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Obama: GOP wants keys back after driving US ‘into the ditch’

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, May 14, 2010 10:21 EDT
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President Barack Obama is ripping into his Republican opponents, accusing them of refusing to help rebuild America after having “created the mess” and driving the economy “into the ditch.”

Obama told a Democratic fundraising event in New York late Thursday that despite one of the busiest and most accomplished legislative sessions in recent memory, he witnessed “our friends on the other side of the aisle fall all over themselves to argue otherwise.”

“You would have thought at a time of historic crisis that Republican leaders would have been more willing to help us find a way out of this mess — particularly since they created the mess,” Obama said.

“We all have a stake in cleaning it up. We’re not Democrats or Republicans first — we’re Americans first.”

The president met with Democratic supporters after traveling to the industrial city of Buffalo, New York to assure Americans that the US economy was “heading in the right direction” after official data showed new claims for unemployment benefits fell for the fourth week in a row.

At the fundraiser, he used one of his routine formulas to describe the antagonism in Washington between the two major political parties.

“We got our mops and our brooms out, we’re cleaning stuff out, and they’re sitting there saying, ‘Hold the broom better. That’s not how you mop.’

“Don’t tell me how to mop. Pick up a mop! Do some work on behalf of the American people to solve some of these problems,” he told some 185 guests gathered at the prestigious St Regis Hotel in Manhattan.

The president accused Republicans of doing “their best to gum up the works; to make things look broken; to say ‘no’ to every single thing.”

Obama has claimed a major victory this year with the passage of historic health care legislation, despite unanimous Republican opposition to the bill.

Republicans this year have successfully used legislative delaying tactics, forcing Obama’s fellow Democrats through a tortuous process to pass major legislation.

The president said that with just six months left before crucial mid-term elections in November, Republicans were hoping to sweep several seats in the Senate and House of Representatives through their obstructionism.

“Their basic attitude has been: ‘If the Democrats lose, we win.’”

He then turned to a favorite domestic metaphor.

“After they drove the car into the ditch, made it as difficult as possible for us to pull it back, now they want the keys back,” said Obama, who also pointed to the 1.3-trillion-deficit he said he inherited from his predecessor, George W. Bush.

With a pricetag of 15,000 dollars per person, Thursday night’s event was set to raise some 1.3 million dollars for the Democratic Party, according to Democratic sources.

This video is from MSNBC’s Morning Joe, uploaded by Talking Points Memo on May 14, 2009.

Agence France-Presse
Agence France-Presse
AFP journalists cover wars, conflicts, politics, science, health, the environment, technology, fashion, entertainment, the offbeat, sports and a whole lot more in text, photographs, video, graphics and online.
 
 
 
 
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