4/25/12 Interview with the President

david52_gwApril 25, 2012

Let's talk about the campaign. Given all we've heard about and learned during the GOP primaries, what's your take on the state of the Republican Party, and what do you think they stand for?

First of all, I think it's important to distinguish between Republican politicians and people around the country who consider themselves Republicans. I don't think there's been a huge change in the country. If you talk to a lot of Republicans, they'd like to see us balance the budget, but in a balanced way. A lot of them are concerned about jobs and economic growth and favor market-based solutions, but they don't think we should be getting rid of every regulation on the books. There are a lot of Republican voters out there who are frustrated with Wall Street and think that they acted irresponsibly and should be held to account, so they don't want to roll back regulations on Wall Street.

But what's happened, I think, in the Republican caucus in Congress, and what clearly happened with respect to Republican candidates, was a shift to an agenda that is far out of the mainstream - and, in fact, is contrary to a lot of Republican precepts. I said recently that Ronald Reagan couldn't get through a Republican primary today, and I genuinely think that's true. You have every candidate onstage during one of the primary debates rejecting a deficit-reduction plan that involved $10 in cuts for every $1 of revenue increases. You have a Republican front-runner who rejects the Dream Act, which would help young people who, through no fault of their own, are undocumented, but who have, for all intents and purposes, been raised as Americans. You've got a Republican Congress whose centerpiece, when it comes to economic development, is getting rid of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Doesn't all of that kind of talk and behavior during the primaries define the party and what they stand for?

I think it's fair to say that this has become the way that the Republican political class and activists define themselves. Think about John McCain, who obviously I have profound differences with. Here's a guy who not only believed in climate change, but co-sponsored a cap-and-trade bill that got 43 votes in the Senate just a few years ago, somebody who thought banning torture was the right thing to do, somebody who co-sponsored immigration reform with Ted Kennedy. That's the most recent Republican candidate, and that gives you some sense of how profoundly that party has shifted.

Given all that, what do you think the general election is going to look like, and what do you think of Mitt Romney?

I think the general election will be as sharp a contrast between the two parties as we've seen in a generation. You have a Republican Party, and a presumptive Republican nominee, that believes in drastically rolling back environmental regulations, that believes in drastically rolling back collective-bargaining rights, that believes in an approach to deficit reduction in which taxes are cut further for the wealthiest Americans, and spending cuts are entirely borne by things like education or basic research or care for the vulnerable. All this will be presumably written into their platform and reflected in their convention. I don't think that their nominee is going to be able to suddenly say, "Everything I've said for the last six months, I didn't mean." I'm assuming that he meant it. When you're running for president, people are paying attention to what you're saying.

How does that shape the tone and tenor of the debate that's going to take place during the campaign?

I actually think it will be a useful debate, and one that I look forward to. I think that the American people are going to be listening very intently to who's got a vision for how we move this country forward.

Their vision is that if there's a sliver of folks doing well at the top who are unencumbered by any regulatory restraints whatsoever, that the nation will grow and prosperity will trickle down. The challenge that they're going to have is: We tried it. From 2000 to 2008, that was the agenda. It wasn't like we have to engage in some theoretical debate - we've got evidence of how it worked out." snip, end quote

This pretty much sums up how I see it.

Read more: http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/ready-for-the-fight-rolling-stone-interview-with-barack-obama-20120425#ixzz1t4r4dvcn

Here is a link that might be useful: rest of interview at the link

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esh_ga

Excellent points. I think he nailed the first question. The Republican party no longer represents the majority of the people that consider themselves Republican.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 2:26PM
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labrea_gw

Yes but like the old yellow dog dems they'll play Dysfunctional Family Feud & vote for whatever hgets put up there no matter how heinous a beast it is. Shout out good answer no matter what swill comes out it's mouth!
Santorum was proof of that!

    Bookmark   April 25, 2012 at 4:50PM
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jodik_gw

I hate to say it, but I think a few voters will simply hold their noses and vote for the guy who's not that "other".

But I also think that deep down, a lot of real conservatives are very disappointed in what's happened to their party. I don't think they will be able to follow the "anything but Obama" crowd of lemmings off the cliff. I hope cognitive thought and common sense will prevail, and I hope a lot of folks will be listening to the debates.

The GOP can hardly be called that anymore, except as it pertains to an ease of typing 3 letters as opposed to writing out the entire R word. They've polarized their own party, making it seem like a bunch of opposing extremists loosely held together by chewing gum.

In contrast, the Dems have been silent, except for protesting all the craziness to come out of the GOP camp... or so it appears from my point of view.

And, I think Esh is right on target.

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 4:33AM
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tobr24u(z6 RI)

They will all rally around Romney and he is now even in the polls with Obama. We will have to see how the message is honed by Romney and Obama to see if one breaks away...

    Bookmark   April 26, 2012 at 6:40AM
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