Republicans who would rather defeat Barack Obama than fix the national budget woes have latched onto a false campaign theme: The president is not patriotic, they say.

Mitt Romney says Obama considers America “just another nation” in comparison to Ronald Reagan’s description of “a shining city on a hill.”

Rick Perry says the president goes around “making excuses for America.”

Newt Gingrich wondered out loud “what country does President Obama think he is president of.”

One role of the president of the United States is to be its chief cheerleader, but that doesn’t mean that he must wear blinders. Give us a man with a clear view of this nation, warts and all, rather than someone who proclaims that everything is always great.

In October, Obama talked about the importance of investing in ways to build the economy and said, “We used to have the best stuff. Anybody been to Beijing Airport lately? Well, we’ve lost our ambition, our imagination and our willingness to do the things that built the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam.”

Republicans pounced on that statement as an insult to America, but they haven’t produced any evidence to show he was wrong.

You can’t fix problems without declaring what the problems are. It’s not unpatriotic to point out our flaws; in fact, it’s more patriotic than pretending that there are no flaws.

— The Paris Post-Intelligencer, Tennessee, Dec. 5

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.