Though many people expected him to cancel because of the tragic mass shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama delivered a highly partisan and accusatory campaign-style speech Monday to commemorate the five-year anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers.
The President has received criticism from both sides of the political aisle for not laying aside his planned speech in light of the tragedy—instead Obama spoke briefly about the tragedy before lashing out against Republicans in a verbal tirade.
As Washington Times columnist Eric Golub pointed out Monday:
He treated the shooting as peripheral in order to keep it from distracting from his prepared remarks extolling his own virtues.
“Before I begin, let me say a few words…”
He “made it clear” that the shooter or shooters would be “held responsible” and that his administration would be “investigating thoroughly” the situation. Americans have heard those tired phrases hundreds of times involving Benghazi, IRS abuses, and other situations, with the results never materializing.
The President’s entire speech hinged on accusations that Republicans are at “the height of irresponsibility” for an “unwillingness to compromise” and allow the Obama Administration agenda to be fulfilled.
“I cannot remember a time when one faction of one party promises economic chaos if it can’t get 100 percent of what it wants,” Obama said. “That’s never happened before.”
Obama also used the speech as an opportunity to defend his own economic record, saying, “We’ve cleared away the rubble of the financial crisis.”
He then moved on, further rebuking Republicans who dare attempt to provide obstacles to the full implementation of Obamacare.
“It was an issue in last year’s election, and the candidate who called for repeal lost,” Obama said.
Of the GOP plan to tie raising the debt ceiling to a delay of Obamacare, Obama said he would “not negotiate over whether or not America keeps its word.”
“Are some of these folks so beholden to one extreme wing of their party that they’re willing to tank the economy?” Obama said. “Are they really willing to hurt people just to score political points?”