June 25th, 2012
05:38 PM ET
Durham, NH – President Barack Obama confronted his critics head-on during an address at Oyster River High School here on Monday, redirecting attack lines most often aimed at him and turning them against his opponents instead.
“This is going to be a close election, and from now until November the other side will spend more money then at any time in American history,” Obama said. “And almost all of it will be on ads that tell you the economy’s bad. It’s all Obama’s fault. He can’t fix it because he thinks government’s always the answer, because he doesn’t have the experience of making a lot of money in the private sector, and because he’s in over his head.”
Pointing specifically to presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney as one likely source of these kinds of attacks, Obama commended his opponents for their message discipline but derided them for their objectives.
Addressing a crowd of over one thousand supporters in the high school’s gymnasium – and 700 more in an overflow room nearby – Obama drew a strong connection between Romney, Republicans in Congress and conservative third party groups, arguing that their collective economic proposals consist solely of tax cuts that would necessarily result in drastic reductions in government services.
“When Mr. Romney tells us he’s some sort of financial wizard who can fix our economy that’s exactly how he intends to do it,” Obama said.
The president also picked up on a recent Washington Post article claiming that Romney’s former financial firm Bain Capital was an early proponent of offshore call centers for companies it acquired. Romney advisors have disputed this claim in recent days, but the president summarily dismissed their defenses.
“Yesterday his advisors were asked about this and they tried to clear this up by telling us there’s actually a difference between outsourcing and off-shoring,” Obama said to laughs from the sympathetic crowd. “That’s what they said. You cannot make this stuff up.”
Rather than someone who argues semantics between “outsourcing” and “off-shoring,” the president argued that voters give him a second term because he was someone “who’s going to wake up every single day and fight for American jobs and investment here in the United States.”
Speaking just hours after the Supreme Court overturned key portions of Arizona’s controversial immigration law, Obama almost entirely avoided the issue making only a passing reference to his recent directive to halt the deportations of certain children of undocumented immigrants. This proposal, he argued, was just one example of the stark choice voters had in November.
In an email to reporters, the Romney campaign quickly responded to the president’s speech.
“President Obama’s plans for post-election tax hikes on entrepreneurs and the disastrous effect of Obamacare on small-business hiring speak louder than any campaign speech,” Romney campaign spokesman Ryan Williams said in the statement. “He may want to pretend that he hasn’t been president for the last three-and-a-half years, but he can’t hide from his record. Mitt Romney has a decades-long record of job creation that President Obama simply can’t match, and he will get our economy back on the right track.”