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

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

Photogallery Oxfam: Ebola Could Be 'Disaster of Our Generation'

Meanwhile, Fidel Castro, the former leader of Cuba, says the Caribbean island nation will 'gladly cooperate' with the US in the fight against Ebola in West Africa More

Multimedia Kobani Fighting Sends 400,000 Refugees to Turkey

Refugees receive help from Turkish authorities and individuals, but say much more is needed More

India’s Ruling Nationalist Party Makes Gains in Regional Elections

Bharatiya Janata Party’s huge margin over its rivals puts it on course to form governments in the northern Haryana and western Maharashtra states 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.
Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fighti
X
Zana Omer
October 18, 2014 6:37 PM
The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Syrian Defector Leaks Shocking Photos of Torture Victims

Shocking photographs purporting to show Syrian torture victims are on display at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington. The museum says the graphic images are among thousands of photographs recently smuggled out of Syria by a military policeman-turned-defector. As VOA reporter Julie Taboh reports, the museum says the photos provide further evidence of atrocities committed by the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad against its own people.
Video

Video Drought-Stricken California Considers Upgrading Water System

A three-year drought in California is causing a water shortage that is being felt on farms and cities throughout the state. As VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports, water experts, consumers and farmers say California needs to make changes to cope with an uncertain future.
Video

Video TechShop Puts High-tech Dreams Within Reach

Square, a business app and card reader, makes it possible to do credit card transactions through cell phones. But what made Square possible? VOA’s Adrianna Zhang and Enming Liu have the answer.
Video

Video Church for Atheists Goes Global

Atheists, by definition, do not believe in God. So they should have no need of a church. But two years ago, a pair of British stand-up comedians decided to create one. Sanderson Jones and Pippa Evans told the BBC they envisioned “something like church but without God". Their “Sunday Assembly” movement has grown from a single congregation in London to dozens of churches around the world. Reporter Mike Osborne visited with the members of a Sunday Assembly that now meets regularly in Nashville.
Video

Video Robot Locates Unexploded Underwater Mines

Many educators believe that hands-on experience is the best way to learn. Proving that the method works is a project developed by a group of students at the Stevens Institute of Technology, in Hoboken, New Jersey. They rose up to a challenge posted by the U.S. Department of Defense and successfully designed and built an underwater robot for locating submerged unexploded ordnance. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Liberia's JFK Hospital Reopens After Temporary Ebola Exposure

JFK Hospital is Liberia’s largest and one of its oldest medical facilities. The hospital had to close temporarily following the deaths of two leading doctors from Ebola. It is now getting back on its feet, with the maternity ward being the first section to reopen. Benno Muchler has more for VOA News from Monrovia.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests Expose Generation Gap

Most of the tens of thousands of protesters in Hong Kong are students seeking democracy. Idealistic youths say while the older generation worries about the present, they are fighting for the territory's future. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Hong Kong.
Video

Video Liberians Living in US Struggle From Afar as Ebola Ravages Homeland

More than 8,000 Liberians live in New York City, more than in any other city outside of Liberia itself. As VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports, with the Ebola virus ravaging their homeland, there is no peace of mind for these New Yorkers.
Video

Video Kurds See War-Ravaged Kobani As Political, Emotional Heartland

Intense fighting is continuing between Islamic State militants -- also known as ISIS or ISIL -- and Kurdish forces around the Syrian town of Kobani, on the Turkish border. The U.S. said it carried out at least nine airstrikes against Islamic State positions Friday. Meanwhile the U.N. has warned that hundreds of civilians would be massacred if the town falls to the militants. Henry Ridgwell looks at the strategic significance of the city.

All About America

AppleAndroid