Obama Criticizes GOP for Abandoning Lincoln's Message

Obama told supporters he hopes GOP candidates think about Lincoln's message while they are in Illinois.

By + More

At one of five fundraisers on Obama's schedule Friday, the president took the opportunity in Chicago to jab his GOP competitors.

"Now, you might have noticed that we have some guests in Illinois this week," he said. "Apparently, things haven't quite wrapped up on the other side." [Photo Gallery: Obama Behind the Scenes]

Obama told the audience that while his GOP competitors were campaigning in Illinois, they should put aside their "avalanche of attack ads" and focus on the vision of the first Republican president, Abraham Lincoln.

"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 said.

Obama argued that unlike the Republicans of today who preach about the importance of less federal government, and more self reliance, Lincoln understood that "we are also one nation and one people and that we rise or fall together."

Obama called attention not only to Lincoln's saving of the union, but also explained how the Republican president intervened to build the transcontinental railroad, set up the first land grant colleges and created the National Academy of Sciences. [See some of the president's biggest backers.]

"Lincoln, the first Republican President, knew that if we as a nation through our federal government didn't act to facilitate these things, then they likely wouldn't happen, and as a result, we'd all be worse off."

  • Photo Gallery: Obama on the Assembly Line.
  • Obama Doc Raises Ire of GOP.
  • See political cartoons about President Obama.