Opinion

Obama’s Stump Speech for Biden Sounded Desperate and Irrelevant

Barack Obama dragged out his greatest hits Tuesday in a stump speech for his former vice president, Joe Biden, in Orlando, Florida, but his platitudes about prosperity and good governance rang hollow, given the Obama-Biden record.

One odd and recurring phrase in his approximately 40-minute remarks was “Joe and Kamala,” seemingly an admission that the soon-to-be-78-year-old Biden will not be the driving force in a Biden-Harris administration.

Obama said some iteration of the phrase “Joe and Kamala” over half a dozen times.

“Joe and Kamala will protect your health care,” Obama argued, as an example. “They will expand Medicare. They’ll make insurance more affordable for everybody.”

The 44th president touted the Affordable Care Act as proof of Biden’s ability to shepherd in better health care for Americans.

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Remember that famous promise before Obamacare was passed? “If you like your health care plan, you can keep it.”

PolitiFact labeled that the “Lie of the Year” in 2013 as ACA was being implemented.

Cancellation letters went out to 4 million in the fall of that year alone.

Further, rather than causing health insurance premiums to go down, as Obama promised, they rose dramatically under the ACA.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported in May 2017 that average health insurance premiums had doubled since 2013 from $2,784 to $5,712 per year.

The Trump administration implemented some regulatory changes, giving insurers more flexibility, which arrested the rise and were actually expected to lead to some modest declines in 2020.

So it’s the Trump administration, not the Obama-Biden administration, which knows how to better tackle rising health care costs.

Obama also rolled out his old saw of Trump taking credit for the economic recovery his predecessor launched.

“Listen, you’ve got a president right now, he wants full credit for an economy that he inherited, he wants zero blame for the pandemic he ignored. But you know what? The job doesn’t work that way,” Obama said.

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“He, in fact, inherited the longest streak of job growth in American history. But just like everything else he inherited, he screwed it up,” the former president added.

“And the economic damage that he inflicted by botching the pandemic response means he will be the first president since Herbert Hoover to actually lose jobs, first president since Herbert Hoover, back in the ’30s.”

Trump consistently polls better than Biden on the issue of handling the economy for good reason.

Do you believe Obama's campaigning will have much sway over how Americans vote?

Under the 45th president’s administration (pre-COVID-19), the country enjoyed its lowest unemployment rate in 50 years and the lowest ever recorded for African-Americans and Hispanic Americans.

The Obama-Biden administration oversaw the slowest economic recovery from a recession since before World War II, a point even CNN conceded in 2016.

Trump was able to lower unemployment rate more in four months (COVID and all) than Obama did in his first four years.

That is because the former New York businessman made four very un-Obama-like moves after taking office: He significantly cut government regulations on businesses; he signed tax cuts for businesses and individuals into law; he promoted domestic energy production; and he negotiated new pro-American trade deals.

Unemployment reached a high of 10 percent during Obama’s first year in office and dropped just 2 percentage points during his first term to 8 percent.

After COVID hit, unemployment peaked at 14.7 percent in April, the highest rate since the Great Depression.

CNBC reported the May rate was expected to hit nearly 20 percent, but that never happened. Instead 2.5 million jobs were added and unemployment dropped to 13.3 percent.

The unemployment rate stood at 7.9 percent in September, with over 11 million jobs added since the spring.

On Thursday, the Department of Commerce reported that the gross domestic product exceeded expectations, growing at a record 33.1 percent during the third quarter ending in September.

Besides health care and the economy, Obama also spent a good part of his speech hammering Trump’s COVID response and promising that Biden would do much better.

Well, the truth is the former vice president helped oversee a botched response to the swine flu (H1N1) outbreak in 2009. His own former chief of staff, Ron Klain, said just last year it was nothing but “luck” that only approximately 12,000 Americans died.

“It is purely a fortuity that this isn’t one of the great mass casualty events in American history,” Klain said. “We did every possible thing wrong.”

Vice President Mike Pence noted at the vice presidential debate earlier this month that over 60 million Americans contracted the swine flu and that if it had had the same lethality as COVID, 2 million Americans would have died.

A final point regarding the previous administration’s leadership: What does it say that 56 percent of registered voters told Gallup last month they are better off now (COVID and all) than they were four years ago?

That is the highest the polling organization has ever recorded since beginning to ask the question in 1984. Just 32 percent reported being worse off.

So sorry Obama, your and Biden’s record speaks for itself.

Trump, not Biden, is the better man to “Make America Great Again.”

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