Campaigning Obama says Republicans push "snake oil"

By Caren Bohan

LOS ANGELES (BestGrowthStock) – President Barack Obama accused Republicans on Friday of peddling discredited “snake oil ideas” about the U.S. economy as he tried to win votes for struggling Democrats in a battle for control of the Senate.

Obama campaigned in Los Angeles for veteran California Senator Barbara Boxer, who faces a tough challenge from Carly Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard. The president then headed to Nevada to stump for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is in a fight for his political life.

“This is a choice between the policies that got us into this mess and the policies that will get us out,” Obama told a crowd of about 37,000 people at the University of Southern California just 11 days before congressional elections that are widely seen as a midterm referendum on his record.

Obama acknowledged that economic woes made for a tough election climate for his fellow Democrats. But he said Republicans seeking control of Congress did not have the answer to the country’s troubles.

“They are clinging to the same worn-out, tired snake oil ideas that they were peddling before,” Obama said, referring to Bush-era policies he blames for putting the economy in a deep hole that it is still struggling to climb out of.

Republicans counter that Obama has hurt the economic recovery with wasteful government spending, job-killing regulation and other policies.

Races in the West are among a handful that could determine whether Democrats hold onto their majority in the Senate.

Many pollsters predict Republicans will win enough seats in the November 2 elections to take control of the House of Representatives, which could put the brakes on Obama’s legislative agenda.

Surveys show Democrats are likely to lose Senate seats but still keep at least a slight majority in the chamber.

IMPORTANT NEVADA RACE

Obama, on a five-state swing, was also throwing his weight behind Reid in one of the most closely watched races.

In Nevada, a state with the nation’s highest unemployment rate and the highest rate of home foreclosures, Reid is slightly trailing Republican Sharron Angle.

A defeat for the Senate’s highest-ranking Democrat would be a major blow for Obama, who worked closely with Reid and other congressional leaders to craft last year’s $814 billion economic stimulus package and reforms of the healthcare system and financial regulations.

Obama was due to headline an evening rally in Las Vegas.

Frustrations with the economy’s weakness are hurting Democratic candidates across the country but are pronounced in Nevada, which has a jobless rate of 14.4 percent.

Still unclear was whether Obama would mention a fiasco over home foreclosure documents issued by banks in his campaign speech in Las Vegas. He differs with Reid on the Nevada senator’s call for a nationwide moratorium on foreclosures.

The Obama administration says it supports a vigorous probe of the foreclosure mess but is concerned a mandatory blanket moratorium might worsen the problems in the housing market.

Many analysts have been surprised by Angle’s strength against Reid in Nevada.

Angle has taken some positions that are more conservative than those of many voters and she has made several gaffes. But Reid has been criticized for what some analysts viewed as a lackluster performance against Angle in a recent debate.

In California, Obama campaigned in another high-profile race — the battle to be state governor between veteran Democratic politician Jerry Brown and former eBay chief executive Meg Whitman. Brown holds about a 5-point lead over Whitman in the strongly Democratic-leaning state.

(Writing by Caren Bohan and Matt Spetalnick; Editing by John O’Callaghan)

Campaigning Obama says Republicans push "snake oil"