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. Glen in Los Angeles

    Well, what do you expect the Republicans to say? I'll betcha Fox News and the new moral leader of the conservative movement in America, Rush Limbaugh will report Obama's first weeks as a bad start as well. But is something as predictable as Republicans dissing the efforts of a Democratic President news? The real news will come when the Republican leadership pronounces an Obama plan AS bipartisan. That will be a story worthy of some reportage.

    February 15, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  2. Independent_me

    And by the way, Mr. McSame...
    Are you a Maverick – or a Sidekick?
    Even Lieberman voted for the stimulus bill!

    Seems to me the true Mavericks are Collins, Snowe and Alan Specter.
    When the stimulus bill works – they'll be the heroes and you will be the horse's rear end.

    I hope that these three Mavericks leave the Republican Party and go Independent. That will free them to vote their true conscience and not be bullied by the Republican thugs!

    Go Independent!!!

    February 15, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  3. greenfish

    They (the Republicans) have offered nothing in return. Their ideas are bankrupt and their motives suspect. I hope more lose in 2010. They are without conscience.

    February 15, 2009 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  4. Will from NYC

    GOP your ilk has never ever sought bi-partisanship ever. Your ilk never saw a spending bill you didn't like. Your ilk divirted 1.3 Trllion is tax breaks to the weathiest americans and that was OK by you..

    so GOP, McCain, Grahm, crawl back into your hole and stay there. In 2010 you will be GONE.

    February 15, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  5. Dave in Canada

    Is this the same guy that said " the economy is basically strong" just before all hell broke loose? The GOP sound like a bunch of whining losers.

    February 15, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  6. Greg

    Any more I disregard anything that McCain says. He proved he doesn't have the stomach to carry the R's water in the last election campaign when he didn't have the cahonnes to fight for us. He needs to retire and just GO AWAY.

    He never showed he wanted the presidency- that his campaign was just a fantasy. John, you threw the RNC under the bus and have done serious harm to a viable party. RETIRE – GO AWAY. Your 'Maverick' style is useless and a joke. You lost – we've noticed. You're too little and too late.

    February 15, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Ruth

    John you LOST. someone needs to tell him-he LOST.

    February 15, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  8. Rebecca L Wolford

    McCain continues to disappoint. The GOP is hoping this will fail for political reasons. They all disgust me.

    February 15, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  9. Kelly

    What do you mean he did not keep his promise? President Obama tried to include and get ideas from republicans but since the democrats did not use most or all of your ideas, you voted No.

    February 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  10. Scott

    where were these two Einsteins during the past 8 years? We've been screwed from the 2000 election on – and now McCain and Graham seem to have had an epiphany and now see the light. Please - you two guys are neck deep in the catastrophic mess this country finds intself in. And what did you do during the past 8 years? what have you done since your president galloped back to Texas? NOTHING!

    February 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  11. James Ang

    Thanks to 'Conservative National News' (CNN) the GOP oldiest has plenty of airtime to grouse their sentiments. They are always the experts./ Nobody can do a better job than them. Must always have it their way.
    Go to sleep old folks and never wake up again

    February 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Sherry in Kentucky

    "Republican Senators" need to get off their high horse and realize they LOST the ELECTION and the LOST the ELECTION for a REASON! Trickle down economics has now been PROVEN NOT TO WORK!! Help the dems fix it, or get OUT OF THE WAY!!!!

    February 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. Obama Cares

    it's SO ovious mccain and the rest of the republicans WANT President Obama to FAIL, these anti-Americans are SO whats wrong with our country, i wish every republican would just resign.

    February 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  14. kojo

    Hey, this angry old politician should give it a rest. He lost – he should get over it. For Republicans bipartisanship means only one thing – our policies or nothing else. Idiots.

    February 15, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  15. Jim

    President Obama has the faithfull believing that he made some great offering of biprtisanship to the GOP. Actually he tried to charm conservatives into coming over to his side. Bipartisanship is listening to the other side and being willing to compromise on substantive issues. On the substantive issues Mr Obama said, "I won, we'll do it my way." That is emphatically not bipartisanship. He did win and he has the vortes in congress- just don't insult us by calling it bipartisan.

    February 15, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  16. Chris

    Wow! Talking rectums!! The voice may have changed, but their breath is still the same.

    February 15, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  17. OBAMA2012

    get over McCain you lost...any chance to try and undermine President Obama....it didn't work when you were running and it wont work now...sorry

    February 15, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. Mr. T

    I guess the change he would have done would've been better...Look how they're (Rep) are acting like they have all the anwsers...Where were they when Bush was running this country in the ground

    February 15, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  19. James

    All this crap about bipartisanship just goes to show that the prez has to resort to this kind of talk because the Republicans still just don't get it. I've got over twenty years military under my belt and had always voted Republican that is until this last election. The choices available from the Republican party lately really suck. They really just don't want to change at all. The same old crap. And by not getting on the train, I see them really writing their own ticket out of Washington. Obama's trying and the Republicans are trying very hard to make a failure out of him. Here's my "vote of no confidence" for the "Retro Party".

    February 15, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. Mel of Alexandria, Virginia

    All the Republicans know is party politics. What about the politics that has the best interest of the Nation. What is good for the republican leadership is not always good for the people. All of us should be able to sing "My country, 'tis of thee". "My party, 'tis of thee" will not do. If party loyalty is going to dominate our positions on the issues, then there is a deep poverty that nothing can fix.

    February 15, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  21. John

    McCain says Obama off to a bad start? Really?

    This from the same senator who said the fundamentals of the economy were sound.

    February 15, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. YVONNE-KENTUCKY

    I JUST WISH THERE WAS SOME WHERE FOR REDUBS TO GO FOR TIT SUCKING I HAVE NEVER HEARD SO MUCH WHINING FROM GROWN FOLKS IN MY LIFE!!!!!!! WHERE WAS THESE GUYS WHEN BUSH WAS IN OIFFICE FOR 8YRS DOING WHAT EVER HE WANTED WHILE THE ECONOMY TANKED. PRESIDENT OBAMA DO YOUR THING *UCK THE GOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    February 15, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  23. Chris in CA

    Here we go again. Same ole sh__. Thanks, Washington.

    February 15, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. dennise

    Well better than McCain stating the economy is in great shape! Look where the country is now?? Who's to blame?

    February 15, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. tigerakabj

    You guys can cry until the cows come home, America is waking up to the fact that you are nothing but obstructionists who don't want Obama to clean up your mess (refer to their leader's Limbaugh's comment).

    Tax cuts aren't going to get it, especially when we are fighting an illegal war your boy Bush (remember him?) started without any way to pay for it. Keep following Limbaugh's lead, and you will be singin' "Oh Happy Day" with regards to Nov. 4, 2008.

    February 15, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
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