- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 4, 2012

President Obama took a break Saturday from the combative, take-no-prisoners tone he’s adopted on the campaign stump recently to congratulate the U.S. Olympics team on its exploits in the London Games.

“These games remind us that for all our differences, we’re Americans first,” the president said in his weekly radio address. “And we could not be prouder of the men and women representing our country in London … “

The president joked that he was jealous of first lady Michelle Obama, who has been in London to watch some of the American team’s record-breaking performances firsthand.

“But like many of you, I caught as many events as I could, jumping off the couch for a close race, or a perfect vault,” he said. “I watched the wonderful young women of our gymnastics team recapture the team gold for America, and I was filled with pride watching Gabby Douglas win the all-around gold … I watched our swimmers win a haul of medals, and Michael Phelps become the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time.”

The president’s brief turn as cheerleader-in-chief wasn’t completely devoid of politics, though, as the remarks at one point seemed to echo one of Mr. Obama’s key campaign themes.

“We celebrate individual excellence, but recognize that only together can we accomplish great and important things we cannot accomplish alone,” Mr. Obama said.

In the weekly Republican address, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia urged the White House to get behind the GOP-led efforts to forge a long-term budget deal before automatic tax hikes and spending cuts kick in next year.

“I am hopeful that with the passage of a bipartisan bill to stop the tax hike in the House and with unemployment still above 8 percent that President Obama will return to the position that he embraced less than two years ago and agree that now is NOT the time to be raising taxes on small business job-creators and the hardworking taxpayers of this country,” the Virginia congressman said.

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