Obama Launches Preemptive Strike on Scott Walker, 2016 GOP Field
President Barack Obama touted his push for a host of benefits for workers in Gov. Scott Walker’s Wisconsin — while lampooning the rest of the 2016 GOP field.
With Walker one of the frontrunners for the Republican nomination, Obama took direct aim at his policies. Although Walker greeted Obama at the airport, Obama tore into his attacks on union rights and his cuts for education.
He said neighboring Minnesota had raised the minimum wage, implemented all-day kindergarten and made it easier to go to college while raising taxes on the top two percent. Obama said the results are that Minnesota has a lower unemployment rate and $9,000 higher median income than its neighbor.
Obama said all of the Republicans running — he joked that he’s lost track of how many and suggested they could start their own Hunger Games (video) — all have the same governing agenda of giving breaks to the rich while everyone else is on their own. That’s the same policies, Obama said, that led to the 2008 financial crisis.
He even joked that the Republicans were like having a crazy Uncle Harry — somebody you love but “you don’t want to put in charge.”
And he said that the fight is also about values.
“Being an American is not about taking as much as you can from your neighbor before they take as much as they can from you,” he said. “We are not a bunch of individuals out here on our own. We are a community, we are family. We are all in this together.”
Obama also name-checked the various pieces of his worker rights agenda. That includes his push for a higher minimum wage, new overtime rules, free community college, and paid sick leave. And he also argued that his trade agenda would also boost jobs for workers.