Americans,  President Obama appealed for a renewal of the enthusiasm that elected him president in 2008.

"If everybody who fought for change in 2008 shows up to vote in 2010, we will win," said Mr. Obama. "We will win, the polls say the same thing, we will win."

On this cross-country trip, the president has again used informal gatherings at family homes to drive home central points he wants Americans to remember when they vote in November.

Earlier, in New Mexico, he answered questions ranging from the economy and education to immigration reform, spoke about Republican obstruction to his legislative goals.

"This is the greatest country on earth and will continue to be the greatest country on earth, as long as we can go ahead and handle serious problems that we have instead of playing political games all the time," said Mr. Obama. "And when you look at the choices before you [between Democrats and Republicans] I think you have got to ask yourself who is offering serious answers."

In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Mr. Obama said it would be "inexcusable...for any Democrat or progressive right now to stand on the sidelines" in the face of possible losses in November.

Asked about this, and remarks by Vice President Joe Biden about "political whining" in the Democratic base, White House Deputy Press Secretary Bill Burton said the main message is about profound changes if Democrats don't turn out to vote in November.

Mr. Obama returns to Washington late Wednesday after stops in Iowa and Virginia, where he will hold additional informal conversations with Americans.

Awaiting him will be a major though long expected transition in the White House as Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel prepares to announce his departure to run in the mayoral race in the U.S. city of Chicago.

Staff changes are common at the mid-point of a president's first term, and there has already been turnover in Mr. Obama's economic team.  Emanuel's expected departure has triggered speculation about who will manage day-to-day affairs, as well as other potential job shifts in coming months.

You May Like

Multimedia Relatives of South Korean Ferry Victims Fire at Authorities

46 people are confirmed dead, but some 250 remain trapped inside sunken ferry More

War Legacy Haunts Vietnam, US Relations

$84 million project aims to clean up soil contaminated by Agent Orange More

Wikipedia Proves Useful for Tracking Flu

Technique gave better results than Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Google’s Flu Trends 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.
Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politicsi
X
Michael Eckels
April 19, 2014
There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Ukraine, Russia, United in Faith, Divided in Politics

There is a strong historical religious connection between Russia and Ukraine. But what role is religion playing in the current conflict? In the run-up to Easter, Michael Eckels in Moscow reports for VOA.
Video

Video Face of American Farmer is Changing

The average American farmer is now 58 years old, and farmers 65 and older are the fastest growing segment of the population. It’s a troubling trend signaling big changes ahead for American agriculture as aging farmers retire. Reporter Mike Osborne says a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau is suggesting what some of those changes might look like... and why they might not be so troubling.
Video

Video Donetsk Governor: Ukraine Military Assault 'Delicate But Necessary'

Around a dozen state buildings in eastern Ukraine remain in the hands of pro-Russian protesters who are demanding a referendum on self-rule. The governor of the whole Donetsk region is among those forced out by the protesters. He spoke to VOA's Henry Ridgwell from his temporary new office in Donetsk city.
Video

Video Drones May Soon Send Data From High Seas

Drones are usually associated with unmanned flying vehicles, but autonomous watercraft are also becoming useful tools for jobs ranging from scientific exploration to law enforcement to searching for a missing airliner in the Indian Ocean. VOA’s George Putic reports on sea-faring drones.
Video

Video New Earth-Size Planet Found

Not too big, not too small. Not too hot, not too cold. A newly discovered planet looks just right for life as we know it, according to an international group of astronomers. VOA’s Steve Baragona has more.
Video

Video Copts in Diaspora Worry About Future in Egypt

Around 10 percent of Egypt’s population belong to the Coptic faith, making them the largest Christian minority in the Middle East. But they have become targets of violence since the revolution three years ago. With elections scheduled for May and the struggle between the Egyptian military and Islamists continuing, many Copts abroad are deeply worried about the future of their ancient church. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky visited a Coptic church outside Washington DC.
Video

Video Critics Say Venezuelan Protests Test Limits of Military's Support

During the two months of deadly anti-government protests that have rocked the oil-rich nation of Venezuela, President Nicolas Maduro has accused the opposition of trying to initiate a coup. Though a small number of military officers have been arrested for allegedly plotting against the government, VOA’s Brian Padden reports the leadership of the armed forces continues to support the president, at least for now.
Video

Video More Millenials Unplug to Embrace Board Games

A big new trend in the U.S. toy industry has more consumers switching off their high-tech gadgets to play with classic toys, like board games. This is especially true among the so-called millenial generation - those born in the 1980's and 90's. Elizabeth Lee has more from an unusual café in Los Angeles, where the new trend is popular and business is booming.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
AppleAndroid