WASHINGTON -- President Obama preached a message about tax fairness to students at a Florida college this afternoon, speaking only indirectly of Republican candidates for president and deriding their party’s commitment to “trickle down” economic policies that he says hurt the middle class.
Obama spoke less than an hour after Rick Santorum announced he is suspending his campaign for the Republican nomination, a development many consider to be the unofficial beginning of the general election race between Obama and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney.
Obama neither mentioned Santorum’s name nor acknowledged the change in the GOP primary field. But the president was clearly on the campaign stump, offering up a familiar economic message with a far more fiery delivery than in any recent appearance.
He plugged his proposed “Buffett rule,” which would require that the wealthy pay at least 30% of their income taxes. Even though the idea is highly unlikely to pass before the election, it could still serve Obama’s purpose by casting Democratic economic ideas in a positive light with independent voters.