Obama on 'The View': Americans Want to Thrive, Not Survive Under Romney

President Barack Obama stopped by ABC's "The View" on Tuesday to talk about important issues affecting America – and said that while it wouldn't be a disaster, electing candidate Mitt Romney to the presidency would only allow people to survive and not thrive.

Responding to a question by host Barbara Walters, Obama said:

"Well, you know I think America is so strong, and we've got so much going for us that we can survive a lot. But the American people don't want to just survive, we want everyone to thrive, we want folks to have a shot at success, and so the question then just becomes, whose policies are more likely to lead us to where we want to go?"

Addressing other key issues affecting America, Obama slammed Romney for saying that it is fair that he pays a lower tax rate than someone earning $50,000 a year – citing that he believes such a situation allows for people at the top to invest more and create jobs for Americans.

"I've just got a different vision about how we grow an economy," Obama said. "I think, Barbara, that you grow an economy from the middle out, not from the top down, and that when the teacher and the bus driver and the receptionist and the office manager -- when they've got a little money in their pockets, when they're doing well, then that means business has more customers, that business makes more profits, they hire more workers, and that's been the history of our country, we grow fastest when the middle class is doing well and when folks who are trying to get into the middle class have ladders of opportunity."

The president also gave a speech on Tuesday at the U.N. General Assembly, addressing the killing of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the violence that has spread throughout the Middle East over an anti-Muslim film posted on YouTube. While praising Stevens' character and service to his country, Obama warned that the United States plans to stand firm in its commitment to religious freedom and free speech, and will not give into calls by Middle Eastern countries to create a global blasphemy law.

At the same time Obama was criticized for choosing to make an appearance on "The View" rather than meet with other world leaders one-on-one at the U.N.

"Our embassies were attacked – and he called YouTube. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu requested a meeting – and he does 'The View' instead. The American people, and our allies, deserve better from the President, including today at the U.N.," said Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio).

White House spokesman Jay Carney defended the president's schedule on Monday, however, noting: "The president just in recent weeks has had intensive consultations with leaders in the region, with the leaders of Turkey, of Egypt, of Israel, of Yemen, of Libya, of Afghanistan, and that process will continue."

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