President Obama is on the road for the second day of a swing-state tour touting his long-term economic plan. But he’ll have a tough time breaking through the din of Todd Akin’s ongoing meltdown.
Obama is focusing chiefly on education, where his re-election team is promoting a new ad calling out Mitt Romney for minimizing the importance of class size (although Obama’s education secretary has made similar remarks as Romney). He’s also going after Paul Ryan for broad discretionary spending cuts that could trim federal education dollars.
“Gov. Romney likes to talk about his time as an investor as one of the bases for his candidacy, but his economic plan makes clear he doesn’t think your future is worth investing in — and I do,” Obama said in a speech at a community college in Reno, Nev. on Tuesday. “That’s what’s at stake in this election.”
On Wednesday, Obama is starting his day with an education roundtable in Las Vegas, followed by a speech that the campaign says will highlight his vision for “how to grow the economy, create middle-class jobs, pay down the debt and invest in quality, affordable education.”
Few Democrats would complain about Akin’s refusal to exit his Senate race in Missouri after being disowned by virtually every national GOP leader, a story they’ve actively egged on in the press themselves. Nonetheless, the feeding frenzy surrounding the story right as the GOP ramps up to its convention should make it difficult for Obama to break through the noise.
But if he does, Obama may be able to combine the two story-lines. Long before Akin became a household name for his false claim that women have biological defenses against pregnancy from rape, Obama called out his comments attacking federal aid to college students.
“You have got one member of Congress who compared these student loans, I am not kidding here, to a stage three cancer of socialism,” Obama told a crowd in Iowa in April. “Stage three cancer. I don’t know where to start. What do you mean? What are you talking about? Come on. Just when you think you heard it all in Washington, somebody comes up with a new way to go off the deep end.”
Benjy Sarlin is a reporter for Talking Points Memo and co-writes the campaign blog, TPM2012. He previously reported for The Daily Beast/Newsweek as their Washington Correspondent and covered local politics for the New York Sun.