Obama looks to channel Teddy Roosevelt in Kansas

President Obama will travel to Osawatomie, Kansas, to talk about his plans to revive the struggling economy.


President Obama will look to channel President Theodore Roosevelt on Tuesday as he continues to try to present himself as a champion of the middle class and Republicans as defenders of the rich and entrenched special interests.

Obama will travel to Osawatomie, Kansas and a White House press release indicates the site was chosen in part because Roosevelt once spoke there.

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“Just over one hundred years ago, President Teddy Roosevelt came to Osawatomie, Kansas and called for a New Nationalism, where everyone gets a fair chance, a square deal, and an equal opportunity to succeed,” the White House release states.

“The President will talk about how he sees this as a make-or-break moment for the middle class and all those working to join it.  He’ll lay out the choice we face between a country in which too few do well while too many struggle to get by, and one where we’re all in it together – where everyone engages in fair play, everyone does their fair share, and everyone gets a fair shot,” it states.

The White House is touring the country as part of an effort to pressure Congress to pass elements of the president's jobs plan, which includes a payroll tax holiday. Obama has been blasting the GOP for refusing to extend this tax break while resisting a Democratic attempt to pay for it by a surtax on millionaires.

Roosevelt, a progressive Republican, established his legacy by busting up the monopolies of the robber baron millionaires of the Gilded Age. The Rough Rider president also embodied a manly fighting spirit that Obama's supporters pray he is able to emulate as he seeks reelection in a weak economy.

President Obama last year said he was reading the Edmund Morris biography "The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt."

The office of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) said Saturday that Obama was cribbing from Cantor's speeches while failing to pursue policies that increase opportunity.

"Interestingly, Majority Leader Cantor has been talking about ensuring a fair shot for all Americans for the past year," Cantor staffer Brian Patrick said. "The policies pursued by each man reveals the difference. The President is pursuing government ensured equality of outcome, while Leader Cantor’s policy vision is geared toward leveling the playing field for all Americas and providing equal opportunity so that all individuals can earn their success."