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
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1538 GMT (2338 HKT)
The idea is difficult to stomach, but John Sutter writes that eating dog is morally equivalent to eating pig, another intelligent animal. If Americans oppose it, they should question their own eating habits as well.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1630 GMT (0030 HKT)
Bill van Esveld says under the laws of war, civilians who do not join in the fight are always to be protected. An International Criminal Court could rule on whether Israeli airstrikes and Hamas rocketing are war crimes.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1205 GMT (2005 HKT)
LZ Granderson says Ronald Reagan went horseback riding and took a vacation after the Korean Air Crash of 1983. So why does the GOP keep airbrushing history to bash Obama?
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1338 GMT (2138 HKT)
Aaron Miller says Kerry needs the cooperation of Hamas, Israel, Egypt and others if he is to succeed in his peacemaking efforts
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1251 GMT (2051 HKT)
Errol Louis says the tragic death of Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD has its roots in the "broken windows" police strategy from the crime-ridden '80s.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1408 GMT (2208 HKT)
Gordon Brown says the kidnapped Nigerian girls have been in captivity for 100 days, but the world has not forgotten them.
July 23, 2014 -- Updated 1127 GMT (1927 HKT)
Ruben Navarrette says Texas Gov. Rick Perry is right to immediately send 1,000 National Guard troops to the U.S.-Mexico border in response to the border children crisis.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1356 GMT (2156 HKT)
Ukraine's president says the downing of MH17 was a terrorist act, but Richard Barrett says it would be considered terrorism only if it was intentional
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 2015 GMT (0415 HKT)
Robert McIntyre says the loophole that lets firms avoid taxes should be closed
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1535 GMT (2335 HKT)
Jeronimo Saldana and Malik Burnett say Gov. Perry's plan to send National Guard to the border won't solve the escalating immigration problem.
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1742 GMT (0142 HKT)
Sally Kohn: The world's fish and waters are polluted and under threat. Be very careful what fish you eat
July 22, 2014 -- Updated 1242 GMT (2042 HKT)
Les Abend says threat information that pilots respond to is only as good as the intelligence from air traffic controllers. And none of it is a match for a radar-guided missile
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1235 GMT (2035 HKT)
Frida Ghitis: Anger over MH17 is growing against pro-Russia separatists. It's time for the Dutch government to lead, she writes
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1227 GMT (2027 HKT)
Julian Zelizer says President Obama called inequality the "defining challenge" of our time but hasn't followed through.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1157 GMT (1957 HKT)
Gene Seymour says the 'Rockford Files' actor worked the persona of the principled coward, charming audiences on big and small screen for generations
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1417 GMT (2217 HKT)
Daniel Treisman says that when the Russian leader tied his fate to the Ukraine separatists, he set the stage for his current risky predicament
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1642 GMT (0042 HKT)
Andrew Kuchins says urgent diplomacy -- not sanctions -- is needed to de-escalate the conflict in Ukraine that helped lead to the downing of an airliner there.
July 19, 2014 -- Updated 0150 GMT (0950 HKT)
Jim Hall and Peter Goelz say there should be an immediate and thorough investigation into what happened to MH17.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1507 GMT (2307 HKT)
Pilot Bill Palmer says main defense commercial jets have against missiles is to avoid flying over conflict areas.
July 20, 2014 -- Updated 1755 GMT (0155 HKT)
Valerie Jarrett says that working women should not be discriminated against because they are pregnant.
July 21, 2014 -- Updated 1953 GMT (0353 HKT)
David Wheeler says the next time you get a difficult customer representative, think about recording the call.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1933 GMT (0333 HKT)
Newt Gingrich says the more dangerous the world becomes the more Obama hides in a fantasy world.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1011 GMT (1811 HKT)
Michael Desch: It's hard to see why anyone, including Russia and its local allies, would have intentionally targeted the Malaysian Airlines flight
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1914 GMT (0314 HKT)
LZ Granderson says we must remember our visceral horror at the news of children killed in an airstrike on a Gaza beach next time our politicians talk of war
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Sally Kohn says now the House GOP wants to sue Obama for not implementing a law fast enough, a law they voted down 50 times, all reason has left the room.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1214 GMT (2014 HKT)
A street sign for Wall Street
Sens. Elizabeth Warren, John McCain and others want to scale back the "too big to fail" banks that put us at risk of another financial collapse.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 2016 GMT (0416 HKT)
Newt Gingrich writes an open letter to Robert McDonald, the nominee to head the Veterans Administration.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1601 GMT (0001 HKT)
Paul Begala says Dick Cheney has caused an inordinate amount of damage yet continues in a relentless effort to revise the history of his failures.
July 18, 2014 -- Updated 1404 GMT (2204 HKT)
Kids who takes cell phones to bed are not sleeping, says Mel Robbins. Make them park their phones with the parents at night.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1729 GMT (0129 HKT)
Buzz Aldrin looked at planet Earth as he stood on talcum-like lunar dust 45 years ago. He thinks the next frontier should be Mars.
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1804 GMT (0204 HKT)
Mark Zeller never thought my Afghan translator would save his life by killing two Taliban fighters who were about to kill him. The Taliban retaliated by placing him on the top of its kill list.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 1518 GMT (2318 HKT)
Jeff Yang says an all-white cast of Asian characters in cartoonish costumes is racially offensive.
July 17, 2014 -- Updated 0124 GMT (0924 HKT)
Gary Ginsberg says the late John F. Kennedy Jr.'s reaction to an event in 1995 summed up his character
July 16, 2014 -- Updated 1641 GMT (0041 HKT)
Meg Urry says most falling space debris lands on the planet harmlessly and with no witnesses.
ADVERTISEMENT