From Steven Benen:
As the midterm elections draw closer, note the sharper tone of President Obama's weekly address. This morning's edition echoed the kind of rhetoric we've been hearing more of on the stump, and added a few timely new points we haven't heard from the White House before.
The president began by noting the "official" end of the recession, adding that the announcement is pretty meaningless for those who've been struggling. Obama added that he's pushing a variety of measures intended to "keep pushing to promote growth that will generate the jobs we need."
But the president then turned his attention to one of the key political stories of the week: the introduction of the Republicans' policy agenda, which features "the very same policies that led to the economic crisis in the first place, which isn't surprising, since many of their leaders were among the architects of that failed policy.
"It is grounded in same worn out philosophy: cut taxes for millionaires and billionaires; cut the rules for Wall Street and the special interests; and cut the middle class loose to fend for itself. That's not a prescription for a better future. It's an echo of a disastrous decade we can't afford to relive."
Of particular interest, Obama mocked one of the central GOP gimmicks: "The Republicans in Washington claimed to draw their ideas from a website called 'America Speaking Out.' It turns out that one of the ideas that's drawn the most interest on their website is ending tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.
"Funny thing is, when we recently closed one of the most egregious loopholes for companies creating jobs overseas, Republicans in Congress were almost unanimously opposed. The Republican leader John Boehner attacked us for it, and stood up for outsourcing, instead of American workers.
"So, America may be speaking out, but Republicans in Congress sure aren't listening. They want to put special interests back in the driver's seat in Washington. They want to roll back the law that will finally stop health insurance companies from denying you coverage on the basis of a preexisting condition. They want to repeal reforms that will finally protect hardworking families from hidden rates and penalties every time they use a credit card, make a mortgage payment, or take out a student loan.
"And for all their talk about reining in spending and getting our deficits under control, they want to borrow another $700 billion, and use it to give tax cuts to millionaires and billionaires. On average, that's a tax cut of about $100,000 for millionaires."
The president is hitting the road for a series of rallies this week, starting with events at the University of Wisconsin and in Albuquerque, New Mexico on Tuesday, followed by an event in Iowa on Wednesday. With the weekly address in mind, it's safe to assume Obama will remain on the offensive over the last five weeks before the midterms.