Obama speech: Do Republicans have any ideas besides tax cuts? (+video)
The Obama speech to end the Democratic convention Thursday hammered Republicans as being guided by stale ideas. Only near the end did it begin to recapture the Obama of 2008.
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“I refuse to ask middle-class families to give up their deductions for owning a home or raising their kids just to pay for another millionaire’s tax cut,” said Obama.Skip to next paragraph
In Pictures The Democratic National Convention 2012
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Unsurprisingly, Republicans objected that Obama was misrepresenting their proposals while glossing over the gaps in his own record.
“Tonight President Obama laid out the choice in this election, making the case for more of the same policies that haven’t worked for the past four years. He offered more promises, but he hasn’t kept the promises he made four years ago,” said Romney campaign manager Matt Rhoades in a statement.
The speech wasn’t as soaring as Obama’s acceptance speech in Denver four years ago. That’s by necessity, Obama said.
“The times have changed – and so have I,” said the president.
But if the first half seemed almost like a State of the Union, in which Obama ticked off past policy efforts, promised to never turn Medicare into a voucher program, and reiterated foreign policy successes, the second was more abstract, and dealt with political philosophy.
The GOP believes that since government cannot do everything, it should do almost nothing, said Obama, while Democrats believe in “something called citizenship – a word at the very heart of our founding, at the very essence of our democracy; the idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another, and to future generations.”
And as to the change voters hoped for when they elected him four years ago, it is the voters themselves who represent it, according to Obama.
His health-care reforms? “You did that,” he said. His order to stop the deportation of many immigrant children here illegally? “You’re the reason,” he added.
As to the poetry his supporters have come to expect in his speeches, there was a patch of that at the end, as Obama built to the crescendo of his ending.
“Yes our road is longer – but we travel it together. We don’t turn back. We leave no one behind,” he said.
But it’s possible that Bill Clinton’s speech the day before outlined the case against the GOP more crisply and entertainingly. And it remains to be seen whether voters will judge that Obama laid out enough of a second-term program to deserve having his contract renewed via reelection for another four years.