February 15th, 2009
02:00 PM ET
8 years ago

Republican senators slam Obama's early efforts at bipartisanship

Sen. John McCain says the Obama administration is off to a bad beginning.

Sen. John McCain says the Obama administration is off to a bad beginning.

(CNN) - Top Republican lawmakers Sunday called on President Obama to change his political strategy, arguing that the passage of a massive stimulus bill on a party-line vote showed he has failed to deliver the "change" he promised.

"If this is going to be bipartisanship, the country's screwed," Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, told ABC's "This Week." "I know bipartisanship when I see it."

Sen. John McCain, R-Arizona, said Obama was off to "a bad beginning," out of step with the vow of bipartisanship both men made after Obama beat out the Republican presidential nominee for the White House in November.

"It was a bad beginning because it wasn't what we promised the American people, what President Obama promised the American people, that we would sit down together," McCain told CNN's "State of the Union With John King."

The $787 billion bill made it through Congress with the support of three Republicans - Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snow of Maine and Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania. Obama is expected to sign the bill Tuesday in Denver, Colorado.

"This is not 'change we can believe in,' " Graham, a member of the Senate Banking Committee, told ABC. He said Democrats "rammed it through the House" after starting out "with the idea, 'We won - we write the bill.' "

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Filed under: economic stimulus • GOP • President Obama • State of the Union
soundoff (623 Responses)
  1. John from San Diego

    The GOP are whiny losers that would have the USA fail since that what it will take for them get return to power. The lines they are spouting now are no different that what they were saying when Clinton took office, and how right were they back then?

    I wish the media didn't give more time to the GOP than people from the Democratic Party. People still recite the fairy tale of the "Libural Media".

    February 15, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  2. Montana is Obama Country

    Coming from the Guy who said..."The Fundamentals of the Economy ARE Strong"...

    McBlame Sounds Bitter, Angry ,....AND...OLD...!!

    February 15, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. sammy

    It will take a long time to know for sure, but if this stimulus package gets big credit for helping a revitalized economy then the republicans will look pretty bad. Railing against it now and predicting doom and gloom is pretty amateurish politically and a big roll of the dice. They should be a bit more cautious and take a "I hope for the best" attitude instead.

    February 15, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  4. alvino

    I hope the American people slam the republicans for failing to act on behalf of all of us.

    February 15, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  5. BigDaddyTod

    Could it be the repubs are the ones not wanting bipartisanship? If the repubs really had a better plan for the stimulus then they should have put it out there for the Americans to look at.

    February 15, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  6. Otto

    It is time John McCain go away for good. The GOP wants tax cuts for their rich friends as they have done during the Bush administration.
    It is the GOP that failed and there will be reckoning come 2010. I can wait for 2010 when the GOP will be banished to the black forest.

    February 15, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  7. Ron - IV, NV

    The Hooverites (GOP congress members) are not interested in anything other than the same ideas that got us into this mess. They are rooting the same way they did when FDR took office. They are hoping that things get incredibly worse so they can point the finger and say we told you so. The Hooverites care less about fixing the USA. They only are interested in being returned to power and their personal points of view. Too bad for all those opposed who may be suffering.

    February 15, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. Shilo

    Well I didn't expect anything else from democtats....and from what I'm reading its going to be a revolution or a very short 4 years if this backfires

    February 15, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  9. M Paul

    We had this debate last year before November. Obama won the election because american people didn't like what sent them to hell. To see Senators McCain and Gram using their seats as platform for obstruction, is more than telling. These two twins of deception were cheerleaders in Senate anytime Bush was sending bills up there. What else McCain can introduce to the american people that will erase the image of the past miserables 8 years?

    February 15, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  10. Phillip Bunn

    John McCain voted for the "Bush" stimulus without batting a wrinkled eye. But NOW he says "that ain't the way." McCain continues to show his weakness in losing the Presidental race by reacting like a senile, old man. Shame on you! John, you were once a hero. Quit and go home before you manage to remove every ounce of dignity you have left. And if you have enough strength to endure the trip, please take "Blanko Barbee" with you.

    February 15, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  11. Tom

    I think it would be an excellect time for McCain and Graham to retire. Their biased rhetoric is unwelcome at this dark time of the post Bush/Cheney nightmare.

    February 15, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  12. Ricky

    Listen GOP! Listen McCain! You LOST! DO YOU GET IT? EVIDENTLY YOU DON'T! You are in the compromising position now!...Wake up it's no longer 8 years ago...It is now 8 years later Rip Van Winkle! YOU DIDN'T GET IT DURING THE PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN McCain....And you and the GOP STILL DON'T GET IT! It's PRESIDENT OBAMA!, not President McCain! You can raise all the McCain you want....but the GOP won't be getting their way for awhile!

    February 15, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  13. Jill-IN

    John McCain and his sidekick – Lindsey Graham sound like whiney school kids coming in to complain that they didn't get picked to be quarterback on the playground. You will not always get your way and we all know that. Do the Republicans even know what they look like to the American people now that we know they all vote NO on any bill where they don't get everything they want and can't be the main driver.

    February 15, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  14. Daryl

    The Republican talking heads need to sit down and be quiet; McCain especially. It's incredible how LOSERS always seem to have great insight?!?! If he and the other talking heads know so much, why didn't they DO SOMETHING positive when they had the majority??? They make me sick; they turn my stomach! They're (most Republicans) behaving like a bunch of spoiled crybabies after losing a shool yard game. Eight years of their B.S. and NOW they want to talk about bipartisanship???
    Hey, you Republican chuckleheads... there is a HUGE difference between bipartisanship and having to kiss the self-righteous butts of losers (a.k.a. the Republicans). If you want bipartisanship, stop whining & thinking about yourselves and BE non-partisan in your recommendations & actions.

    February 15, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  15. Lilarose in Bandon, Oregon

    Senator McCain

    I have to question your patriotism.

    How can you breathe one word about the efforts of President Obama, who is trying to SAVE OUR COUNTRY?!

    You are not patriotic. You are the devil in disguise.

    You are dispictable.

    February 15, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |


    February 15, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  17. Annoyed Citizen

    McCain is being a sore loser and should get over it. His country and his president need him to be a positive contributor. If he can't, then he should stay quiet.

    February 15, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  18. Mike NC

    Dear Republicans since you are the ones that have screwed up America why don't you just be quiet. President Obama tried to work with you but if it was up to you thereis only idea that you have.
    CUT TAXES FOR THE WEALTHY AND CORPORATE AMERICA. Can't you understand that we have tried this for the last 8 years and it does not work. If you had an idea like telling corporate america if you want people to BUY AMERICAN then you should bring back your outsourced jobs so that your products are made by AMERICANS. Also how about financial institutions which have outsourced jobs to foreigners that have access to our personal information so they can service and monitor our citizens accounts . AND NOW ALL THEY TALK ABOUT IS IDENTITY FRAUD. Maybe then we would listen to Republicans again. BUT THEN IF YOU DID THIS YOU WOULDN'T BE ABLE TO GET THE KICKBACKS FROM YOUR BUDDIES.

    February 15, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  19. shstotts

    Has it ever occurred to senators Mcain and Graham that perhaps they are the ones that have forgotten what bipartisanship is? I believe President Obama ran on a platform of change. The senators must find it difficult to believe that change includes their ideology. It is going to be a long 8 years for these two and others of their ilk.

    February 15, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  20. Kim

    Shut the hell up McCain. You lost-get over it. All you repubs are doing is showing us your true colors. You put politics before people as usual. You want the rich to get richer even though history shows that does not work. Go away but first remember this....we will not forget how you have treated Obama and this country.

    February 15, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Fascist rethulicans

    Boy these old timers got cajones. After 8 years of giving Bush whatever he wanted with no regulations, they have the nerve to criticize Obama after being in office less than 4 weeks. Do they think that cleaning up the crap they left after all that time is gonna be able to be fixed in a month? This little wierdo Lindsay Graham never saw a spending bill he didn't love when his party was in power. Hey republicans, I have a suggestion for you: get on the train, because the american people are moving right by you, and the best you can offer is obstructionism, John McCain and Sarah Palin. What a pathetic lot. See ya in our rearview mirror, especially in 2010 and 2012.

    February 15, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. jdp

    Exactly what was the Republicans' plan, that would have been better than Obama's? Tax cuts was all I ever heard. That doesn't solve a crisis of this magnitude. Obama's plan will invest much needed funding into Alternative Energy, and infrastructure, something Bush neglected far too much over 8 years. The price tag may be huge, but this kind of investment can create jobs and overall wealth for the economy. Let's stop taking any advice from the people responsible for squandering the surplus left to them 8 years ago.

    February 15, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  23. Rachel

    SOUR GRAPES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    This is John McCain. The GOP needs to get with it. They are the ones who are getting off to a bad start. Shame on them and they will see the result in 2010.

    February 15, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  24. George Arlington, TX.

    Graham needs to suck it up. I hate to see him crying over his party loosing. He does not have enough savy to run a dog pound.
    As for McCain, get over your loosing the nomination, and your party loosing controll of Congress. YOU LOST, Y-ou-Lost ,,,,Thank goodness.

    February 15, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  25. Carl

    What Americans need to understand is this:

    Obama is trying to stand in the middle on this, but he can't have it both ways unless one, or both parties, cave in.

    Obama went from talking with Republicans to talking dirty to them behind their back to gather Democratic support.

    He cannot have it both ways and expect to earn bi-partisan effort.

    Oh... and for all of these ridiculously stupid comments from the "mama for Obama" people, keep up the effort, your pathetic attempts of seriousness make me laugh.

    February 15, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
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