The world is "on fire," Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown warned Saturday, and President Obama's lack of leadership is only making matters worse.
Brown, a former senator from Massachusetts who's now running for a seat in New Hampshire, cited the rise of extremists with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, the crisis in Ukraine sparked by Russia's territorial incursions, the fighting between Israelis and Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Iran's nuclear program, among other points of concern.
"So many challenges, so many threats and problems, and all at the same time," he said in the weekly Republican address. "Yet the Obama administration seems only more confused as things unravel. This is what the world looks like without American leadership."
Fortunately, Brown suggested, a solution to the chaos abroad could come from the ballot box at home. "Elect Republicans," he said, "and we will set this country on a better, safer path."
Brown is running against incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who he's repeatedly accused of being a rubber stamp for the president's policies.
"It's hardly surprising that national security is a central issue in this election," he said. "I believe our state deserves an independent senator who will put party loyalty aside and put our national interests first, each and every time, rather than simply voting with President Obama 99 percent of the time."
Brown stressed the importance of securing the border as a national security issue.
"ISIS thugs have been threatening for months to send people here to kill Americans unless their demands are met," he said. "Well, a porous border is an obvious pathway for terrorists to get in here. And yet, all we've heard from the administration is more talk of amnesty, by executive decree and right after the election."
The president, citing the failure of Congress to pass an immigration bill, has said he'll move forward with as many reform proposals as he can under his executive authority, but he's said he'll wait to act until after the midterm elections in November.
Brown also urged a reversal of "the defense drawdown of the Obama years," warning that "massive" personnel reductions in the military could take a big bite out of America's defense capabilities.
Brown and Shaheen are locked in a tight race, with most polls reflecting a small lead for the Democrat. A CBS News/New York Times analysis this month, for example, found Shaheen ahead, 48 to 41 percent. Republicans need a net gain of six seats to seize the Senate majority.
In his own address Saturday, President Obama again urged Congress to raise the minimum wage, and he criticized Republicans for opposing a wage hike.
"Ask yourself: could you live on $14,500 a year?" he said. "That's what someone working full-time on the minimum wage makes. If they're raising kids, that's below the poverty line. And that's not right. A hard day's work deserves a fair day's pay."
The president urged lawmakers to raise the federal minimum wage, which currently stands at $7.25 per hour, to $10.10 per hour to give working families a boost.