Blah, blah, blah: Obama blames Republicans for continued economic morass, falls back on his failed “hope and change” campaign rhetoric…

President Barack Obama, in a combative, campaign-like speech in Parma, Ohio, conceded that his policies have “fed the perception that Washington is still ignoring the middle class,” even as he castigated Republican opponents for “riding…fear and anger all the way to Election Day.”

The speech, at Cuyahoga Community College, was billed as a major economic address to unveil a new round of proposals to kick-start a flagging economic recovery. The president did introduce three new policy proposals the White House has been rolling out for nearly a week: $50 billion in additional infrastructure spending, a permanent and expanded research and experimentation tax credit and a measure allowing businesses to write 100% of their investment costs off their taxes through 2011.

In a combative speech, Obama conceded his policies have “fed the perception that Washington is still ignoring the middle class,” even as he castigated Republicans for “riding…fear and anger all the way to Election Day.”

But Mr. Obama’s speech was far more about politics than economics.

“If we’re willing again to choose hope over fear, to choose the future over the past, to come together once more around the great project of national renewal, then we will restore our economy, rebuild our middle class and reclaim the American dream for the next generation,” he said, striking the same cadences that buoyed his presidential bid.

He fell back on campaign themes that propelled his 2008 surge: his grandfather’s World War II fight, his father-in-law’s struggle to work with multiple sclerosis and his work “in the shadow of a shuttered steel plant on the South Side of Chicago.”

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