President Barack Obama Sunday accused Republicans of wishing for black voters to stay at home this November, inserting a new racial element into his growing catalog of GOP political sins.
Obama was speaking at a rally in a largely African American section of Philadelphia, an event staged as part of a coordinated White House strategy to get a disaffected Democratic base to the polls and avert a GOP takeover of Congress. Toward the end of his remarks, Obama offered the following analysis of Republican political calculations.
See, what the other side is counting on, what they’re counting on is you’re going to stay home. They’re counting on your silence. They’re counting on your amnesia. They’re counting on your apathy. They’re counting on young people staying home and union members staying home and black folks staying home and middle-class families staying home.
Obama offered no evidence that Republicans want blacks not to vote, presumably basing the accusation on the fact that African Americans generally overwhelmingly support Democrats.
The charge was among several harsh characterizations Obama made about Republican sentiments and intentions.
Obama said Republicans “knew” economic hard times would last through November 2010, and so they plotted in 2008 to oppose efforts to help the economy in order to capitalize on the resulting voter discontent.
They knew it would take more than two years to climb out of this recession. They knew that by the time of this election, people would still be out of work. They knew people would still be frustrated. And so what they figured was, if we just sat on the sidelines, if Republicans just opposed everything we said we could do, if they rejected every compromise we offered, if they spent all their time attacking Democrats instead of attacking problems, they figured they might be able to do well in the polls.
Obama asserted that Republicans intentionally poisoned the political climate in Washington in order to cause Democratic voters to tune out from the political process and not vote.
They’re counting on the fact that they made the argument so ugly in Washington that you just completely turned off and you’re not going to vote for anybody. And if that happens, they win.
And he suggested that big corporations were crafting the Republican campaign message, outlined in the “Pledge to America” the GOP released earlier this month.
Let me tell you, for starters, it turns out that the pledge was actually written in part by a former lobbyist for AIG and Exxon Mobil. That should tell you something right there. You can’t make that stuff up.
Vice President Biden also briefly addressed the crowd, charging Republicans with presiding over “eight years of unregulated greed and skyrocketing deficits.”