Obama: Romney Is Worse Than John McCain

“John McCain believed in climate change and believed in immigration reform.”

MANDEL NGAN / Getty Images

US President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign fundraiser May 14, 2012 at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City.

President Barack Obama told an audience in New York tonight that Mitt Romney is worse than his 2008 opponent Sen. John McCain.

“We have a very clear contrast this time. John McCain believed in climate change and believed in immigration reform,” Obama told an audience of about 200 donors who paid at least $5000 for a ticket to the event. “What we have this time out a candidate who said he would rubber stamp a Republican Congress that wants us to go backward, not forward.”

For months — and only in private — Obama campaign staffers in Chicago have said they have little respect for Romney because of his shifting positions, while John McCain was the type of principled Republican most like them. Obama has now made those private asides very public.

Obama has attempted to tie Romney to the GOP Congress, a task made easier by tax warrior Grover Norquist’s remarks to the Conservative Political Action Conference in February:

All we have to do is replace Obama. … We are not auditioning for fearless leader. We don’t need a president to tell us in what direction to go. We know what direction to go. We want the Ryan budget. … We just need a president to sign this stuff. We don’t need someone to think it up or design it. The leadership now for the modern conservative movement for the next 20 years will be coming out of the House and the Senate.

“This is going to be a tough election,” Obama remarked. “Sometimes when I come to New York, people say, ‘I don’t know anybody who’s not supporting you, Barack. I say, ‘You live in Manhattan.’”

“Their message will be, ‘You’re upset, you’re unsatisfied. It’s Obama’s fault,’” Obama added. “But I’m not worried. The reason I’m not worried is because of you.”

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