CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus said Thursday at a West Virginia GOP fundraiser in Charleston that President Obama has a "problem with the American Dream" and urged West Virginia voters to help facilitate his ouster in November.
"We're not dealing with your daddy's Democrat in the White House," Priebus said. "This might seem a little harsh, but I think the president has a problem with the American Dream."
Priebus, delivering what was an apparent barb to Obama's calls for taxes on the wealthy, told a childhood anecdote about how his working-class father would point out apparently expensive Wisconsin homes and encourage him to work hard enough to buy his own someday.
"I think [Obama's] got a problem with success," Priebus said. "Or he's willing to use that to divide this country and win an election."
Thursday's fundraising dinner at the Charleston Marriott Town Center, which state Republican Party officials say sold out of about 400 tickets within a few days of the event being advertised, featured Priebus along with U.S. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
McConnell railed against Obama's so-called "war on coal" and stumped for Republican U.S. Senate challenger John Raese, who is squaring off for a second time against Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
McConnell, citing the president's stimulus spending, health care and student loan plans, said Obama's has been the "most meddlesome, intrusive administration in history."
Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said that Obama's student loan plan in particular are unsustainable. The Obama administration has doubled spending on Pell grants and the president supports loan forgiveness after a debtor has paid 10 percent of a loan for 25 years.
McConnell said Obama's policies have focused on giving the United States a financial structure similar to socialistic European countries and cautioned that the government has grown too large.
"In every society you have people in the wagon and you have people pulling the wagon," the senator said, referring to the financial problems that plagued Greece after the government in that country descended into a massive debt crisis that has reverberated throughout the continent. "But if you put too many people in the wagon, pretty soon you can't pull it."
Raese said Manchin has cast 87 percent of his Senate votes in favor of Obama policies and again appealed to West Virginia voters to break the Democratic grip on the Senate.
"We need a new president, we need a new senator, and we need a new result in this country," Raese said.
Reach Zac Taylor at Zachary.Tay...@wvgazette.com or 304-348-5189.