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Obama: Current GOP Would Reject Reagan

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Ronald Reagan wearing cowboy hat at Rancho del...

President Barack Obama said Tuesday Republicans want to force a "radical vision" on the nation, accusing the opposition party of moving so far to the right that even one of its beloved figures, Ronald Reagan, could not win a GOP presidential primary.

In a blistering election-year critique, Obama sought to present himself to voters as the protector of the middle class and the leader of a Democratic Party that is willing to compromise in Washington. He singled out the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination, Mitt Romney, for criticism and more broadly said Republicans had shifted from any reasonable debate on health care, debt reduction and the environment.

Republicans "will brook no compromise," Obama told news executives at the annual meeting of The Associated Press.

He cited a Republican presidential debate late last year when the entire field rejected the prospect of $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in tax increases as a means to lower the debt.

"Think about that. Ronald Reagan, who as I recall was not accused of being a tax-and-spend socialist, understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to get out of control that for him to make a deal he would have to propose both spending cuts and tax increases," Obama said. "He did it multiple times. He could not get through a Republican primary today."

Republicans called Obama's remarks a partisan attempt to cover up broken pledges to cut the federal deficit in half, curb spending and make tough choices to reform Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid.

"The president has resorted to distortions and partisan potshots and recommitted himself to policies that have made our country's debt crisis worse," said House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio.

Andrea Saul, a Romney spokeswoman, said that after the past three years, "the last thing President Obama is qualified to lecture on is responsible federal spending."

Making his case for re-election, Obama said the nation must restore a sense of security for hard-working Americans and stand for a government willing to help those in hard times. The Democratic president blasted Republicans by name and said the choice between the parties is "unambiguously clear."

Read more at the AP...

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