Obama will travel to Osawatomie, Kansas to make the remarks — the site of the progressive Republican Roosevelt’s “New Nationalism” speech in 1910.
The White House confirmed the Roosevelt connection in a press release, stating, “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.”
Obama will “talk about how he sees this as a make-or-break moment for the middle class and all those working to join it,” the statement said. “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.”
Business Insider, which described it as “a huge class warfare speech,” has more on the Obama-Roosevelt connection:
Roosevelt‘s ’New Nationalism’ speech on August 31, 1910 called for new government reforms to level the playing field for average Americans against a class of industrial barons.
“The essence of any struggle for healthy liberty has always been, and must always be, to take from some one man or class of men the right to enjoy power, or wealth, or position, or immunity, which has not been earned by service to his or their fellows,” Roosevelt said. “That is what you fought for in the Civil War, and that is what we strive for now.”
Roosevelt called out special interests who pulled the strings of government — a message we’ll likely hear Obama adopt.
“Class warfare” became a buzzword in September after Obama proposed the “Buffett rule” tax rate on the wealthy. As Republican opposition rang in, Obama responded by declaring, “This is not class warfare. It’s math.” He shifted positions just two days later, saying of the class warfare jab, “I wear that charge as a badge of honor.”