Obama aide buffs up boss' strategies

March 25, 2012 at 3:04 PM
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WASHINGTON, March 25 (UPI) -- President Obama's campaign doesn't consider Republican hopeful Mitt Romney's economic strategy to be a Mitt Romney plan, a top adviser said Sunday.

Senior White House Adviser David Plouffe said the Romney plan was actually concocted by Republican budget hawk Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and advocates of tax relief for the wealthy and draconian cuts in social programs.

"If Mitt Romney is the nominee, then this really is going to be the Romney-Ryan plan," Plouffe predicted on ABC's "This Week." "He said he's going to rubber-stamp it."

Plouffe portrayed the GOP program as one that protects well-heeled supporters while placing the burden of reducing the enormous federal deficit on the backs of the middle class.

"It asks nothing of the wealthy," he said. "In fact, it showers them with more tax cuts. It devastates things like education and it 'voucherizes' Medicare, which really would threaten that program and threaten our seniors."

Obama's approach, however, seeks to spread the pain around and would eventually appeal to the voters in the fall. "It gets us on what most fiscal experts consider the right path," Plouffe said on "Fox News Sunday." "It also allows our economy to grow. It doesn't strangle education. It doesn't gut investments in clean energy."

A centerpiece of the economic debate will be the president's controversial healthcare reform plan. While reviled by conservatives, Plouffe said "Obamacare" was on track to make some needed payoffs and would appeal to voters who are also healthcare consumers.

"I think by the end of this decade, if this law is fully implemented, we're going to be very glad they called it Obamacare, because the reality of what is happening here is so different than what the opponents claim," he said on CNN's "State of the Union."

"It is going to be a very positive thing, not just for the country, but I think it's going to be an important political accomplishment as well," Plouffe said.

Another hot-button issue in the campaign will be energy. Plouffe said Democrats and Republicans used to be united on the need for a comprehensive strategy to develop the full menu of domestic resources but accused Republicans of abandoning those efforts in favor of making it a partisan issue.

Plouffe said the election will be a choice between "the president, who is saying we need to do everything we can here to produce (oil) but also boldly double down on things like solar and bio-fuels, or the folks that are running against us. They think its oil only, and that's a terrible strategy for the country. So this is going to a big question for the American people."

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