February 15th, 2009
02:00 PM ET
3 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. Kay

    And ummmm ...since when are you a spokesperson for bipartisanship, Mr. McCain. Stop being such a sore loser.

    February 15, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  2. jason, tx

    he's full of it!

    February 15, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  3. walkaboutstory

    They've got to be kidding. It's republicans that are being difficult. Obama has reached out to them, watered down the stim to try to meet them halfway, but no. All they want is to get some more tax cuts for their rich friends. McCain has forgotten that the huge tax cuts he voted for will cost 2 TRILLON dollars! Talk about selling out the future. Oh, and how about the Iraq war? Probably another 2 TRILLION dollars. These republican clowns make me sick!

    February 15, 2009 02:43 pm at 2:43 pm |
  4. DS

    The good senator's complaints are falling flat for me. He could engage in bipartisanship any time he'd like to do so. The last two weeks of negotiation on the stimulus bill have provided an excellent opportunity for all members of Congress to come to the table. By the way, the Republicans were vanquished in the last two elections (2006 and 2008) and at thsi rate, 2010 doesn't look good for them either, Our esteemed Republican members of Congress would do well to listen more and run their mouths less.

    February 15, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  5. Glen

    Well, of course the republicans are going to say its a bad start. i'll bet fox news will say the same thing. But is it news when its so predictable? Report when they say there HAS been bipartisanship

    February 15, 2009 02:44 pm at 2:44 pm |
  6. godblessusa

    The GOP:

    Seeking to lead by going backward.

    February 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  7. An Independent in Oregon

    HA-HA-HA-HA-HA, ooooh boy; thanks for the laugh John. I think what it show is that President Obama gave you guys a chance to get on board; and you stupidly chose to stick to failed GOP thinking. I think you (the Republican Party) are smarting that you are insignificant and that voters will remember your stance in two years. But thanks for the laugh man.

    February 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  8. Carolyn Greene

    Republicans! GET A GRIP!! The problem is thaat you have not learned how to PART of anything without trying to take it over. If the president is off to a bad start, it is because you won't cooperate with anyone but yourselves. And don't forget ( prejudice, warlike mentality, disrespect and palin old arrogance) you haven't gotten over those things yet. STOP CRITISIZING AND START COOPERATING!!!

    February 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  9. obama must be doing something good!

    if this war-mongering fake-hero is bad-mouthing him, LOL.

    why, your 6 houses are not worth as much as they used to be?

    poor cry-baby ....

    February 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  10. Rob Sakey

    What is more depressing than the state of the economy? The GOP.
    I am open minded, however it appears that the GOP are out to ensure that Obama fails. Should our President fail... country and many corners of the world will feel it. The GOP. The folks who gave us the McCarthy Era, the Great Depression, Water and Irangate.... I ask where are your answers?
    Things are sad when the only uplifting news story of the past many weeks is that a plane crashed in the Hudson River and no one died.

    Shame on the GOP.

    February 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  11. DickNH

    Hey , Lindsey,

    ,,,,and I know a SC liar when I hear one ! Please take your fellow liar, Johnny Mac, to somewhere that is far, far away....way out there where nobody can hear either of you! You two are getting more pathetic by the hour !!! If Joe returns to his pathetic ways, please take him with you, as well ....let the 3 Amigos become irrelevant !!

    February 15, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  12. Mary

    One other thing, how many times do you extend your hand d it is chopped off before you realize you have no hands left. Will you continue to have someone at your house that is rude? Make no mistake, the Reps are in no way going to be supported of anything that Obama wants. They say with their mouth they want the resident to succeed, but their hearts are FAR from him.

    February 15, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  13. Matthew, Detroit

    The Democrats won and the democrats will rule that is a fact.

    It is also a fact that the Democratic House wrote this bill.

    Personally that is life and that is politics.

    BUT, don't lie and say that you tried to get Republican opinion. You wanted their vote so that you dont carry the responsibility alone but you did not want their opinion.

    QUOTE: NANCY PELOSI – we won we write the bill. Fine but be honest. It is your bill and you get to live or die by it. Enough said.

    February 15, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  14. Angel Crockford

    Screw you john mccain. I am so happy you did not become president. Obama is offering change and just because republicans couldnt do what Obama is doing now dont be jealous and hold up the process. Get a life

    February 15, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  15. rickymo

    I am so sick of partisan politics. Did anyone ever see Bush reach out the way BHO has to the other side of the aisle?

    February 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  16. bern

    If you don't have any ideas I guess you just have to attack the other guy. No suprise here. Same old GOP bs.

    February 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  17. Alicia

    Right on, McCain. After all your Republican eight years of tax cuts for the wealthy is so genius....NOT!!!!!

    You would see this country go down instead of taking a loss on a vote. You don't even know how many homes you own. You and your wealthy racist Republican comrades had no problem doling out our money for the Iraq war. Amazing. You all have stock in Halliburton apparently.

    WHY DON'T THE REPUBLICANS WEAR FLAG PINS ON THEIR LAPELS ANYMORE? WHY? ARE THEY PROTESTING THE OBAMA PRESIDENCY? Do they think putting that TOKEN Steele in charge makes us think they are diverse? What a joke!

    February 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  18. Obama - NOPE

    Real economic stimulus – ROMNEY, 2012

    February 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  19. Angel Crockford

    Id be willing to debate with John Mccain any day on the 'real issues of the United States. Oh no wait you might forget how many houses you have...

    February 15, 2009 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  20. katiec

    From a group of politicians who do not even know the meaning of the word this is hilarious.
    The party first, ego trips, ridiculous policies and tax cuts the republicans continue to self destruct.
    They do not give the American people any credit for intelligence but we will remember them and their unAmerican beliefs come next elections.

    February 15, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  21. Albo58

    Whether you like him or nor, McCain is certainly right! The Democrat "leadership" in the House, the Senate, and the new President dealt from the bottom of the deck in order to get this rubbish bill through so they wouldn't have to defend all the non-economic stimulus spending that is in it, plain and simple.

    February 15, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  22. Ralph

    The "nattering nabobs of negativism" (Spiro Agnew's) is alive and well in the Republican Party of 2009. They are soooooo out of touch it would be comedic if it didn't have such dire consequences for our country and its cultures and peoples. And for the last 8 years–for and to the world.

    February 15, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  23. Susan L.

    Inside the Beltway press colludes with dead-ender Republicans to thwart the will of the American People. Story up next? Not with the Inside the Beltway Press on hand! They prefer to report that up is down, black is white, and that the Republicans are somehow relevant.

    February 15, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  24. AA

    Well, they had their chance for the last 8 years and they screwed us. They should stop the talk and walk. McClame lost and he should shut-up. He should try to work with everyone or go retire. Obama made a mistake when he extended a hand to these guys. These guys are selfish, and he should ignore them and do what he have to do. Funny, the Bush administration spent 100 Billion to rebuild Iraq's economy and there is 11 billion un-accounted for, whey didn't they say a thing then. This is a shame, blunt shame.

    February 15, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  25. Meka

    AND THIS IS THE POLITICIAN, THAT MADE A DECISSION . . . TO ALLOW PALIN TO -POTENTIAL- BECOME PRESIDENT!

    *YOU HAVE TO WONDER*

    February 15, 2009 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
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