Barack Obama Calls Republicans Party Of Ideas

Barack Obama gave an interview last Monday with the Reno Gazette-Journal which just keeps giving his opponents ammunition. Hillary Clinton was the first to use a part of the interview where Obama says he is not an “operating officer,” and has a messy desk. Clinton said we needed a “hands on” leader, and not a delegator. Next up was John Edwards who jumped on Obama’s praise of late President Ronald Reagan. Obama told the board of the Reno-Journal Gazette, “I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. I think they felt like with all the excesses of the 1960s and 1970s and government had grown and grown but there wasn’t much sense of accountability in terms of how it was operating. I think people, he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing.” Edwards responded saying you would never catch him giving praise to President Reagan in that way. “He was openly — openly — intolerant of unions and the right to organize. He openly fought against the union and the organized labor movement in this country,” Edwards said during a campaign event in Nevada. “He openly did extraordinary damage to the middle class and working people, created a tax structure that favored the very wealthiest Americans and caused the middle class and working people to struggle every single day. The destruction of the environment, you know, eliminating regulation of companies that were polluting and doing extraordinary damage to the environment.” Then Edwards added, “I can promise you this: this president will never use Ronald Reagan as an example for change.” But that wasn’t all the praise Obama had for Republicans in his 80 minute interview. “I think it’s fair to say the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last ten, fifteen years, in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom,” Obama said during the interview. “Now, you’ve heard it all before. You look at the economic policies when they’re being debated among the Presidential candidates and it’s all tax cuts. Well, you know, we’ve done that, we tried it.” Hillary Clinton took these Obama thoughts and used them against him. “That’s not the way I remember the last ten to fifteen years,” Clinton said while campaigning in Nevada. “I don’t think it’s a better idea to privatize Social Security. I don’t think it’s a better idea to try to eliminate the minimum wage. I don’t think it’s a better idea to undercut health benefits and to give drug companies the right to make billions of dollars by providing prescription drugs to Medicare recipients. I don’t think it’s a better idea to shut down the government, to drive us into debt.” An Obama spokesperson responded to Clinton by saying, “It’s hard to take Hillary Clinton’s latest attack seriously when she’s the one who supported George Bush’s war in Iraq, the most damaging Republican idea of our generation.” It looks like Obama is trying to reach across the aisle to get some of those disenfranchised Republican voters. Giving praise to their modern day hero, and calling the Republicans the “party of change” could only mean that. He really should get bold and suggest a Republican V.P. like Chuck Hagel if he is so enthralled with Republicans. Or maybe he could pull a Lieberman. When Clinton beats him in the delegate race he can jump out and become an Independent, and thus guarantee a Republican win and 8 more years of the “party of change.”
Alan Cosgrove

Here is a video of Barack Obama talking about President Ronald Reagan;

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