The race for the White House started off with a bang this weekend. Major news outlets report that the president whet for GOP rival Mitt Romney’s throat while highlighting his healthcare record and downplaying the bad economy.
MSNBC: Obama draws on spirit of ’08 at campaign launch
“The election may hinge on the economy, but Obama’s first formal day of campaigning suggested he won’t cede that issue to Romney. He and the first lady both played to broad middle class frustration about diminishing social mobility.”
Brendan Smialowski / AFP – Getty Images
The Washington Post: Obama Launches Campaign Against Romney, But His Real Opponent Is The Economy
The president used his rallies to try to begin to disqualify Mitt Romney. Yet the coming election is still more about him than his probable Republican rival. Obama’s biggest opponent may be an economy that is still struggling to gain the kind of momentum that will convince voters that the recession is truly over.
Toledo Blade: Obama Makes Pitch For Another 4 Years
“He offered no regrets for the controversial economic stimulus package and health-care overhaul that GOP critics cite as failures or, in the case of the latter, unconstitutional. Mr. Obama argued that this election is about affordable college education, women’s access to birth control and the option of abortion, and fairer taxation.
The rally came as the latest unemployment numbers gave Mr. Obama little to crow about. The nation’s unemployment rate has dropped from 8.2 to 8.1 percent, but the rate at which the economy has been adding jobs again slowed and the work force has shrunk as people continued to drop out of the labor market.”
ABC News: President Obama Hits Romney Directly at First Re-election Rally
“He gave a nod to the anemic jobs picture and sluggish economic growth today: ”It will take a sustained, persistent effort — yours and mine — for America to fully recover […] Now we face a choice. The last few years the Republicans who run this Congress have insisted we go right back to the policies that created this mess.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch: Obama Tells Siegel Center Crowd He’ll Fight For Middle Class
“Before a boisterous crowd of about 8,000 at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Siegel Center, in the capital of a swing state that could be key to his securing a second term, Obama said that while the nation’s economy still faces headwinds, it’s making progress.”
National Journal: Obama: It’s Not About the Economy, (Stupid), It’s About Romney
On stage, Obama wasn’t dressed like a president – no jacket, no tie, sleeves rolled up. Sometimes, he didn’t even sound like one. “That’s why I’m running for president,’’ the man on stage said over and over again, casting a sweeping vision of a healthier, safer, better educated and more prosperous nation. He even had the moxie to put a twist on the age-old, election-year question – are you better off than you were four years ago? – by promising voters they will be better off four years from now.
Politifact: Barack Obama debuts stump speech
Obama claim: Health care reform allowed “2.5 million young people to stay on their parents’ health insurance.” … The claim is based on analysis by the Department of Health and Human Services on a survey that found an 8.3 percent increase in the number of 19- to 25-year-olds who had insurance coverage between the third quarter of 2010 and the second quarter of 2011. … The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention concluded the number was a little smaller … The Obama camp chose to repeat the higher figure, which earned them a Mostly True rating.”
In other weekend news stories —
CBS News: In GOP Address, Sen. Corker Says Obama “Punts” On Major Issues
On the same day President Obama officially takes his reelection campaign to the public, the Republicans said in their weekly address that President Obama “punts” on major issues.
“The President punts on almost every tough decision,” Tennessee Senator Bob Corker said in the video address. “His administration is robbing … young people of their American inheritance, spending their money on my generation and engaging in nothing short of generational theft.”