|President Obama sprinted over a forklift on a stop in Wisconsin yesterday. (Jewel Samad/ AFP/ Getty Images)|
MILWAUKEE — Flying thousands of miles to reap millions of dollars, President Obama is dashing across the country to help his party retain power, essentially offering one familiar argument: Republicans don’t solve problems.
“Don’t give in to fear,’’ Obama said yesterday, urging voters to turn back GOP efforts to gain control of the House and Senate in November’s midterm elections. “Let’s reach for hope.’’
Obama has settled on his message for the elections, which means what he said yesterday in Milwaukee will sound like what he says today in Seattle and tomorrow in Miami. He is covering more than 8,000 miles in three days, the kind of personal attention that gets donors to the door.
Despite deep voter impatience over the sickly economy, the White House is betting people will stick with Democrats if the choice is framed as one between those who act and those who obstruct.
Yesterday, he warned of reliving a dreadful past, saying Republicans want voters “to be afraid of the future.’’
“The worst thing we could do is to go back to the very same policies that created this mess in the first place,’’ Obama said at a fund-raiser.
Obama has advanced all the big parts of his agenda — the massive stimulus spending bill, the health care overhaul, the rewriting of rules for Wall Street — with little or no Republican support. Republicans counter that the president’s policies have come at a huge cost to taxpayers far into the future without the payoff many voters want most: jobs.
Obama’s official agenda each day is to underline his efforts to jump-start the lumbering economy. That was his message at
Before the president’s plane even landed, White House spokesman Bill Burton offered unsolicited criticism of comments by Senator Mitch McConnell, a GOP leader, who was quoted as saying he wished Republicans had been to able to obstruct Obama even more. Obama later mocked McConnell’s words, too.
“Obstruct more? Is that even possible?’’ Obama said. “Apparently that’s their plan for the future: No we can’t.’’
One of DeLay’s lawyers, Richard Cullen, said yesterday that the Justice Department’s public integrity section informed DeLay’s legal team last week that it was ending the investigation. “Six years is a long time and I’m sure he wishes it had happened years ago,’’ Cullen said of the conclusion of the investigation of DeLay.
Laura Sweeney, Justice Department spokeswoman, declined to comment, which is normally the case when the department ends a criminal probe without filing charges.
Separately, DeLay has been indicted in Texas on charges of money laundering and conspiracy allegedly connected to 2002 state legislative elections. That case is pending.
Abramoff was released from a minimum-security prison in June after serving three years for fraud, corruption, and conspiracy.
Locked in a tight race, Senator Harry Reid of Nevada became the highest-profile Democrat to respond to Obama, who last week backed the right for the developers to build a mosque near ground zero. Since his comments Friday, the president and his aides have worked to explain the statement, which drew criticism from Republicans and Democrats alike.
“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion,’’ said Jim Manley, a Reid spokesman. “Senator Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else.’’
Critics have said the location of the mosque is insensitive because the terrorists were Islamic extremists. The plans call for a $100 million Islamic center two blocks from where hijacked jetliners slammed into the World Trade Center towers.
Commenting on Reid’s position, Bill Burton, White House spokesman, said, “Senator Reid is a fiercely independent individual, and the president believes that is one of his strengths as a leader.’’