President Obama delivered a rallying cry to Democrats at the party's winter meeting in Washington, D.C., today, urging an unabashed embrace of his economic record as they head into the 2016 campaign.
“We were told by our good friends the Republicans that our actions would crush jobs, explode the deficits and destroy the country. I mean, I want everybody to do a fact check,” Obama told the crowd.
“If we were to look at the evidence, it’s pretty clear whose theory works,” he said.
Republicans say Obama continues to paper over unflattering economic data, including sluggish wage growth and his party's stinging losses of congressional seats during the midterm campaign.
A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner called it the "elephant in the room."
With his approval rating inching up to it's best point in years, Obama appeared undeterred, even going on offense against the field of likely GOP presidential contenders who have adopted economic inequality as an issue for the campaign.
“You can’t just talk the talk. You’ve got to do what? You’ve got to walk the walk,” Obama said. “We’ve been walking the walk.”
As for Republicans, he said, “The shift in rhetoric is good if it leads them to engage in different actions. If it doesn’t, then it’s just spin.”
The president singled out Republican Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky -- an "interesting guy" -- for advocating greater outreach to minorities and efforts to fight inequality, but suggested he was just "talking the talk."
Mr. Obama made no mention of the controversy surrounding former NYC mayor Rudy Giuliani’s comments questioning the president's patriotism. But Obama did offer a spirited close to his address, referring to “this great country’s amazing story” and declaration of “God bless, America.”
After the speech, Obama attended his second political fundraiser of the year -– a $33,400 per head event that’s expected to raise north of $835,000 for the Democratic National Committee.