February 15th, 2009
02:00 PM ET
4 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.' "

Full story


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

    Offer something other than tax cuts than. It's easy to criticize not so easy to come up with a solution now is it McCain. Get to work and stop talking!!!!

    February 15, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    You Republicans sound like a bunch of haters you lost get over it when the Republicans were in power it was all about spending now that you Guys are out you pretend to care about the American people
    you are scared of Obama ,when he suceed's your day's are over.

    February 15, 2009 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  3. Brian

    I have been a citizen of the United States and I have been conscious for the last eight years. Thus, it is rather odd to hear the Republicans criticize President Obama's attempts at bipartisanship while thwarting those same efforts. President Obama is making an effort, which is much more than can be said for President Bush.

    Who do the Republicans think they're kidding?

    February 15, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  4. Spike Norbert

    I hope you GOP senators and the rest of the US realize Obama is just "looking like" he is trying to be bipartisan. At some point, he, like many crooked ppoliticians before him, will denounce the GOP as unwilling "to do what's best for the country". He already knew that the GOP will not support such radical Marxist views as he holds. It is the foolish dems that follow along like blind sheep that have now put our entire future at risk.

    February 15, 2009 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  5. DA

    I really don't get the Republicans. They would rather the President and the Democrats sit around and do nothing. They are not trying to help the problem at all. I mean seriously how you going to help if you are out telling your fellow Republicans not to support the bill? They are a joke and they are trying to trick all their supporters into thinking they are out to help them when in fact they are thinking about no one but themselves. Also here in lies the problem with our Government too many times our elected officials are not thinking about the best interests for the people but actually for themselves, so that is why I say it's time to implement TERM LIMITS on all of them, Democrats and Republicans!!! It is time for some of them to move on to the private sector because their job is done for the people!!!

    February 15, 2009 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  6. TiredofGOP

    I'm sooooo tired of Republicans!!!

    The people aren't stupid.... we ALL know that the Republicans wanted it their way or no way.... and now Obama is the bad guy because he didn't give in to the Republicans....

    Well, get used to it.... You guys lost for a reason, and you're continuing to make the rest of America dislike you.

    February 15, 2009 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  7. Susan in NC

    John McCain is the very last person I want to hear from right now! Wish John King had asked Sen. McCain were bin Laden is - he said he knew! His "intelligence" regarding the location of bin Laden is equatable to his knowledge of our economy, I suspect - ZERO credibility!

    February 15, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  8. Gerry in Va. for Obama.

    These old white dunderheads still don't get it (that we don't care what they think anymore then we care what W has to say) and they never will. The best thing to do is vote them OUT when their time comes. McCain still thinks he's worthy of being the president, never mind that he got his butt whipped but good. Hopefully the people of Arizona have had enough of the old a$$ hole and will send him packing when the next election for him comes around.

    February 15, 2009 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  9. Darryl Miller

    Please tell me why the king of Deregulation and the biggest liar about his military record, and who why and son should be serving time over the backdoor dealing with serveral failed saving and loan. Can any one tell me why he still talking?

    This man should be totaling investigate for allowing his staff members to commit insider trading on Bills that Senator John McCain is sponsoring. What Balls this man have!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

    February 15, 2009 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  10. Rob in Detroit Mi.

    MR. schock will be out of office in a few years.

    February 15, 2009 05:16 pm at 5:16 pm |
  11. Doc Sinn

    The GOP is angry they can no longer muscle their way to what they want.

    They got us into this mess and as far as I'm concerned, I dont even want to hear from them until next midterms.

    February 15, 2009 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  12. James

    If the Republicans had it their way (thank god they don't!) it would be "same ol' thing" of doing NOTHING!

    President Obama is doing SOMTHING. SOMTHING is better than NOTHING!

    As we have seen over the last dismal 8 years giving Tax Cuts to business doesn't fix things!

    February 15, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  13. AngieS

    Congress – particularly the GOP – is only succeeding in making itself look bad and John McCain of all people ought to realize this. He and his party would be far better served if they just kept their mouths shut for a change and listened to all of the voters who sent a message in their resounding vote that their way didn't and doesn't work and we need something different. But here they are playing the same old game and we end up being the ones that lose.

    February 15, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  14. Hilary

    To the GOP: Bipartisanship does not mean giving you whatever you want. It's not all about YOU.

    February 15, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  15. kelly g arizona

    Is bipartisian the Republican catchphrase of the week? All I hear is that the democrats are not playing nice with us. I'm sure that there would have been more Republican involvment in this bill if they would have come up with some fresh ideas instead of the same tired solution of tax breaks for the rich.
    Right now, congress has a lower approval rating than Satan. I really could care less what either party thinks of our president right now.

    As a matter of fact, I think that Obama is doing something right if he is getting the right wing and left wing of congress ticked off. That means he is trying to take a middle ground.

    February 15, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  16. Sleepless in Colorado

    Mr. McRage,

    Nobody cares what you and your party thinks. We voted for the other party because you put our country in the crapper. One of your many campaign slogans at one point was "Country First". I guess that you meant it at the time. I hope that you lose your seat when you're up for election. Thanks for trying to save the economy after you decided that the fundamentals of the economy is good. Way to suspend your campaign at the perfect time. You only care about your name. Why don't you go and become a Lt. Governor of Alaska and you and Sarah Paloon can run the state into the ground like you were about to do this country. Good luck, Republicans! With idiots like this in your party you sure don't need friends? Something like that.

    Sincerely despising of your party,
    Independent in Colorado :)

    February 15, 2009 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  17. sandee in Portland

    As if the last 8 years have showed the republicans know what they're talking about. We need fresh ideas! There should be term limits for all these guys, both democrats and republicans. These positions were never meant to be a career, but after being re-elected year after year after year, that's just what it is. They are all more worried about their careers than the people of the great US.

    February 15, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  18. Anonymous

    Censoring me does not make it any less true.

    McCain and Graham's (who represents a state with 20% below the poverty level), opinions carry as much weight as a sheet of cheap tissue.

    February 15, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  19. Judi Baller

    What a bunch of babies these republicans are. They only change they believe in is tax cuts for the wealthy!

    February 15, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  20. Scott

    Why is everything Obama does being filtered through the Republicans. They lost, and lost big. They are a southern regional party now.

    February 15, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  21. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    McCain lost.
    He needs to support our new president and stop bad mouthing him, and if he can't bring himself to do that then he should retire and go back to Arizona.

    February 15, 2009 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  22. Really?

    Well, I guess if you call this "screwing the country" then I guess you do accept that the country was screwed for the last 8 years and this is just "unscrewing the country". Get it?! I don't think you will ever get it, coz the day Obama was voted to be the President you would have understood that your party and its policies have made this country sick and it purged you guys for that!

    February 15, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  23. peacelove&war

    I think John MaCain and other memebers of the GOP party need to stop working aganist the President just because they did not win the election. Clearly it's sour grapes that they are showing America. After all it was John MaCain and other members of the Republicans that got America into all this mess.

    We all know that this country was screwed long before Obama even though about running for President so don't you dare blame any of this mess on him. Oh, ya John MaCain do you now know how many houses you own? umm I didn't think so.

    February 15, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  24. Listening to America

    oh brother.

    Enough crying. This has become ridiculously petty. I feel like I'm watching the movie "Mean Girls".

    Hey GOP, I have an idea! Why don't you focus on helping to fix the economy and getting your constituents back to work?

    naw, it's much more fun to whine and act like spoiled children.

    February 15, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  25. a good read

    Phil Gramm helped sink the ship.Now this scumbag want to spout off?

    February 15, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
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