Obama fires back at political critics

Obama fires back at political critics
Aug 20 04:43 PM US/Eastern
US President Barack Obama launched a mocking counter-attack Thursday at pundits who believe the euphoric early promise of his presidency is evaporating amid bitter political warfare.Obama, who has watched his poll ratings dip sharply over recent months, drew comparisons to his 2008 presidential campaign, which was several times all but written off by media experts who set prevailing political wisdom.

“We have been through this before, in Iowa,” Obama said, referring to the first state to hold a 2008 Democratic nominating contest, which saw him capture a come-from-behind win.

“All Washington said ‘Oh, it’s over,’ hand-wringing angst …”

Then Obama drew parallels to the media frenzy that greeted the nomination of firebrand Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin in 2008.

“The media was obsessed with it, cable was 24 hours a day,” Obama told a friendly audience of grass-roots Democratic activists at a Washington forum broadcast live over the web.

“‘Obama’s lost his mojo,’ you remember all that?

“There is something about August going into September where everybody in Washington gets all wee weed up!”

Obama’s counter-punch, delivered at a meeting of his Organizing for America network of supporters, follows a run of town-hall appearances and speeches, which have seen him mount a stern defense of his health care reform plan, which is facing stiff Republican attacks.

He told backers not to get obsessed with polls, pundits and “cable chatter” but to take aim at what he described as fabrications drummed up by opponents to doom his top domestic priority.

“We are going to have to cut through a lot of nonsense out there,” he said.

A Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll published Thursday found that 51 percent of those asked were very or fairly sure that Obama would bring real change to America — down 10 points from February.

A Quinnipiac University poll this month suggested Obama’s approval ratings had slumped to 50 percent, the lowest since his inauguration — a reflection of growing unease about his handling of the economy.

The figure was a substantial drop from the 57 percent approval rating he had on July 2, and far less than the numbers he enjoyed in the honeymoon first 100 days of his tenure.

But the president argued that he had “not a bad track record,” having taken office in the teeth of the deepest economic crisis in decades.

He said his sweeping economic stimulus plan had made an “enormous difference” and highlighted his move to lift the ban on government funding of stem cell research, and ban on the use of torture to interrogate terror suspects.

“We should be proud of what we have done,” Obama said. “But we have more work to do, more promises to keep.”

 

 

Copyright AFP 2008, AFP stories and photos shall not be published, broadcast, rewritten for broadcast or publication or redistributed directly or indirectly in any medium

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