Obama: Reagan would be rejected by today's GOP


US President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign event at the Southern Maine Community College in Portland, Maine. One of Obama's major campaign donors has been accused of fraud.


Jewel Samad

US President Barack Obama today said even iconic GOP leader Ronald Reagen would not be able to "get through a Republican primary today," according to the Associated Press

Obama, who is currently campaigning for reelection, is trying to position himself as the defender of America's economically-struggling middle class and the voice of reconciliation in a fractious Washington. 

"Ronald Reagan, who as I recall was not accused of being a tax-and-spend socialist, understood repeatedly that when the deficit started to get out of control that for him to make a deal he would have to propose both spending cuts and tax increases," Obama told the annual meeting of The Associated Press today, noting that the legendary Republican leader made such proposals "multliple times."

The president said today's GOP would never stand for that, because the party "will brook no compromise," said AP. Republican presidential candidates do not support raising taxes to offset high federal budget deficits.

Obama also hit out at Republican front-runner Mitt Romney for supporting a trickle-down economic policy that he says has proven failed.

More from GlobalPost: Obama: Paul Ryan budget a "Trojan horse" (VIDEO)

The Republican party, meanwhile, says Obama's claims of GOP radicalism are an attempt to distract from broken campaign promises and bad budgeting.

Romney spokeswoman Andrea Saul told AP in response that "the last thing President Obama is qualified to lecture on is responsible federal spending" after the last three years, while Republican House Speaker John Boehner dismissed the accusations as "distortions and partisan potshots."

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