President Barack Obama had House Democrats cheering to his rousing speech at the party’s retreat in Philadelphia Thursday night. He took aim at Republican policies and said he’d “happily” veto new bills he doesn’t approve of.
Obama made the remarks the same day a Republican-led Senate voted to pass a bill authorizing the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which Obama has previously vowed to veto. Obama said he would veto any Republican legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act, that would “unravel new rules we put in place to make sure Wall Street recklessness doesn’t hurt American families again” and that would "compound" the immigration "problem.”
With no elections left for him to win, some think the president has been more outspoken lately. While answering questions on Thursday, he told House Democrats to “get informed, not by reading the Huffington Post” in regard to trade issues, according to Politico. Earlier he said that his GOP opponents were dead wrong on economics.
“That’s pretty rare where you have two visions, a vigorous debate and then you test who’s right and the record shows that we were right and middle-class economics does work,” he said.
He had defined middle-class economics in his State of the Union address earlier this month as “the idea that this country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”
Obama told Democrats, “We need to stand up and go on offense about what we believe in,” after rattling off Democratic ideals like access to affordable education. He also mentioned that he invited Republicans to join Democrats in government, but said that only their rhetoric and not their policies had “caught up.”
Republicans took majority control in both the House of Representatives and the Senate in mid-term elections in November, setting up what could be two years of political quarrels and stand-offs between Obama and a Republican leadership that vowed to challenge his liberal policies. The GOP’s mid-term victories, which included a number of gubernatorial wins across the country, strengthened the party’s resolve after six years of battling Obama.
Obama's approval rating has reached 46 percent, it was reported Thursday, and 33 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the "right direction," according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll conducted from Jan. 24-28.