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Although Barack Obama won, the bitter campaign divided the US. The president emerges with a tenuous mandate and an urgent domestic to-do list. Abroad, a new world order is rising from the euro crisis, the Arab Spring and emerging Asia, and US leadership will be key. In this series, GlobalPost's far-flung correspondents bring you insights into how President Obama's re-election will impact their regions.
President Barack Obama bashes Romney's 47 percent speech on Late Show with David Letterman.
President Barack Obama used David Letterman’s "Late Show" audience as a vehicle into American homes on Tuesday night, and then proceeded to bash Republican nominee Mitt Romney’s now infamous “47 percent” speech.
It didn’t take long for Letterman to ask Obama about his impression of the secretive video, filmed clandestinely during a $50,000-a-plate Romney fundraiser on May 17 and leaked this week by Mother Jones magazine.
In it, the Republican nominee said he doesn’t worry about 47 percent of Americans who consider themselves “victims,” who expect government handouts and who vote for the Democrats.
Letterman asks Obama after a congenial introduction, “Is that what rich guys in country clubs are taking about?”
Wasting no time, Obama said he doesn’t meet freeloaders on the campaign trail.
“You don’t meet anybody who doesn’t believe in the American dream,” Obama told Letterman, “and the fact that nobody is entitled to success, that you’ve got to work hard.”
“I promise you, there are not a lot of people out there who think they are victims. There are not a lot of people who think they’re entitled to something.”
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An op-ed by Romney ran Wednesday that defended the nominee's stance that he supports "hard work and personal responsibility."
"Efforts that promote hard work and personal responsibility over government dependency make America strong. When the economy is growing and Americans are working, everyone involved has a shared sense of achievement, not to mention the basic sense of pride that comes with the paycheck they earn," Romney wrote in USA Today.
"Under President Obama, we have a stagnant economy that fosters government dependency. My policies will create a growing economy that fosters upward mobility."
During the show Tuesday night, Letterman rarely asked questions in the president’s first five minutes on the program, instead letting Obama continue unchecked.
The 44th president of the United States relished the opportunity, and said his message to the GOP is the same today as it was when he defeated John McCain in 2008.
He called Republicans hard-working, family people who care about the country.
“What I said on election night was, ‘Even though you didn’t vote for me, I hear your voices and I’m going to work as hard as I can to be your president,” he said.
“One of the things I’ve learned being president is, you represent the entire country.”
Obama also rebuffed Romney’s claims that government can’t help Americans with programs like student loans, especially since “the great recession” of 2008.
He gave credit to single mothers working two jobs to send kids to college; small business owners who kept their doors open even if it meant little or no profit; and autoworkers who take pride in knowing they are bouncing back.
“My expectation is that if you want to be president, you have to work for everybody, not just for some,” he said to applause.
It wasn’t all business, of course.
When he arrived on stage, Letterman told Obama he looked good.
“How much do you weigh?” Letterman asked POTUS.
“About 180,” was Obama’s reply, who said Letterman was also looking “sharp.”
“You haven’t seen me naked,” Letterman said.
“We’re going to keep it that way,” the president deadpanned.
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