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Obama Steals the Show on GOP Primary Day by Mocking Romney’s Elitism

Once again GOP primary day got owned by President Obama, as he knocked down the Ryan budget and mocked Mitt Romney’s elitism.

Here is the video of Obama mocking Romney’s love of the Ryan budget:

President Obama addressed Mitt Romney’s support of the Ryan budget, “This is now the party’s governing platform. This is now what they are running on. One of my potential opponents, Governor Romney said he hoped a similar version of this plan from last year would be introduced as a bill on day one of his presidency. He said he’s very supportive of this new budget, and he even called it marvelous, which is word you don’t often hear when describing a budget. It’s a word you don’t often hear generally.”

Some highlights of Obama obliterating the Ryan budget from CNN:

Obama specifically attacked the Ryan budget, “This Congressional Republican budget, however, is something different altogether. It’s a Trojan Horse. Disguised as deficit reduction plan, it’s really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It’s nothing but thinly-veiled Social Darwinism. It’s antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who’s willing to work for it – a place where prosperity doesn’t trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that’s built to last – education and training; research and development – it’s a prescription for decline.”

He also argued against the theory of trickle down economics that serves as the basis for all Republican economic ideology, “In this country, broad-based prosperity has never trickled-down from the success of a wealthy few. It has always come from the success of a strong and growing middle class. That’s how a generation who went to college on the GI Bill, including my grandfather, helped build the most prosperous economy the world has ever known. That’s why a CEO like Henry Ford made it his mission to pay his workers enough so they could buy the cars that they made. That’s why studies have shown that countries with less inequality tend to have stronger and steadier economic growth over the long run.”

Obama stated that the Republicans have gotten so extreme that Ronald Reagan couldn’t be nominated today, “Ronald Reagan, who as I recall was not accused of being a tax-and-spend socialist, understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to get out of control that for him to make a deal he would have to propose both spending cuts and tax increases … He did it multiple times. He could not get through a Republican primary today.”

On a day when Mitt Romney might be able to virtually lock up the nomination, the president took the headlines away from him. The timing of the president’s remarks was no coincidence. The new version of the Ryan budget has been out there for a while. He could have delivered his remarks at any time, but the White House chose today to send the message that they aren’t going to lie down and let the Republicans dominate the headlines and airwaves will attack ads until the fall.

The president is here to fight and he can upstage Romney and the Republicans any day of the week at any time of his choosing. Romney and the Republican message aren’t powerful enough to go toe to toe with Obama. This is a president who senses the power of his incumbency, and he is not afraid to flex his muscles and knock his opponents off the front page at will.

This was speech was a tour de force from President Obama today. There were several contextual themes present in his remarks. Obama’s joke about Romney’s use of the word marvelous wasn’t designed just to jab at the likely Republican nominee. Obama’s speech was laid out as an repudiation of the defense and enhancement of the wealthy elitism that servers as core for Romney and the Republican Party.

The president pointed out that Republicans want to lower the deficit, but they don’t want to close tax loopholes for the wealthy and corporations. He framed his arguments against Ryan budget around doing what’s right and fairness. He argued for the Buffett Rule and for increasing taxes on the wealthy. Obama defended the middle class, the social safety net, and seniors.

President Obama is turning this election away from being a referendum on him, and into a choice about the future direction of our society and our economy. Obama is making an impassioned argument for fairness, openness, and opportunity. There is an egalitarian optimism towards the future in Obama’s vision for America that Mitt Romney doesn’t possess.

This was Obama at the height of his powers. John McCain didn’t have an answer for this in 2008, and I doubt that Mitt Romney will fare much better in 2012.

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