obama seattle
U.S. President Barack Obama waves to supporters at a Democratic party fundraiser in Seattle, Washington, September 25, 2011. REUTERS

President Barack Obama combined a pitch for his jobs plan with a fierce attack on his Republican rivals for president during a series of speeches on Sunday.

Continuing a rhetorical shift that has seen Obama go on the offensive since releasing his jobs bill, the president said Republicans have stood in the way of an economic recovery by refusing compromise. He dismissed the charges of class warfare produced by his plan to pay for the jobs bill by raising taxes on the wealthy.

The only class warfare I've seen is the battle waged against the middle class, Obama said.

Are GOP Candidates in the Mainstream or Ideologically Extreme?

During a separate event in San Jose, Obama depicted the crop of Republican presidential candidates as ideological extremists out of step with the majority of voters by pointing to moments from a string of Republican presidential debates.

You've got a governor whose state is on fire denying climate change, Obama said, referring to Texas Governor Rick Perry, who has dismissed any link between human activity and climate change. You've got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don't have health care, and booing a service member in Iraq because they are gay.

The president acknowledged a reigning sense of frustration with persistent economic woes, something that has dampened the enthusiasm of many former supporters. But at two separate events in Seattle he urged voters to shake off the doldrums and lend him their backing in what promised to be a tough re-election campaign.

This is going to be especially hard because a lot of people are discouraged and a lot of people are disillusioned, Obama said at a fundraising event. I'm determined because there's too much at stake. The alternative I think is an approach to government that would fundamentally cripple America in meeting the challenges of the 21st century.