Would Abraham Lincoln be a Republican or Democrat today? President Obama seems to think he'd be a Democrat, as Obama suggested today that his green energy spending better reflects Lincoln's domestic agenda than the proposals of the Republican presidential candidates.
Obama opened his speech in Chicago today with a crack about the long Republican primary. "Apparently, things haven’t quite wrapped up on the other side. So there is actually some interest in the primary that we have here on Tuesday," Obama said to laughter. "And my message to all the candidates is, 'Welcome to the Land of Lincoln', because I'm thinking maybe some Lincoln will rub off on them while they are here."
The president then recalled some of Lincoln's domestic programs, such as launching the transcontinental program and investing in colleges, before associating his campaign mantra with the first Republican president.
"He understood that we are a people that take great pride in our self-reliance and our independence but that we are also one nation and one people, and that we rise or fall together," Obama said. "So I hope that while my counterparts on the other side enjoy the outstanding hospitality of the people of Illinois and spend some money here to promote our economy, I hope they also take a little bit of time to reflect on this great man, the first Republican President."
Obama invoked Lincoln to justify his spending on green energy research. "We have to make investments in basic research," he declared. "Lincoln understood that, you understand it. Nowhere is that truer, by the way, than in the area of energy . . . Now is the time to stop subsidizing an oil industry that’s rarely been more profitable. Double down on a clean energy industry that’s never been more promising -- solar and wind and biofuels -- homegrown, American energy."