Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images.
President Obama on Tuesday offered a blistering election-year critique of his Republican rivals, saying the GOP wants to enforce a "radical vision" on the United States and that its recent budget proposal is "thinly veiled social Darwinism."
Speaking at a Washington luncheon, the president sought to make a direct appeal to middle class voters, a pitch that is expected to be a key pillar of his re-election campaign. He said that the House-passed budget plan authored by Rep. Paul Ryan is "so far to the right that it makes the Contract With America look like the New Deal," while offering similar criticism of Republican policies on everything from health care to the environment.
The president's remarks are noteworthy for his severity but also for his target. While Obama painted in broad strokes to blast Republicans, Obama specifically named Mitt Romney for the first time in an official presidential speech, stressing the GOP front-runner's support of the Ryan plan. Politico explains that decision "signals the start of a new phase in the campaign, one that involves more direct engagement from the president."
"I can’t remember a time when the choice between two competing visions of our future has been so unambiguously clear," the president said, later adding: "In the months ahead I will be fighting as hard as I know how for this truer vision of what the USA is all about."