The Candidates and The World

Transition 2012

A guide to foreign policy and the 2012 U.S. presidential transition.

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Midday Update: In Iowa, Obama Talks Energy and Jobs

by Newsteam Staff
May 25, 2012

Photo of the Day: President Barack Obama with voters in Newton, Iowa May 24, 2012 (Kevin Lamarque/Courtesy Reuters).


President Barack Obama took to the campaign trail Thursday in a speech in Iowa calling for clean-energy tax credits, saying they are good for both the environment and the economy (Politico).

“This country’s on the path to more energy independence, and that’s good for everybody. It’s good for people’s pocketbooks, it’s good for the environment, it’s good for our national security,” he said. “And the best thing is, in the process, we’re also putting thousands of Americans back to work.” He called on Congress, reminding the crowd this was an item on his to-do list for legislators along with home refinancing help and jobs for veterans, and said losing clean energy tax credits would mean losing jobs (KCCI).

Obama also gave another speech later in the day that again cast doubts on whether Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s record in business makes him qualified manage the economy and grow jobs, while at the same time touting his own record in maneuvering through the financial crisis while president.

“When you’re the president, your job is to look out for the investor and the worker; for the big companies and the small companies; for the health of farmers and small businesspeople and the nurse and the teacher,” he said. “You’re supposed to be thinking about everybody — and the health of the middle class, and what the future is going to hold for our kids.  That’s how I see the economy.”

Mitt Romney tells Peggy Noonan (WSJ) the United States he campaigned in during the 2008 primary race is very different from what he is seeing this time around. Then, voters were concerned with wars and terrorism, but the economic downturn has replaced those campaign issues with serious economic woes, he says.

“In my primary, the central issue was Iraq,” he said, but there is a “much higher degree of anxiety today. People much less confident in the security of their job, less confident in the prospects for their children.”

At Foreign Policy, Uri Friedman plays out five international scenarios that could swing the U.S. presidential election, from a military showdown with Iran to a Chinese economic slow down that topples the fragile U.S. recovery.

In spite of being a campaign issue on which both President Obama and rival Romney agree, efforts to extend low-interest federal student loans failed in the Senate Thursday (Reuters).

On a mostly party-line vote, Republicans stopped a Democratic bid to fund a one-year renewal of the 3.4 percent interest rate by eliminating a tax loophole for the wealthy. On another party-line vote, Democrats blocked a Republican effort to pay for the $6 billion extension by taking money from the president’s healthcare system overhaul.

However, the two sides are still expected to come to an election-year agreement before loan rates double on July 1 to 6.8 percent for more 7 million students, as neither side wants to upset students and their parents before the November general election.

–Gayle S. Putrich, Contributing Editor

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