BY GEORGE E. CURRY
With the next election 11 months away, President Obama has begun sharpening his populist message and drawing a sharp contrast between his vision for America and the Republican alternative.
Obama’s speech last week in Osawatomie, Kan., provided an example of how he plans to attack his Republican opposition.
“There is a certain crowd in Washington who, for the last few decades, have said, let’s respond to this economic challenge with the same old tune. ‘The market will take care of everything,’ they tell us. If we just cut more regulations and cut more taxes – especially for the wealthy – our economy will grow stronger. Sure, they say, there will be winners and losers. But if the winners do really well, then jobs and prosperity will eventually trickle down to everybody else. And, they argue, even if prosperity doesn’t trickle down, well, that’s the price of liberty… That theory fits well on a bumper sticker. But here’s the problem: It doesn’t work.”
President Obama realizes that it will not be sufficient to simply portray his Republican challenger as hawking a discredited economic theory while he highlights economic inequality. In an interview that aired Sunday night on the television program “60 Minutes,” Steve Kroft asked: “Why do you think you deserve to be re-elected? What have you accomplished?”
Without hesitating, Obama replied, “Not only saving the country from a Great Depression. Not only saving the auto industry. But putting in place a system in which we’re going to start lowering health care costs and you’re never going to go bankrupt because you get sick or somebody in your family gets sick. Making sure that we have reformed the financial system, so we never again have taxpayer-funded bailouts and the system is more stable and secure. Ending Don’t Ask,