Washington – Conservatives are accusing President Obama of using last week’s Connecticut school shooting to push his own tax proposal in the debate over the looming fiscal crisis.
The president invoked the tragedy toward the end of his news conference Wednesday. He had earlier discussed the shooting in calling for a discussion on gun control but later tried to apply it to the debate over a deficit-reduction deal.
“If there is one thing we should have after this week, it should be a sense of perspective about what’s important,” Obama said. “I would like to think that members of that caucus would say to themselves, ‘You know what? We disagree with the president on a whole bunch of things. We wish the other guy had won. We’re going to fight him on a whole range of issues over the next four years. We think his philosophy is all screwed up.’”
He also said: “When you think about what we’ve gone through over the last couple of months - a devastating hurricane and now one of the worst tragedies in our memory, the country deserves folks to be willing to compromise on behalf of the greater good and not tangle themselves up in a whole bunch of ideological positions that don’t make much sense.”
But Republicans accused him of capitalizing on a national tragedy – in an effort to paint Democrats in a favorable light and to push his plan for tax hikes on top earners.
Rep. Louis Gohmert, R-Texas, told Fox News the president’s comments are a tactical slap to Republicans.
“He went too far this time,” Gohmert said.
Republicans say Obama’s message boils down to this: Get on board or you’re part of the problem.
“The president doesn’t want any new cuts, but he wants to use the school shooting to make his point? Good grief,” Gohmert said.
Republicans also are miffed that top Obama adviser David Axelrod sent a mass email Sunday that directed people to a video link of the president’s speech from Newtown, Conn. The page featured two links that open a page with a video player featuring president’s speech and two donate buttons asking for $15 to $1,000 for his campaign.