President Obama hit the Miami fundraising circuit on Monday, picking up big campaign bucks and boasting of his record in running the country.
The presidents touting of his accomplishments a health care overhaul, financial regulatory reform, ending a ban on gays serving in the military stood in stark contrast to the comments made about him by Republican presidential hopefuls who debated Monday night on CNN and described his term as a failure.
When 14 million Americans are out of work, we need a new president to end the Obama Depression, said former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, the first among seven contenders on stage to assail the presidents economic policies.
Former Sen. Rick Santorum accused Obama of shackling the economy by pursuing oppressive policies, while former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty labeled Obama a declinist who views America as one of equals around the world, rather than a special nation.
But Miami Obama portrayed himself as someone who inherited his troubles, not one who caused them.
Theres no doubt that the country has gone through an extraordinary trauma, Obama said. My job has frankly been to clean up a big mess We yanked the economy out of what could have been a second Great Depression. We stabilized the financial system.
Obama said he was making good on his promise to end the Iraq war and withdraw from Afghanistan. He said the financial regulations passed on his watch helped stabilize the economy, led to 2 million new jobs created in 15 months and helped the auto industry become profitable again.
I could not be prouder of the track record that weve put together under these trying times, Obama said.
Obama made the comments at the Miami Beach home of former ambassador to Singapore, Steven Green, where about 80 people paid $10,000 to hear the president speak.
The president acknowledged that the candidate from 2012 is different than the man who ran for the White House three years ago.
For those of you who were involved in the campaign in 2008 and you thought, Boy, this is so exciting. The crowd was so fresh. And you had the posters, he said. And now you look and you say, Boy, his hairs really gray now. Hes got a few bags under his eyes.
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