Obama Slams ... Rutherford B. Hayes He dissed the telephone, thought 'backward' By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Mar 15, 2012 2:17 PM CDT 132 comments Comments Rutherford B. Hayes (Wikimedia Commons) (Newser) – President Obama has never shied away from attacking his Republican predecessors, but this time he's really going back a ways. Obama roasted our 19th president, Rutherford B. Hayes, for his "backward" thinking, Politico reports. "President Rutherford B. Hayes reportedly said about the telephone: 'It’s a great invention, but who would ever want to use one?'" Obama told a crowd in Maryland in a speech on new energy options. "That's why he's not on Mt. Rushmore." "He's looking backwards, he's not looking forward," as we must do to find new energy sources, Obama said. "The point is there will always be cynics and naysayers," like people "running for a certain office, who shall go unnamed." These people, he said, have been "talking down new sources of energy." Obama also called on Congress to end oil industry subsidies, saying a vote was likely soon, Roll Call notes. "I guess you can stand up for the oil companies ... or you can stand up for the American people."