Obama: Choice Between Moving Ahead or Back

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — President Barack Obama told voters Thursday they can choose between the party that caused the economic meltdown and the one that's fixing it, seizing on a theme for the November midterms as he campaigned in Missouri and Nevada. [See a slideshow of 11 hot Senate and House races to watch this fall.]

"We don't have to guess how the other party will govern because we're still living with the results from the last time they governed," Obama said at a fundraiser for Missouri Democratic Senate hopeful Robin Carnahan in Kansas City.

"It's a choice between the policies that led us into this mess, and the policies that are taking us out of this mess," Obama said. "It's a choice between falling backward and moving forward."

Helped by recent gaffes by Republicans, Obama has arrived at the theme he's likely to use through November, as he campaigns more frequently and aggressively for Democratic candidates. Using newly sharpened language, the message Obama that hopes will resonate with voters presents a choice between electing the party that caused the economic crisis, or the one that's helping to fix it. [Find out who donates the most to your member of Congress.]

In the case of Carnahan, Missouri's secretary of state, Obama said she would support the policies that would take America forward and fix the economic mess. He said her likely opponent, GOP Rep. Roy Blunt, would drag the country backward by supporting the status quo policies that caused the economic problems.

Obama intended to sound the same notes at fundraisers later Thursday in Nevada for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is struggling in his fight for a fifth term.