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. Anonymous

    fsen mcCain should go back to watching sara pallin move around somewhere and hope she gives him a big smile or something. maybe call lindsey graham and spend a few days and nites in peaceful bagdad with their friends at an outside cafe.

    February 15, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  2. Had It

    If the Greedy Obstructionist Party doesn't get everything their way, they just jump up and down, throw stuff on the floor, stomp their feet, and whine.

    The tax cuts alone haven't worked. What else did they suggest? NOTHING.

    February 15, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Linda32

    Comments like that from John McCain are worth as much as his "fundamentals of the economy are strong" statement.

    Stop being an angry BITTER OLD man and get to work. Last I checked, bipartisanship was a two way street and McCain and the other Senators are stuck on one side of the street!

    February 15, 2009 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  4. elsie

    CNN why do you have so many negatives stories about President Obama when it comes to his policies ? Why do we never see anything positive other than fluff stories about his basketball game or cocktail hour at the white house. Why no Democratic Congress representatives to promote his views? This story and the other McCain one are almost identical. You fail miserably in your reporting.

    February 15, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  5. Cecil

    Now that's too funny!

    February 15, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  6. Al

    Aww, the poor little hypocrites. They can watch Bush's "best of" reel over and over if they want to relive their glory days. Pathetic.

    February 15, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  7. Edereckson:Durango,CO

    President Obama is making right choices for our nation on the economic stimulus package because we did to help jump start the economy and get it going again. The Obama Administration is off to a good start on the change we did on United States. We really need to help the economy and thats what President Obama is doing now and his administration.

    February 15, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  8. common sense

    Republicans should be ashamed of themselves.

    This is grandstanding, and damaging behavior, pure and simple.

    The American public isn't stupid, and is angry.

    February 15, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  9. Stan W.

    And we should care what they think why? Taking a party-line stance against what the President wanted and then trying to blame the lack of cooperation on the Democrats is bull! This is how they want to play, so they can't complain when they lose. Take your ball and go home, crybabies.

    February 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  10. Awaiting Moderation, Again

    I hope the GOP realize that they made the Stimulus Plan possible with the brilliant way they handled the country the last 8 years?!?!?!

    McCain voted with Bush 90+% of the time and for Lindsey Graham to be commenting on anything and saying the country is getting "screwed" is laughable, given that he was one of the chief cheerleders in the last 8 years of fiscal, GOP disaster!!!!

    And remember Senator McCain, you showed your "brilliance" when you pushed Caribou Barbie on all of us!!!

    February 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  11. Becky

    This is the man who lost to Obama in November. I did not listen to him before the election, and I will not listen to him now.

    President Obama is the best thing to happen to our country in a long time. He has shown he makes good decisions – Joe Biden is now our VP (not Palin).

    February 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  12. FactCheck

    Bwa ha ha ha ha... poor little Chicken Littles. By next election, you GOPs will be reduced to nothing. SNL had it completely right.

    February 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  13. jeannieb

    Sour grapes. Pure sour grapes by McCain.
    From where I sit, I think President Obama went beyond the call of duty in extending bipartisanship. Those Repubs just live on controversy, all the time. They love to fight. What in the world would ever make anyone want to be a Republican, with people like McCain and Limbaugh at the top?!
    Our country is going to do just fine, thank you. President Obama has toughened his skin and he'll be able to take all the dirt the Repubs are throwing at him. But it's the end of the road for you sour grapes Repubs. You're just plain dirty players, you're not true Americans.
    By the way, I'm registered Repub myself but it will soon be changed officially. I hate being tarred with that brush.

    February 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  14. Janice Reed

    John McCain is wrong. President Obama is off to a great start. It seems like the republicans just can not stand to see him succeed.
    I for one am fed up with their anti Obama comments. If there is no bipartisanship they should blame no one but themselves.
    Give it up John...the election is over. Stop the criticism and work with our new president. Tired of the whining and sour grapes attitude.

    February 15, 2009 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  15. Obama '09

    well there could've been a bipartisian vote...IF THE REPUBS TOOK THEIR HEADS OUT OF THEIR A$$ES AND VOTED FOR IT!

    February 15, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  16. Cynthia, NJ

    President Obama said that he would reach out to Republicans with an open hand and he did. What did they do, they gave him a clinch fist.

    The Republicans will never vote for any bill that the President supports even if they wrote the bill themselves.

    One thing that I don't understand. Why did the congressional leaders who opposed the stimulus not opt to take their states out of the bill?
    According to the Republicans, this is not going to work so they should have taken their state out of the bill since it's not going to work. But they did not take that option.

    It's time to remove these State Representatives from office if they don't want to see this country progress. This is the 21st century and it's time they realize it. Get them out of office.

    February 15, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  17. Tuoyo,Baltimore Maryland

    Republicans,get over the fact that you lost and get behind legistlation that is good for the country.The President reached out to you and you bit his hand.He will do what he thinks is good for the country wether you like it or not.

    February 15, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  18. Zac

    Yes, because the Republicans have been sooooo bi-partisan in the past when they had majorities in both houses and control of the White House. So to hell with bipartisanship. Enjoy the purgatory your own party created.

    February 15, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  19. chad in avery, ca.

    WHAT A BUNCH OF CRY BABIES!
    LOSERS!

    February 15, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  20. Coherent1

    John McMightyMouse, Did you all hold out your "yes" vote on the bill that Republicans adjusted to reflect the tax cuts you wanted to see, just so you can say "he has failed to deliver the "change" he promised." ??? Look man, we found out your game during the election. We can see through the scheme, John. Why do you insist on insulting our intelligence?

    February 15, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    when are you people going to stop anderson cooper from looking like a fool every time he says "breaking news" when your other programs have been talking about the "breaking news" for the past 8,10 hrs. if it would'nt be for that, he would be cnn's best man.

    February 15, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  22. Willy Brown

    Obama will be a one term president. Democrats will loose control of Congress starting in 2010. People will soon realize that Obama is all window dress for Harry and Nancy.

    February 15, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  23. John

    Criticism of lack of Bipartisanship by the republicans is the biggest joke of the century.

    The republican senators act like there was no 2008 election and insist that America continue on with their "Trickle Down" economics.

    I also have noticed that the latest republican talking point keeps showing up on these blogs – "Our children and grandchildren will have to pay for this" is a bogus bunch of crap. Starting with Ronald Reagan and continuing up to George Bush, every republican has increased the national debt to ever and ever staggering amounts. Where was all this concern about our children than?

    February 15, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  24. Chelley

    the beginning has not define the end...I have not heard one person say that this will be a complete failure. Therefore we should wait and see what happen because the bottomline is you had your chance....let try change....since it is constant.

    February 15, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  25. J. Dean

    WELL, LOOK WHO ARE DOING THE TALKING ! WHERE WERE THEY DURING THE END OF 2008 ? WHAT DID LINDSEY GRAHAM AND JOHN McCAIN CONTRUBUTE TO THE CURRENT MESS CREATED BY GEORGE BUSH AND HIS REPUBLICAN GANGS ? INSTEAD OF SUPPORTING BUSH'S STUPID AND IDIOTING POLICIES THAT BROUGHT US INTO THE CURRENT MESS, BOTH SENATORS SHOULD BETTER KEPT THEIR MOUTH SUT. DO NOT CRITISIZE THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION AT THIS TIME OF ITS INCEPTION. REPUBLICANS, INCLUDING GRAHAM AND McCAIN, BRING CONSTRUCTIVE PROGRAMS AND IDEAS TO HELP THE """"MAJORITY OF THE AMERICAN TAX PAYERS"""" OTHERWISE YOU WILL BE SHIPPED OUT SOON, SIMILAR TO YOUR COLLEAGUES WHO ARE PART OF OUR HISTORY. CHANGE AND CHANGES, YES. THE CURRENT ADMINSTRATION SHOULD START FROM SOMEWHERE. IF YOU, GRAHAM AND McCAIN, AND REPUBLICANS AT LARGE, DO NOT LIKE THE CURRENT STUMULUS PACKAGE, TOUGH LUCK. HOWEVER YOU HAVE TO CHANGE THE TONE OF YOUR VOICE. YOU HAVE NO RIGHT TO SPEEK INTHE NAME OF THE """"""""""AMERICAN PEOPLE ANYMORE"""""""""". AND IF YOU ARE EXPRESSING A MINORITY VOICE, WELL THEN YOU HAVE TO WAIT AND WAIT FOR A LONG TIME. YOU HAD YOUR CHANCES AND YOUR MAN, THE IDIOT GEORGE BUSH, GAVE OUR COUNTRY AND THE WORLD WHAT WE ARE EXPERIENCING AND SUFFERING FROM. IT IS TIME FOR ACTION BABY.

    February 15, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
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