Obama: Americans have “gotten a little soft”
With the stock market posting its worst quarterly losses since the beginning of the 2008 financial crisis as it lost more than 12% of its value and the odds of a recession growing greater, President Barack Obama wants Americans to know that they’ve “gotten a little soft”:
President Barack Obama told a Florida TV station yesterday that the United States is facing economic difficulties because it has “gotten a little soft” during the last 20 years.
“This is a great, great country that had gotten a little soft and we didnʼt have that same competitive edge that we needed over the last couple of decades,” Obama said.
The fix is that “we need to get back on track,” he said, while urging Congress to pass his new $447 billion one-year stimulus bill.
Those comparisons between Obama and Jimmy Carter are just going to become more frequent as the comment bears resemblance to a speech the former president made during economic turmoil in the late 70s — hey, there’s a reason voters that were around to experience him still disapprove of him:
Obamaʼs “soft” comment, and its political circumstances, echo a controversial speech by then-President Jimmy Carter. In July 1979, Carter declared that “in a nation that was proud of hard work, strong families, close-knit communities and our faith in God, too many of us now tend to worship self-indulgence and consumption.”
The speech was later dubbed the “malaise speech,” even though it did not use the word.
Carter gave the speech as his polls were falling, and the countryʼs economic crisis was worsening while energy prices rose.
“The solution of our energy crisis can also help us to conquer the crisis of the spirit in our country,” Carter said. prefiguring Obamaʼs emphasis on using government experts and more than $70 billion taxpayer dollars to create a new “green energy” industry.
Republicans presidential candidate Ronald Reagan subsequently used the speech as a foil for his more confident vision of American potential. Reagan carried 44 states in the 1980 election.
And while Obama keeps talking up his latest job killing stimulus plan, the Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) admits that the votes just aren’t there to pass this abortion, even from some in his own party; though Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) has tried to downplay this report.
Last week, our gaffe-prone Vice President Joe Biden said that the 2012 election is going to be a referendum on Obama’s economic record. He’s right. Despite claims that actions pushed by his administration have helped the economy, many voters — particularly independents — aren’t sold on that. Obama is simply out of people he can blame for the economy and voters are tired of excuses.