Huffpost Politics

President Obama: GOP Wouldn't Elect Abraham Lincoln Today

Posted: Updated:

Republicans wouldn't elect Abraham Lincoln if he were alive today, President Barack Obama said during a campaign stop in Vermont on Friday.

Bemoaning the fact that many Republicans these days are opposed to spending more on infrastructure or investing in new technologies, Obama told a crowd at the University of Vermont that it didn't used to be that way.

He invoked the 16th president: "The first Republican president, President Lincoln, who, by the way, couldn't win the nomination for the Republican primary right now," Obama said, "in the middle of the Civil War helped to make the Transcontinental Railroad possible, the land grant colleges, the National Academy [of Sciences]."

"This has not traditionally been a Democratic or a Republican idea," Obama noted about infrastructure spending. "It was a Republican, Teddy Roosevelt, who called for a progressive income tax. It was Dwight Eisenhower who built the interstate highway system."

Lincoln "understood that we're in this together; we've got to make an investment in our futures," Obama said. "It was with the help of Republicans that FDR was able to give millions of returning heroes, including my grandfather, the chance to go to college through the GI bill."

The president's remarks came just hours after he signed a 90-day extension of the federal transportation act, funding highways and other transit projects that would have run out of money on Saturday. The GOP House refused to consider a Senate bill, opposed by more conservative members, that would have provided two years of funding.


Suggest a correction

Around the Web

Federal highway funding extended for three months

Obama signs three-month extension of transportation bill

Congress stalls shutdown of federal highway program for 3 months as ...

Congress Extends Road Funds by 90 Days

Congress Extends Road Funds by 90 Days

White House: Obama 'pleased' with highway extension, still hopes for multiyear ...

DeFazio Pushes Lawmakers To Pass Transportation Bill

Obama Wants Lincoln's Vision to 'Rub Off' on GOP in Illinois

Obama Criticizes GOP for Abandoning Lincoln's Message