Progressives Rip Obama on Reagan

The controversy continued today, among some progressives on Barack Obama’s praise for Ronald Reagan in an interview earlier this week. John Edwards ripped “Barack Obama for praising the way Ronald Reagan brought about change when he was President of the United States.”

When you think about what Ronald Reagan did to the American people, to the middle class to the working people,” said Edwards.

“He was openly – openly – intolerant of unions and the right to organize. He openly fought against the union and the organized labor movement in this country. He openly did extraordinary damage to the middle class and working people, created a tax structure that favored the very wealthiest Americans and caused the middle class and working people to struggle every single day. The destruction of the environment, you know, eliminating regulation of companies that were polluting and doing extraordinary damage to the environment.”

“I can promise you this: this president will never use Ronald Reagan as an example for change.”

You Go John! Edwards was speaking about the comments Obama made during an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal. The interview may have won Obama their endorsement, but “at what cost“?

And Paul Krugman weighs in:

Read Rick Perlstein. Rick is our premier historian of the rise of modern movement conservatism, and knows whereof he speaks.

Update: The Republicans were the party of ideas for the last 10 to 15 years, because they were challenging conventional wisdom? OK, now I’m completely boggled. Is Obama talking about the same GOP I know — the Republican party of Tom DeLay and George Bush? The party in which candidates compete to see who can do the best Reagan impersonation? This is the party that’s challenging conventional wisdom? What’s going on here?

After 7 years of BushCo I just don’t want to hear this stuff from one of our candidates. It’s a real turnoff. Yes, I get we need to bring this country back  together, but a lot of folks have bailed from the Republican party over the past few years, many complaining of voter’s remorse after the ’04 election. I can’t help but wonder if Obama is really listening to the party whose nomination he is running for.

There’s further discussion on Obama on Reagan at No Quarter, Hold Fast, Digby and TalkLeft. I gotta say, Big Tent Democrat on Talk Left, captured my thoughts perfectly where he said “I guess disrespecting Dr. King and other leaders of the “fights of the 60s” is ok if you are Obama.”

Big Tent Democrat was talking about this clip:

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Honestly… I don’t think Obama gets it. Sorry, that’s coming straight from the heart of this baby boomer who graduated high school in mid ’70′s. We’re still fighting some of these issues Obama, because we just haven’t solved them.

RELATED POST: Say What? Reagan Had Clarity?

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5 Responses to Progressives Rip Obama on Reagan

  1. Come on Senator Edwards, give us a break!! I read Senator Obama’s quote in regards to President Regan. He did not praise him for helping the poor or the middle class. He gave him credit for helping to restore a sense of optimism in America. He praised him for his words, which helped to restore a dynamic sense of hope. He DID NOT praise him for bridgeing the gap between the have’s and the have not’s.
    I too feel that the Regan presidency has been painted into being a compassionate presidency, which it was not! Senator Obama likewise was not attempting to paint Regan as an advocate for the middle class.
    All he was saying was that Regan, partially due tp his great oratory skills, once again did radiate a spirit of optimism. Some folks began to view the glass as being half full instead of half empty. Mr. Edward’s, like the media at large, puts his own spin on to opponents comments in an attempt to distort their meaning.
    John Edward’s is trailing both Senator’s Obama and Clinton by a huge percentage in the polls. He is yet to have won a primary. If Edward’s is truly about change and turning this country around, he should withdraw from the race and, like Senator Kerry, offer his full support and funds to Obama’s campaign effort!!!!! Buzz

  2. alrudder says:

    This is just another media distortion that’s distracting a candidate. Just like Clinton’s words about LBJ were twisted last week.
    It will mostly be over in a couple days. If however it comes up again, in the general, it would help mollify Obama (if he’s the nominee) to the general electorate.

  3. converse says:

    You Go, John!

    You go vote for the Bankruptcy Bill, the Iraq War, the Patriot Act. etc, etc.

    You Go, You Great Progressive Populist, John!

  4. kitty says:

    Instead of listening to what others said Obama said, listen yourself to what Obama said. Whether you liked him or not (and I didn’t like him), Regan changed America significantly. So did Nixon. and God knows, no one liked him!!!.

    Listen with your ears and intellect. Please stop listening to third hand information. Or is it an English comprehension problem? Obama was quite clear.

    Hillary on the other hand, did say that Regan and Bush Snr were two of her favourite Presidents! Quite different to what Obama said

  5. Kitty

    I did listen to what Obama said – the entire interview. Thank you for sharing.