Obama accuses Republicans of 'madness' in Maine

By Julie Pace

Associated Press

Published: Friday, March 30 2012 4:25 p.m. MDT

President Obama speaks at a campaign stop at Southern Maine Community College, Friday, March 30, 2012, in South Portland, Maine.

Robert F. Bukaty, Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine — President Barack Obama accused Republicans of clinging to economic policies that preceded the Great Depression and the more recent economic downturn, accusing his rivals of showing signs of "madness."

Raising campaign cash in Maine, Obama said Republicans want to return to economic policies that would let Wall Street play by its own set of rules and allow insurance companies to roll back health coverage.

"We won't win the race for new jobs and new businesses and middle-class security if we cling to this same old, worn-out, tired 'you're on your own' economics that the other side is peddling," Obama said.

"It was tried in the decades before the Great Depression. It didn't work then. It was tried in the last decade. It didn't work," he said. "You know, the idea you would keep on doing the same thing over and over again, even though it's been proven not to work. That's a sign of madness."

Obama raised campaign cash in Vermont, where he said the economy was getting stronger and businesses were gaining confidence. He also offered a vigorous defense of his health care law, though without mentioning the Supreme Court case to determine the constitutionality of its main provision.

In Burlington, Vt., Obama said the health care overhaul that passed "after over a century of trying" would allow young people to remain on their parents' health insurance for a longer period, help seniors pay less for prescription drugs and keep millions of people from being denied coverage.

Taking a shot at his GOP rivals, Obama said President Abraham Lincoln "couldn't win the nomination" for the Republican Party right now.

Obama's four events were his last fundraisers before Saturday's monthly and quarterly campaign fundraising deadline. The president raised $45 million last month for his re-election.

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