“The debate now is about what? Benghazi? Obamacare?” President Barack Obama asked at a Democratic Party fundraiser in Maryland this evening, citing the two- and four-year-old issues that Republicans want to talk about heading into the midterm elections. “It becomes this endless loop.”
Obama, speaking before a crowd under a tent at a lawn fundraising party, was introduced by a host, Jeff Drezner, calling the Affordable Care Act of 2010 a “wild success.” Obama, who has said that if the health-care law aimed at offering insurance to millions lacking coverage ends up working they are sure not to call it Obamacare anymore, joked that “in five years there will be a whole renaming process… It will be something different.”
Looking back over his first term, almost a year and a half into the second, he cited a declining unemployment rate, increased fuel efficiency for cars and health care.
“If you look at were you better off now than when I came into office, the answer is yes,” said the president, acknowledging that, still, “people are anxious.”
This crowd was mainly anxious about holding the party’s ground in the House. The tickets for the fundraiser for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee in Potomac, Maryland, ran from $10,000 to $32,400 per couple.
Obama raised the election-year issue of closing the gap in income disparities in the U.S.
“We know how to do it,” Obama said, citing early childhood education, clean energy, investments in research and infrastructure. ”The problem is not that we lack solutions,” the president said. “One party that has been captured by ideologues whose core is no… Who don’t believe that we as a country have any significant role in giving people a hand up… whose principal focus is trying to figure out … how to make people sufficiently skeptical so that they can win the next election.”
The Democrat from Illinois, who launched his first presidential campaign on a frigid winter day in Springfield, maintains that he wants to see a robust Republican Party – “I come from the Land of Lincoln,” Obama said.
Yet calling the 2014 midterm elections in which most experts give the Republican Party a better than even chance of claiming total control of Congress “critical,” the president asserted that the public sides with the Democrats on raising the minimum wage and revising the immigration laws — “but what they don’t believe is that government can get anything done.”
Eyeing House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi in the crowd, Obama said that when the California Democrat was speaker “we got a lot done.”
Like passing Obamacare.
“I want her back as speaker,” the president said of Pelosi
Replaying the loop.