Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on
 

Obama's message of divide and blame

By Bobby Jindal, Special to CNN
June 18, 2012 -- Updated 1710 GMT (0110 HKT)
President Barack Obama speaks on the economy during a campaign event in Cleveland on June 14.
President Barack Obama speaks on the economy during a campaign event in Cleveland on June 14.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Bobby Jindal: President Obama failed to deliver what he promised on the economy
  • He says the president is signalling that his campaign will be one of "divide and blame"
  • Obama makes excuses for failing on economy, promotes class warfare, Jindal says
  • Jindal: Choice is between trying to rebuild economy through government or the private sector

Editor's note: Bobby Jindal, a Republican, is governor of Louisiana.

(CNN) -- In 2008, President Obama campaigned on a message of "Hope and Change." Thursday, speaking in Ohio, the president announced his re-election campaign message of "Divide and Blame."

The president had to give another economic speech, nearly an hour long, because he has not given us economic results. America does not need excuses; we need leadership.

The president's speech was a speech of excuses, basically blaming President Bush and tax cuts for all that ails the American economy. The president announced his intention to run against George Bush, but he is a little late -- he missed that election by eight years. By the way, even that is not a campaign he can win; I recommend that he should try to run against Nixon instead.

President Obama cannot ask Americans if they are better off than they were four years ago, and so is trying to blame others for his record. Over half a million fewer Americans have jobs today than when he took office.

Gov. Bobby Jindal
Gov. Bobby Jindal

After his advisers projected that his $800 billion stimulus bill would keep unemployment below 8%, it has remained above that benchmark for a record 40 months and counting. Median family net worth has hit a two-decade low, median household income has declined, more than 30% of borrowers are underwater on their mortgage, 23 million Americans remain unemployed or underemployed, and half of college graduates this year come out of school unemployed or underemployed.

Being president is a hard job. One of the hardest parts is that you can't just make excuses. Harry Truman understood this. It's just not allowed from the president of the United States. Excuses make the president look small and weak. It is frankly a little embarrassing.

Read Donna Brazile's view: Romney would let middle class pay tab for the rich

The president himself promised, after being elected, that if he didn't get the economy fixed in three years, then his presidency was "going to be a one-term proposition." President Clinton, speaking in 2010 at the same spot where the president spoke Thursday, said "Give us two more years. If it doesn't work, vote us out." Good advice. That was then. Now, the president is basically saying that he is a victim of circumstances, and we are all victims.

Thursday's speech was also a speech of class warfare. The other campaign President Obama announced is a class warfare campaign of division. He plans to divide America along class lines, gender lines, party lines, age lines and any other lines he can find. He will run a campaign of rich against poor, men against women, Democrats against Republicans, young against old and liberals against conservatives.

But America is fundamentally a young country at heart, and we know our best days are always ahead. We are an aspirational people who want our children to inherit more opportunity than we inherited from our parents. We know that our circumstances of birth, race, gender and zip code do not determine our outcomes as adults. We know we are promised equality of opportunity, not equality of outcomes.

We are not an envious people who vilify success. We believe in an America where any child can succeed and pursue the American dream through hard work and a great education. We are not looking for a president who wants to make us more like Europe, manage the slow decline of a great nation, and redistribute the wealth.

The president is completely correct when he says this election is a crucial choice between two paths. We must choose between the government path and the private sector Path. We must choose between the European path and the American path.

The president promised to cut the deficit in half by the end of his first term, and instead has amassed trillion dollar deficits every year he has been in office. At 24% of GDP, federal government spending now exceeds post-World War II norms, as the federal government grows in size and involvement in our daily lives. President Obama has gotten the federal government involved in bailouts, crony capitalism and running car companies, banks and health care; one can only imagine what would happen in a second term.

Yet, amazingly, President Obama on Thursday doubled down on his failed policy of borrowing money from China to grow government spending, instead of growing the private sector.

His entire philosophy can be encapsulated in one little line toward the end of his speech. He suggested we should put money into infrastructure and "do some nation building here at home." While this may be a cute turn of phrase, and certainly polls well, it is all you need to know about the outlook of this president. He believes that this nation was built by the government, and that more government spending is the key to our future. This is a speech that should have been delivered in France.

Follow @CNNOpinion on Twitter

Join us at Facebook/CNNOpinion

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Bobby Jindal.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1259 GMT (2059 HKT)
You could be forgiven for thinking no one cares -- or even should care, right now -- about climate change, writes CNN's John Sutter. But you'd be mistaken.
September 21, 2014 -- Updated 2132 GMT (0532 HKT)
David Gergen says the White House's war against ISIS is getting off to a rough start and needs to be set right
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1300 GMT (2100 HKT)
John Sutter boarded a leaky oyster boat in Connecticut with a captain who can't swim as he set off to get world leaders to act on climate change
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1917 GMT (0317 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says making rude use of the Mexican flag on Mexican independence day in a concert in Mexico was extremely tasteless, but not an international incident.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 1359 GMT (2159 HKT)
Michael Dunn is going to stand trial again after a jury was unable to reach a verdict; Mark O'Mara hopes for a fair trial.
September 22, 2014 -- Updated 2315 GMT (0715 HKT)
Is ballet dying? CNN spoke with Isabella Boylston, a principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre, about the future of the art form.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 2147 GMT (0547 HKT)
Sally Kohn says it's time we take climate change as seriously as we do warfare in the Middle East
September 24, 2014 -- Updated 0017 GMT (0817 HKT)
Laurence Steinberg says the high obesity rate among young children is worrisome for a host of reasons
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1302 GMT (2102 HKT)
Dean Obeidallah says an Oklahoma state representative's hateful remarks were rightfully condemned by religious leaders..
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1922 GMT (0322 HKT)
No matter how much planning has gone into U.S. military plans to counter the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the Arab public isn't convinced that anything will change, says Geneive Abdo
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1544 GMT (2344 HKT)
President Obama's strategy for destroying ISIS seems to depend on a volley of air strikes. That won't be enough, says Haider Mullick.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1303 GMT (2103 HKT)
Paul Begala says Hillary Clinton has plenty of good reasons not to jump into the 2016 race now
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1501 GMT (2301 HKT)
Scotland decided to trust its 16-year-olds to vote in the biggest question in its history. Americans, in contrast, don't even trust theirs to help pick the county sheriff. Who's right?
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0157 GMT (0957 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says spanking is an acceptable form of disciplining a child, as long as you follow the rules.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1547 GMT (2347 HKT)
Frida Ghitis says the foiled Australian plot shows ISIS is working diligently to taunt the U.S. and its allies.
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 1958 GMT (0358 HKT)
Young U.S. voters by and large just do not see the midterm elections offering legitimate choices because, in their eyes, Congress has proven to be largely ineffectual, and worse uncaring, argues John Della Volpe
September 19, 2014 -- Updated 0158 GMT (0958 HKT)
Steven Holmes says spanking, a practice that is ingrained in our culture, accomplishes nothing positive and causes harm.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1831 GMT (0231 HKT)
Sally Kohn says America tried "Cowboy Adventurism" as a foreign policy strategy; it failed. So why try it again?
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1427 GMT (2227 HKT)
Van Jones says the video of John Crawford III, who was shot by a police officer in Walmart, should be released.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 1448 GMT (2248 HKT)
NASA will need to embrace new entrants and promote a lot more competition in future, argues Newt Gingrich.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 2315 GMT (0715 HKT)
If U.S. wants to see real change in Iraq and Syria, it will have to empower moderate forces, says Fouad Siniora.
September 18, 2014 -- Updated 0034 GMT (0834 HKT)
Mark O'Mara says there are basic rules to follow when interacting with law enforcement: respect their authority.
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1305 GMT (2105 HKT)
LZ Granderson says Congress has rebuked the NFL on domestic violence issue, but why not a federal judge?
September 16, 2014 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
Mel Robbins says the only person you can legally hit in the United States is a child. That's wrong.
September 15, 2014 -- Updated 1723 GMT (0123 HKT)
Eric Liu says seeing many friends fight so hard for same-sex marriage rights made him appreciate marriage.
ADVERTISEMENT