Obama Happy to Pick a Fight in Combative Speech

President lays into Republicans over budget cuts, taxes
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 29, 2011 7:26 PM CDT
President Obama answers reporters' questions during a news conference in the East Room of the White House.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – President Obama today cast the budget fight today as a choice between jet owners and ordinary Americans at his press conference. Some reactions:

  • Greg Sargent, Washington Post: "He was clearly out to pick a major public fight with Republicans over tax cuts for the rich. Obama mounted a surprisingly aggressive moral case for ending high end tax cuts, casting it as a test of our society’s priorities, and argued—crucially—that anyone who fails to support ending them is fundamentally unserious about the deficit."
  • Larry Kudlow, National Review: "Basically his message today was class-warfare, soak-the-rich. Somehow, Democrats are for your kids but Republicans are for your fat cats. It’s so tiresome. It will never sell."

  • Steve Benen, Washington Monthly: Obama "did a very effective job at putting Republicans in a box. Either policymakers accept a balance approach, Obama argued, or the GOP will be exposed as deficit frauds who care about protecting the rich at the expense of everyone else."
  • Robert Frank, Wall Street Journal: "Obama has a new term for the people he wants to tax more: jet owners. ... The problem is that most of the people that would be subject to the higher taxes the president wants aren’t likely to be private-jet owners. Someone earning $250,000 a year—among those scheduled for a tax increase in 2012—is unlikely to afford a jet—or even a few charter trips on a jet."

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