President Obama went after Republicans at a community college in swing-state Ohio today, calling the right “patriots” who are “wrong.”
He also told the students in job-training classes that their program could be cut “to give folks like me a tax cut that we don’t need and that the country can’t afford.”
“Understand this is not a redistribution argument,” Obama said. “This is not about taking from rich people to give to poor people. This is about us together making investments in our country so everybody has got a fair shot. And that will make all of us better off.” He then lamented the Buffett Rule’s failure in the Senate this week.
The president said that the election highlighted “the central challenge of our time,” and “the choice could not be clearer” among two competing visions.
“I’ve never believed that government can or should try to solve every problem we’ve got,” Obama said. “I believe that the free market is the greatest force for economic progress in human history. I agree that everybody has personal responsibility for their own lives. Everybody has got to work hard. Nothing is ever handed to us.
“But I also agree with our first Republican President — a guy named Abraham Lincoln – who said that, through government, we should do together what we cannot do as well on our own,” he continued. “There’s some things we don’t do well on our own.”
He cited public safety, public schools, infrastructure, and entitlement programs as those government necessities.
“Investing in a community college, just like investing in a new road or a new highway or broadband lines that go into rural communities, these investments are not part of some grand scheme to redistribute wealth. They’ve been made by Democrats and Republicans for generations because they benefit all of us,” Obama said.
“Somebody gave me an education. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon in my mouth. Michelle wasn’t. But somebody gave us a chance — just like these folks up here are looking for a chance.”