Barack Obama: Attack Dog

Election '08

I used to worry a bit that Barack Obama’s above-the-fray style might not be assertive enough for a rough-and-tumble general election campaign against an aggressive Republican machine. I’m increasingly confident that my concerns were misplaced — Obama seems to enjoy going on the offensive against John McCain.

Last week, Obama went after McCain on the GI Bill. Over the weekend, Obama continued to hammer away at McCain’s confusion over the number of U.S. troops in Iraq. And today, in a speech in Troy, Michigan, Obama will take on a McCain quote that’s certain to generate an angry response.

“Senator McCain says we have made, and this is a quote, ‘great progress economically’ these past eight years, and he promises more of the same.

“Well, I couldn’t disagree more. Since George Bush took office, we’ve gone through the first period of sustained economic growth since World War II in which the incomes of American workers have actually dropped. 7 million more Americans don’t have health care. 1 million more Americans are out of work. Millions of families are facing foreclosure. You’re working harder for less, and paying more for tuition, more for groceries, and more at the pump.

“To me, this isn’t ‘great progress.’ This is a cause for concern and an impetus for change. Yet Senator McCain wants to double down on the Bush economic plan…. In fact, Senator McCain conceded not long ago that he didn’t know much about the economy. That’s not his interest. That’s not his priority. But it will be mine.”

The “great progress economically” originally came up in mid-April, and it was one of those gems we just knew we’d be hearing again.

When Obama first starting pursuing this, a very annoyed McCain campaign responded, “American families are hurting and Barack Obama is being recklessly dishonest. It is clear that Barack Obama is intentionally twisting John McCain’s words completely out of context.”

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