Barack Obama, Plain-Talking Populist, Attacks

PUEBLO, Colo.—Barack Obama is definitely taking the be-more-aggressive directive to heart.

Picking up where he left off hours earlier, Obama told a 13,000-person crowd in Pueblo that the party of John McCain had failed to prevent the crisis roiling Wall Street.

After again forcibly characterizing McCain as out of touch with regular Americans and the difficulties that face them – especially when it comes to securing fundamental economic needs such as jobs that pay the bills, savings for retirement and housing – Obama went after McCain’s remarks today that the economy remained fundamentally sound despite the bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch.

“Now, a few hours later after he said this, a few hours ago, John McCain’s campaign sent him back out to clean up his remarks because they thought well maybe that’s not going to work out too well,” said Obama, smiling. “He explained that what he really meant, what he really meant to say was that American workers are strong.”

“Now come on, Senator McCain,” Obama said mockingly. “We know you meant what you said the first time because you’ve said it before. You said it just a few weeks ago. And your chief economic adviser – the man who wrote your economic plan – said that we are in a ‘mental recession;’ that this is all in our heads; that we’re a nation of whiners. That’s what he called you a nation of whiners.”

He added, “Now don’t get me wrong, don’t get me wrong– when Senator McCain says that American workers are the backbone of our economy, and that they aren’t getting a fair shake from Washington, he’ll get no argument from me. In fact, my attitude is that it’s about time that he figured that out. Because I’ve been making that case for nineteen months.”

He then congratulated McCain on his new recognition of American workers.

“I think it’s good that Senator McCain is celebrating the American worker today. But it would have been nice if over the last twenty-six years that he has been in Washington that he actually stood up for them once in a while. It would’ve been nice if he didn’t vote against the minimum wage nineteen times; or if he didn’t vote to privatize Social Security and hand it over to Wall Street. It would’ve been nice if he had opposed the tax cuts for corporations that have shipped jobs overseas, or the hundreds of billions of dollars in corporate tax giveaways that have helped plunge our country into crippling debt. It would be nice if he had a plan to lower the health care costs of American workers – or get them any health care whatsoever; and would have been nice if he had championed a single plan to make college more affordable.”

The crowd erupted.

“Senator McCain,” Obama continued, “You can’t run away from your words and you can’t run away from your record. When it comes to this economy, you’ve stood firmly with George Bush and a failed economic theory, and what you’re offering the American people is more of the same. And that’s why we can’t afford John McCain because this country can’t afford another four years of failed philosophy.” Barack Obama, Plain-Talking Populist, Attacks