By Sam Youngman - 09/26/11 04:37 AM EDT
President Obama broadened his attack on Republicans Sunday night, firing an indirect shot at Texas Gov. Rick Perry and condemning audience members at recent Republican debates.
At a fundraiser in San Jose, Calif., Obama said that some in the audience might be former Republicans "but are puzzled by what's happening to that party," and voters should back him if they believe in a "fact-based" America.
"It's true. You've got audiences cheering at the prospect of somebody dying because they don't have healthcare. And booing a service member in Iraq because they're gay."
The remarks represent some of the most direct and combative for Obama so far as he has struck out on the campaign trail in earnest following the July debt-ceiling debate and the August break.
Obama continued his critique of Republicans, saying of the boos in the audience at recent GOP debates: "That's not reflective of who we are."
"This is a choice about the fundamental direction of our country," the president said. "2008 was an important direction. 2012 is a more important election."