February 14th, 2009
11:15 AM ET
5 years ago

Schneider: Bipartisanship? What bipartisanship?

President Obama didn't find much bipartisanship over the stimulus bill or his pick for commerce secretary.
President Obama didn't find much bipartisanship over the stimulus bill or his pick for commerce secretary.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - "It is time for Congress to act, and I hope they act in a bipartisan fashion," President Obama said when he went to Peoria, Illnois, on Thursday to argue for his economic stimulus plan.

Congress acted. But bipartisan? Not so much.

The plan passed the House of Representatives without a single Republican vote, and got only a token number - three - of Republican votes in the Senate.

"All the talk about bipartisanship that we have heard over the last several months went down the drain," House Republican leader John Boehner complained on Friday.

Obama also ran into a wall in his effort to build a bipartisan cabinet when his choice for Secretary of Commerce, Republican Sen. Judd Gregg, withdrew his name from nomination.

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Filed under: Congress • President Obama • Stimulus bill
soundoff (253 Responses)
  1. Danny in Chicago

    Wake up Republicans!

    When you were sitting high in office praising the tasks of your man GW, we were paying attention to each other – rebuilding and reinventing America. From the bottom up we looked each other and ourselves in the eye and rediscovered who we are. THIS is change. You can go ahead and deny and obstruct, but we see right through you. We've changed – you haven't. You can't see that because you refuse to change. It only makes sense that you don't see because you refuse to accept where and who we are right now.

    A majority of us already know this – and now WE will reap the rewards.

    February 14, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  2. Griff

    "The Pile" is going down, not quite as high as previously..

    February 14, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. OBAMA2012

    my bad..i meant 592 million

    February 14, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Danny in Chicago

    Well said 'A More Perfect Union'

    You are very right about that!

    February 14, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. Coherent1

    @ Lew Bransford: I know this is your new American Dream, now isn't it?

    February 14, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    Hey Republicans! Instead of doing anything productive, why don't you all just sit there and pi$$ and moan about every little thing! Sound like a plan?

    February 14, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  7. Nadine

    Yeah President Obama. You at least tried to appeal to the Republicans to be bipartisan. They are showing you how narrow minded they are and their lack of respect to your Presidency helps me to understand how Bush every got elected. I mean they are using Karl Rowe again to aid in the GOP tactics:General Obstructive People. Thank God you have a mind of your own and are not a zombie being lead by souless, idiots like Boehner. Good luck GOP in 2010.

    February 14, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  8. jaye

    The republicans have no intention of working with our new president...
    Obama wants to get our country back on track, and the republicans want to keep running it through the ground.
    I laugh out loud everytime I hear the republicans talking about fiscal responsibility – it was the republicans that took a one trillion dollar surplus (left by Bill Clinton) and turned it into a trillion plus (even more if the truth were known) deficit.
    The republicans have run out of ideas and are doing their best to see that Obama fails.
    Obama will not fail – he'll keep on keeping on doing what's best for our country – while the republicans rot in their own sewage.

    February 14, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  9. Fatima

    bipartisanship is two-way. It takes two "to hand-shake", "to dialogue" or "tango" The republicans are behaving like 2-year olds who complain "No one wants to play with me :-(". Instead of being part of the dialogue, they were giving monologues, or going on CNBC and the likes to "air their differences on the air". They took themselves out of the game and now, they can't complain about it.

    Bu for the 3 brave GOP senators, who showed lots of courage, integrity to stand up for what they believe in, the rest of them caved in to the right. I won't be surprised if a new party which stands for the "ideals of LIncoln" without the "baggage of religious right" comes out out of this mess.

    February 14, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Dan

    Unfortunately our President is a liar and most radical. He should take in Ayers, Rev. Wright and others in his cabinet. He has dol our country today with this stimulus bill. He is paying welfare to Americans who will prefer to stay at home and get money from the Government. There will be no entrepreneurship. I challenge the President on this and his motive behind this stimulus bill. He wants to give food stamps and dole to people so that he/democrats can get votes but the reality will set in soon. Do not blame Republicans this time because they are right and Barack is wrong.

    February 14, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. benreal1@hotmail.com

    America has won and there are more victories to come for America.

    Now we all understand that we can not waste 1 trillion in Iraq and back home bridges, roads, schools, economy are all crumbling.

    Investing in America is always a victory.

    Thank GOD for President OBAMA for his refreshing leadership.

    CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN

    February 14, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  12. Dan

    Unfortunately our President is a liar and most radical. He should take in Ayers, Rev. Wright and others in his cabinet. He has done big harm to our country today with this stimulus bill. He is paying welfare to Americans who will prefer to stay at home and get money from the Government. There will be no entrepreneurship. I challenge the President on this and his motive behind this stimulus bill. He wants to give food stamps and dole to people so that he/democrats can get votes but the reality will set in soon. Do not blame Republicans this time because they are right and Barack is wrong.

    February 14, 2009 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  13. realtimes

    Bipartisanship is overrated.

    The Detroit Lions are not going to bring back Matt Millen to have a "balanced" discussion about how to move forward.

    See, that's the thing about gross incompetance and being relieved of your position of power for exhibiting it.

    If republicans want to swat away the olive branch then fine. The problem is better fixed without their flawed imput.

    February 14, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. Larry, Apex, North Carolina

    What more can President Obama do to promote bipartisanship? The greedy Repubs are pouting because they are not in power; they are such transparent pigs. They care NOTHING about the country-they only care about their power and money. Because of their attitudes and actions, I am turning against bipartisanship-bury these Republicans and elect people that will work for the GOOD of the country!

    February 14, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  15. Vito

    he is being bipartisan! the republicans just won't take no for an answer! they are little children!

    February 14, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Jon Davis

    "Obama has made a genuine effort at bipartisanship, and it's been rejected..."

    Agreed. In 2008, George W. Bush won (if we consider being elected by the Supreme Court "winning" in spite of the fact Bush lost the election) by the slimmest of margins...and Republicans then set about imposing their rules with NO regard for the majority of Americans and without the slightest hint of bipartisanship.

    Democrats, however, chose NOT to fight Bush's illegal election in 2000 for the sake of the country. Too bad Republicans would rather see our country destroyed, so they can win back power and rob us blind, than they would work with Democrats to re-build the country.

    February 14, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  17. Tony in Maine

    For the past 12 years, bipartisan has meant doing it the Republican way. Even when the Democrats had a slim majority in the Senate in 2006, Republicans blocked everything and then said the Dems were a "do nothing" majority.

    I understand that Obama is a consensus builder. I understand that it would be healthier for the country if there were true bipartisanship, but with McConnell Boehner, Cantor and Kyl parading to the microphones to whine that they weren't getting their way, true bipartisanship is impossible.

    I suspect that were the DEmocrats to give in completely and extend and increase the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, even then the Republicans would weep for the cameras. They were told to obstruct and obstruct they must – for as Jimmy carter said, they are robots following their masters' commands.

    February 14, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. JB

    Bipartisanship-In a two-party system, bipartisan refers to any bill, act, resolution, or any other action of a political body in which both of the major political parties are in agreement.

    Bipartisanship DOES NOT mean "we are doing this, and you better agree". Talk about disingenuous.

    February 14, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. mark

    The repubicans have some nerve talking about ACCOUNTABILITY....HAHHA!! WHAT A JOKE!

    When they were in control, they didn't want to hear any of that. Now that the President is black, they want to follow his every move.

    Well the President is saying "Go right ahead"... It's only going to show how stupid they were for voting against it, then will be the end of the repubican party. Those trash people at the Palin rallies are the worst people in the world. Worst than terrorist. They are so dumb and ignorant that they vote against their own poor selves. As pencil hannity would say, "AMAZING". Who cares about Judd the Dudd quitting. It's only because he learned he won't have the power to manipulate the census while cheating millions of minorities every election.

    HEY Repubicans! President Obama is a lot smarter than you are! He will squash all the corruption and manipulation that guides your party principles. Half of babies under age 5 are black right now. Get used to it or get out. This country will be fair to all people from now on. I feel good every day when I think about this.

    February 14, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  20. SarahWho

    It's been 8 long, long years to finally see the repugnant neo's, who have done everything possible to destroy this country, get kicked in the you-know-what's!! Wonderful!

    February 14, 2009 12:36 pm at 12:36 pm |
  21. Meka

    PRESIDENT OBAMA PUSHES BIPARTISANSHIP=WORKING TOGETHER!

    BUT AS REPUBLICAN'S CONTINUE TO DO=DYSFUNCTIONAL DESTRUCTIVE BEHAVIOR!

    CONGRESS TERM LIMITS . . . 12 YEAR, NO RETIREMENT!

    February 14, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  22. Nick

    One can try only so much to build bi-partisanship. The republicans chose to put the demands of the religious right and the party bickering over the best interests of the country. They could have had a dialogue over the package like the 3 GOP senators (Arlene Spector, Susan Collins and Olympa Snow) did. Instead, they chose to sulk and not take part in the dialogue like "2 year old brats".

    I don't believe in everything in the package like others. But, I sincerely believe it is better to have some plan and not to have a plan at all. I believe in giving "helping hand" by giving tax credits, extending unemployment benefits to people in need is more important than giving billions to the likes of BofA so that the executives can give themselves big bonuses.

    February 14, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  23. Fritz

    If someone says they will act in good faith to achieve bipartisanship, and the other side negotiates in bad faith – is it really the first person's fault that the results do not look bipartisan?

    February 14, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  24. C W

    If there's no bipartisanship in Washington, it's not because President Obama hasn't done his best to make it happen. The blame lies with the Republicans and no one else.

    Bush thumped his nose at everyone and everthing. People used to think this was a sign of a leader; we found out the hard way just what an ignorant, stubborn, weak person he really is (because what else do you call someone unable to admit their mistakes?).

    Schneider needs to grow up and quit whining – change takes time. And I, for one, stand firmly behind our President in his efforts.

    At the end of the day, I will be part of the solution, and not part of the problem.

    February 14, 2009 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  25. mike

    Bipartisan doesn't mean doing what Obama, Reid and Pelosi want. The Dems have been partisan and obstructionsts since 2006.

    February 14, 2009 12:41 pm at 12:41 pm |
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