Skip to comments.Obama, Republicans clash in unusual session (Tip: Obama dislikes GOP attitude)
Posted on 01/30/2010 8:40:43 AM PST by yoe
President Barack Obama on Friday engaged in a rare face-to-face showdown with Republican critics and testily accused them of trying to block his policies while urging them to "join with me" in creating jobs.
The contentious 82-minute session showed the depth of the political divide that separates Democrats who control the U.S. Congress and Republicans who feel their ideas on the economy and healthcare are ignored.
That Obama agreed to not only address his opponents but take their questions live on cable television was a sign of how he is trying to dig out of his deepest political rut since taking office a year ago.
Facing his Republican critics two days after a State of the Union speech aimed at reconnecting with the public, Obama sought to counter his rivals' attempt to paint him as a big-spending liberal who only wants to expand government.
He accused Republicans of portraying his now-stalled healthcare reform effort as a "Bolshevik plot" and telling their constituents he is "doing all kinds of crazy stuff that's going to destroy America."
"I am not an ideologue," Obama insisted to his audience, prompting some murmuring of disagreement in the crowd. "I'm not."
Assailing Republicans for trying to obstruct him on everything from economic stimulus to healthcare, Obama suggested their political motive was to score points with voters in the November congressional elections.
"These are serious times and what's required of all of us is to do what's right for our country, even if it's not best for our politics," Obama said.
STATEMENTS OF BELIEFS
The event was the annual retreat of Republican members of the House of Representatives. They tried Obama's patience on a number of occasions by asking questions that were basically statements of their beliefs.
An example came from Representative Jeb Hensarling, who asked: "Will that new budget, like your old budget, triple the national debt and continue to take us down the path of increasing the cost of government to almost 25 percent of our economy? That's the question, Mr. President."
Obama complained that "the whole question was structured as a talking point for running a campaign."
With his own poll numbers down and his presidency faltering after his first year, Obama has launched a drive this week to show Americans that he understands their economic pain.
A shocking Republican win last week in an election to the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts has cast much of Obama's agenda in doubt and jolted him into reshaping priorities to address the public's frustration about 10 percent unemployment. He used his State of the Union speech to declare jobs his top concern.
Obama's foray among his critics seemed unlikely to forge much bipartisan cooperation, although there was the possibility of unity on such issues like spending cuts and permitting construction of nuclear power plants.
Republicans sense a chance to seize on the sour public mood to make electoral gains against Democrats who control Congress in November elections.
House Republican leader John Boehner said after the session that he thought the dialogue went well and that he hoped the president saw that there are some areas on which they can agree if Democrats will only listen.
For Obama, however, it was also a chance to try to frame the congressional campaign debate on his own terms.
NO MINCED WORDS
Taking on his opponents, Obama did not mince words.
He slammed blanket Republican opposition to a $787 billion economic stimulus plan passed by the Democratic-led Congress last year, saying despite that opposition, some Republican lawmakers appeared at ribbon-cutting ceremonies for projects in their districts funded by the program.
And he insisted that Friday's government report of 5.7 percent economic growth for the fourth quarter showed his efforts to jump-start the economy were working.
While acknowledging double-digit unemployment could not be tolerated, Obama also reminded the lawmakers of the high joblessness and huge budget deficit he had inherited from his Republican predecessor, George W. Bush.
Lawmakers applauded Obama politely and gave him a respectful hearing, but they challenged his policies openly during a contentious question-and-answer session.
The president, known for his "No-drama Obama" demeanor, grew testier as the session wore on.
When Georgia congressman Tom Price charged that Obama had repeatedly accused Republicans of offering "no ideas and no solutions," Obama shot back, "I don't think I said that."
But Obama also appealed to Republicans to work to find common ground and show Americans their parties can move beyond partisan rancor that he has promised to end in Washington.
He cited a bank bailout tax, closing tax loopholes for firms that ship jobs overseas and a three-year spending freeze on some domestic programs for potential agreement.
"Join with me," he said. "Let's do this together, Republicans and Democrats."
That is an open invitation for Republicans to eventually get the blame for destroying America.
This man is not just slippery, he is slimy! Republicans want no part of his Marxist plans....they are still Americans....CONTINUING SITTING ON YOUR HANDS REPUBLICANS AND INDEPENDENTS.... the Progressives are doing just fine in hanging themselves, they don't need our help!
“Join with me,” he said. “Let’s do this together, Republicans and Democrats.”
Means do it MY WAY
I thought the guy was more lecturing to a class than acting as a president trying to find common ground.
This all stems back to two years ago when he told the editorial board at a newspaper in San Francisco that he was going to destroy electrical energy production in America (the "bankrupt coal users/producers" thing). The news crept out slowly.
He started the downward trend that clearly began in January 2008. By late July 2008 he had the nomination locked and the catastrophe took a real dive and by October the DOW had dropped like a rock from 14,500 to 8,500 ~ which is one of the biggest, fastest declines in American history, and certainly the biggest in dollar value!
He has yet to build any confidence in his non-solutions.
Best that he and his cronies simply resign and hand the Congress and the Presidency over to the Republicans.
MY GOODNESS! IT WOULD BE NICE TO SEE AN OCCASIONAL THREAD ABOUT SOMEONE OTHER THAN THAT DAMNA OBAMA.
Hussein took time out of his busy schedule of destroying the United States economy to speak down to a group of drooling ingrates.
a different thread that should be available is the Reviving the Constitution Seminar An Online Townhall sponsored by Hillsdale College Hillsdale, MI
Right out of Alinsky. When faced with opposition, you put the pedal to the metal.
Roger that. How was it he put it last year....oh yeah, "Shut up and get out of the way"
“House Republican leader John Boehner said after the session that he thought the dialogue went well and that he hoped the president saw that there are some areas on which they can agree if Democrats will only listen.”
Jackass John played right into Obama’s hands.
That is an open invitation for Republicans to eventually get the blame for destroying America.
I saw some Utah congressmen saying he was glad with the dialogue too.
he keeps recycling the script from Michael Douglas in An American President
The whole thing was posturing and the GOP walked right into his trap when they agreed to have camera’s record the event... notice he isn’t allowing camera’s when he meets the dims..
Why did the Republicans even agree to gather for this dog and pony show?
Even Politifact, which works overtime to try to spin things for democrats, had to admit that Price’s claim was true.
And we do not like your policies and intent to destroy America. ‘Take that and smoke it’.
It’s becoming increasingly clear to anyone paying attention that Obama is fast losing touch with SANITY...
He’s angry, his fragile ego has been bruised, and he’s lashing out, looking for anyone else but him to blame.
“The whole thing was posturing and the GOP walked right into his trap when they agreed to have cameras record the event... notice he isnt allowing cameras when he meets the dims..”
They don’t call us the Stupid Party for nothing.
A plan so bassackward that even the scurviest RINO hesitates to get on board, has to be a record.
Its becoming increasingly clear to anyone paying attention that Obama is fast losing touch with SANITY...
Hes angry, his fragile ego has been bruised, and hes lashing out, looking for anyone else but him to blame.”””
I watched how much NObama was tightly pressing his lips together.
I thought he would break the skin and start bleeding a couple of times.
Sure was not able to disguise his anger very well, was he.??
He may lie but cameras don’t. That candid camera is almost sure to be a part of Bummer’s undoing and I ain’t so sure the GOP got suckered. Wouldn’t it be rich for the whole Republican side of the aisle to stand up and chant “you lie” at the appropriate time?
Obama should have left there visibly shaken. I doubt he did.
Obama&Co. own congress,senate and WH and yet he can’t get squat done so he’s sucking up to the republicans for some help FUBO.
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