President Barack Obama launched a full-frontal attack on Tuesday on the budget proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan and adopted by House Republicans, calling it a "Trojan horse" and "thinly veiled social Darwinism," said The New York Times.
During a lunch with editors and reporters from the Associated Press, Obama directly challenged Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney for embracing the $3.5 trillion budget proposal put forward by House Budget Committee Chairman Ryan, saying that it made the "Contract With America" look like the "New Deal," said the AP.
Contract with America was the policy document that helped Republicans win back the House in 1994, while the New Deal was President Franklin D. Roosevelt's blueprint for pulling America out of the Great Depression.
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Couching his argument in historic terms, Obama said, "Disguised as [a] deficit reduction plan, it's really an attempt to impose a radical vision on our country. It's nothing but thinly-veiled social Darwinism. It's antithetical to our entire history as a land of opportunity and upward mobility for everyone who's willing to work for it – a place where prosperity doesn't trickle down from the top, but grows outward from the heart of the middle class. And by gutting the very things we need to grow an economy that's built to last – education and training; research and development – it's a prescription for decline," according to The Huffington Post.
Gearing up for his reelection campaign, Obama insisted that America cannot afford a Republican in the White House while the country is still undergoing a fragile economic recovery, fighting two wars and managing an unprecedented financial crisis, according to The Times.
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Describing how many of the policies proposed by his administration – like the individual mandate or cap and trade – were in fact centrist policies, Obama said, "[President Ronald Reagan] could not get through a Republican primary today," according to the AP. He criticized the opposition for not agreeing to compromise, saying, "What's changed is the center of the Republican party."
Politico noted that Obama's senior advisers considered this speech an important marker in Obama's bid for reelection, his most aggressive since the Republican primary season began last year. Obama said, "I can't remember a time when the choice between two competing visions of our future has been so unambiguously clear."
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Here are a few clips from Obama's speech, courtesy of Talking Points Memo: