Obama: GOP made political ‘calculation’ to ‘stand on the sidelines’

by
December 12, 2011

(CNN) — President Barack Obama accused Republicans of making a blunt political calculation after his election three years ago, deciding to resist his initiatives, skirt compromise and bank on the economy getting worse to bolster their re-election prospects.

Openly speculating in a CBS interview on the GOP’s strategy, Obama said Republications decided: “Our best bet is to stand on the sidelines because we think the economy is going to get worse and, some point, just blame him (Obama).”

“So we haven’t gotten the kind of engagement that I would have liked, ” Obama said in the interview that aired Sunday on CBS’s “60 Minutes.”

The president tried to frame what he predicted will be a “great debate” next year, when he’s up for re-election, as a “stark” choice between “a system in which the people who have benefited the most (should) do a little bit more, or they (should) not.”

“Do they think that cutting taxes further — including on the wealthy (and) cutting taxes on corporations — gutting regulations: Do we think that is going to be more successful?” Obama asked rhetorically. “If the American people think that’s going to be the recipe for success … then I am going to lose.”

The president lamented what he described as a lack of “honest conversation about the greatest income inequality since the 1920s” or who and what was responsible for “the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.”

He dismissed Republican criticisms he has been engaging in class warfare or promoting socialism. Focusing on making life easier, fairer and more prosperous for middle class citizens should be a shared goal, the president said.

To read more, visit: http://www.cnn.com/2011/12/11/politics/obama-cbs-interview/index.html

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