By Amie Parnes - 04/25/12 02:15 PM EDT
President Obama cast the Republican Party as out of touch with the country in a wide-ranging interview with Rolling Stone magazine.
Obama sought to portray the GOP and its presumptive presidential nominee, Mitt Romney, as staunchly conservative, saying a profound shift in the Republican Party would provide voters with the sharpest contrast between candidates in a generation.
“You have a Republican Party and a presumptive Republican nominee that believes in drastically rolling back environmental regulations, that believes in drastically rolling back collective-bargaining rights, that believes in an approach to deficit reduction in which taxes are cut further for the wealthiest Americans, and spending cuts are entirely borne by things like education or basic research or care for the vulnerable,” Obama said in the interview released Wednesday. “All this will be presumably written into their platform and reflected in their convention.”
“I don't think their nominee is going to be able to suddenly say, ‘Everything I've said for the last six months, I didn't mean,’ ” Obama said. “I'm assuming he meant it. When you're running for president, people are paying attention to what you're saying.”
Romney put the finishing touches on his primary win Tuesday night be easily winning five more contests. In a speech, he said Obama would try to distract voters with “a campaign of diversions, distractions and distortions,” but predicted it would not work because of unease over Obama’s economic policies.
“That kind of campaign may have worked at another place over in a different time. But not here and not now. It’s still about the economy, and we’re not stupid,” Romney said.
Obama said he will have to continue to explain the progress that his administration has made on the economy to win reelection. “There's understandable skepticism because things are still tough out there,” he said.
Obama also weighed in on his relationship with GOP leadership on Capitol Hill, saying it's “not frosty.”
“This isn't personal,” Obama said. “When John Boehner and I sit down, I enjoy a conversation with him. I don't think he's a bad person. I think he's patriotic.”
But he suggested the GOP is also out of touch with the country.
“I think that Republicans up on the Hill care about this country, but they have a very ideologically rigid view of how to move this country forward, and a lot of how they approach issues is defined by ‘Will this help us defeat the president?’ As opposed to ‘Will this move the country forward?’ ” he said.
Obama also weighed in on race, saying the country is making “slow and steady progress.”
On a lighter note, the president admitted that he does catch “The Daily Show” from time to time, calling host Jon Stewart “brilliant.”
“It's amazing to me the degree to which he's able to cut through a bunch of nonsense,” he said.
He also said he likes the show “Homeland” because of its “complicated characters” and enjoyed the George Clooney movie "The Descendants," “because it was going home” to Hawaii.
The so called crooner-in-chief also admitted that he does indeed have pipes, as he demonstrated earlier this year when he sang a rendition of Al Green's “Let's Stay Together.”
“I can sing,” Obama said. “I wasn't worried about being able to hit those notes.”