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'The Road We've Traveled,' narrated by actor Tom Hanks and directed by Academy Award winner Davis Guggenheim, paints a glowing picture of Obama's first term.
"The Road We've Traveled," the much-anticipated documentary about Obama's first term in office, was released on Thursday night, and paints a glowing portrait of the President's handling of the financial crisis.
The 17-minute film, directed by Academy Award winner Davis Guggenheim and narrated by actor Tom Hanks, functions largely as a highlight reel of Obama's achievements as President: rescuing the auto industry from collapse, passing health care reform, ending the Iraq war, and overseeing the killing of Osama bin Laden, the Washington Post reported.
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The documentary features interviews with former President Bill Clinton, First Lady Michelle Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Obama's former chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, and his former senior adviser David Axelrod, the New York Daily News reported, all hammering home the central theme that President Obama inherited one of the worst financial situations in America's history, but made valiant, difficult decisions in order to rebuild America.
"Not since the days of Franklin Roosevelt had so much fallen on the shoulders of one president," Hanks says in the movie, which had 300 premieres across the country, the Post reported.
"Obama’s operatives don’t want you to judge him by your unhappiness with your present financial situation. Nor do they want you to judge him by the high aspirations you had for him in the summer of 2008," wrote Slate's Will Saletan. "Forget all that hopey-changey stuff. They want to reset your expectations to the weeks after his election, when the economy was going to hell."
Republicans jumped on the film, which cost at least $345,000 to make, immediately.
"The American people don't need a Hollywood movie to know what the President accomplished over the past three years," Kirsten Kukowski, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, told the Associated Press. "Unfortunately Americans feel Obama's accomplishments each and every day after President Obama led our country to higher unemployment, record debt and higher gas prices."
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The film also takes a shot at former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, showing his 2008 New York Times op-ed titled "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt," the New York Daily News reported.
GOP candidate Romney retaliated on Friday morning, calling it a "so-called documentary" at a campaign event in Illinois, the Los Angeles Times reported.
“I’ll give you some help, Mr. Guggenheim,” Romney said during his campaign stop at a diner. “You can make a call to some of the moms that are having a hard time paying for gas as they get their kids to and from school and practice and music lessons. And you can also talk to the people who are having a hard time getting to and from work, given the price of gasoline.”
However, the voices in the documentary, including former President Bill Clinton's, validate Obama's decision-making and level-headedness, the AP reported. Clinton praises Obama's health care reform, an overhaul that eluded him during his own own presidency, as well as his swift move to capture and kill Osama bin Laden.
"He took the harder and the more honorable path. When I saw what had happened, I said to myself, 'I hope that's a call I would have made,'" Clinton said, according to the AP.
The film concludes optimistically, highlighting the 3.5 million private sector jobs added to the economy, General Motors' new investments that total billions of dollars, and the 17 million children who cannot be denied health coverage because of a pre-existing medical condition, the New York Times reported.
“Let’s remember how far we’ve come,” Mr. Hanks said at the end of the documentary, “and look forward to the work still to be done.”