February 16th, 2009
09:26 AM ET
2 years ago

IL Republican: Obama only arm-twisted in public

(CNN) – It’s not often that a freshman member of Congress gets a ride on Air Force One and a personal shout-out from the President himself in front of the hometown crowd. Illinois Republican Rep. Aaron Schock got both last week but still voted against President Obama’s $787 billion stimulus bill.

After joining Obama on the presidential plane to Peoria, which is part of Schock’s congressional district, the President made a specific appeal to Schock during an event at a Caterpillar plant.

“Aaron’s still trying to make up his mind about our recovery package,” the President said last Thursday. “He’s a very talented young man. I’ve got great confidence in him to do the right thing for the people of Peoria,” Obama added.

But the presidential spotlight was not enough to win over Schock.

“Ultimately, I listened to my constituents and I looked at what I knew about the bill and determined it was not in the best interests of my constituents,” the freshman Republican said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union. “It was not really a stimulus bill with the majority of the money going towards stimulating the economy.”


Schock says the new president was kind notwithstanding their differences over how best to help the nation’s struggling economy.

Being on Air Force One “was an amazing experience,” Schock told Chief National Correspondent John King.

Related: Air Force One is one 'spiffy ride,' Obama says

“I like the President. He’s a very good guy . . . I want him to be successful. I want to vote for a stimulus bill. I appreciated his hospitality in bringing me along on the trip. . . . But at the end of the day my responsibility is to the people who gave me this job – my constituents,” the 27-year-old said.

President Obama “could not have been more cordial” onboard Air Force One, Schock said. “He waited for the hard sell, if you will, in front of the national media. That’s when I really got both of my arms twisted there in front of hundreds of my constituents and the national media when he had me stand up and basically ask my constituents to put the pressure on me.”

Like some of his Republican colleagues in the Senate, Schock also took issue with the legislative process that resulted in the massive stimulus bill.

“Bipartisanship is not one party writes the bill and we all vote for it. Bipartisanship means you truly meld together both sides ideas and come up with a compromise bill,” Schock told King. “That didn’t happen in this case and ultimately, that’s why I voted against it.”

Schock is currently the youngest member of the 111th Congress and was recently voted the “Hottest Freshman” in Congress in a poll of Huffington Post readers.

soundoff (777 Responses)
  1. dave beckert

    Wow. Voting for what the people want instead of what the politicians want. I like this guy. Can we trade him up to the presidency

    February 15, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. Soldier 4 OBAMA

    This kid need to be voted out next year, ultimately he refused to listen to his constituence. The GOP area's are some of the most depressed area's in the nation. the rural area's are staved for infrastructure, farm help, new energy and green action. This kid need to wake up and do his own research and stop listening to the southern bigots. I am a military Illinosian and I will run against this guy. The GOP group of politicians are so predictable, VOTE FOR WAR, LIE STEAL AND CHEAT, there is NO ethics in the GOP and no morals. Morals for the GOP is to keep slaves and beat them like dogs and say Jesus bless you, WAKE UP kid and stay off they air, we know you are GAY!

    February 15, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. Someone from Peoria

    Well it looks like the Freshman won't get to be a Senior. That was a self gravedigging move the little man made.

    February 15, 2009 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  4. kaz

    Congressman Schock have to realize that he can not be a senator or governor based on just the republican votes. McLean County always safe republican county voted for President Obama. The young congressman have to learn from a very very smart President.

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

    yeah i remember the sour grapes story

    February 15, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    Who needs him?

    February 15, 2009 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  7. Sonny Drysdale

    More obstructionist blather from the Republicans and the right. Saying that 'one party writes the bill and we all vote for it' has been proven a lie time and time again with the stimulus bill. It's a mantra the lying Republicans keep chanting hoping that a duped public in trouble laps it up. But that's all it is – lies. Too many Democrats in Washington to count have come forward time and again to state how they offered meetings, they offered compromises, they listened and were willing to work with Republicans – and the Republicans refused. But we continue to get the same lie after lie from the Republicans saying they were 'never a part of the process.' If they weren't a part of the process it's because they refused to be a part of it.

    February 15, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  8. Regina P

    Gee, what a shocker, a Republican senator who is not supporting President Obama. The Repugs are not looking to help this country, only toward attempting to win in the next election. Tired old politics as usual.

    February 15, 2009 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. Adam from Ohio

    Yeah right. He knew that he couldn't step out of line, or his masters in the house would assure that he has no electoral future. That's what it's like being in the Republican party. It's worse than the mob.

    People of Peoria, you don't have a representative with a mind of his own. You have a lying sack of garbage in Aaron Schock–a kid who never will be able to think for himself.

    February 15, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Leah DiMarco, Texas

    President Obama listens to all sides, but that doesn't mean that he is going to allow the republicans to have it their way – the way that doesn't work.
    America voted for Obama and we want Obama's plans – not the failed republican ones.

    February 15, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  11. Awaiting Moderation, Again

    Let's see, Schock is a central Illinois, red-neck Republican who wouldn't vote for a plan put forth by a Black, Chicago politician-turned president.

    I'm stunned!!!

    Had Schock voted for the Stimulus Plan, I would have fainted!!!

    February 15, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  12. derrick

    It'll be a SCHOCK when you don't get re-elected!

    February 15, 2009 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  13. Gracie, MD

    Another clown stuck on clueless. Everyone all of a sudden is the "expert" on HOW to fix our economic HELL HOLE.

    But I find it very funny that the same jerks voting NO, are the same fools who STOOD BY and did NOTHING, NOTHING, NOTHING.

    President Obama is RIGHT, the leadership in Washington has their heads in their butts big time. They ALL have a JOB, they all get a BIG PAYCHECK and yet they sit by and do nothing but talk trash and criticize everything our President is trying to do.

    Is it a perfect plan? NO. Will it CURE all? NO. But I COMMEND my President for at least TRYING to dig our country out of a mess the GOP created for 8 years!!!

    Do you think President Obama wanted this mess? Did he create the mess, NOOOOOOOOO!

    But it so much EASIER for everyone to criticize and point the finger. We're sick of it.

    We need to STOP COMPLAINING ABOUT WHAT'S WRONG AND FOCUS ON WHAT'S RIGHT!!!!

    President Obama has been very "gentlemanly" when it comes to offering his "olive branch". Don't for a minute take his politeness as a "weakness". That will be the most FATALE mistake of you life!!!

    President Obama is NO fool, he KNOWS who the players are, and who the "clowns" are, and he's risen about the juvenile theatrics and all the negativity being thrown at him. This man is not a Harvard Lawyer for nothing, he's always three steps ahead of his worst critics.

    February 15, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  14. Ula Nejad Sacramento, Ca

    Boy oh boy. The last time I laughed hard was watching Fox news Hannity (few days ago) asking the author of the -Media's slobbering affair with Obama- and O' Rielly's take on Chenney telling Leahy to dick off. Look, don't worry about Schock, you have now by the b*lls. Do what you like with it. If you are right then your constituents can say 'Balls don't lie". Okay congressman. Just keep your head intact and feet on the ground and you will be just fine. Let the democrats and the media who fantacised about him feel the thrill up their legs in the meantime. Even better liberal female reporters uptown New York dream of having sex with ..uummm for some stimulation. I'm with you. I rather have my arm twisted and lose a few inches if need be. But deviating from party core prinicples...hell no.

    February 15, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  15. Thomas B. Yellich

    Another republican dip shit believing that to destroy President Obama will bring stone age failing republican conservatism back. It won't Moron!
    Bury the republicans with their failed "Greed, can regulate itself" platform.
    Crush these overfed, intolerant, bigoted, hate and fear minding spinless monkeys.

    February 15, 2009 05:27 pm at 5:27 pm |
  16. Ryan

    This guy is such a tool. He's another republican that thinks he is entitled to having power and wealth. These people still haven't learned and it is pathetic the excuses that they make. Name one time when Bush talked to democratic senators.. just one.

    And by the way. The reason the Democrats wrote the bill is because the republicans don't have any ideas!! Their bill would be one page and would say TAX CUTS. So that is why someone had to step up and write it. Obama already compromised by making it 35% tax cuts which won't help stimulate the economy.

    February 15, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  17. Scott A.

    Further proof that Republicans are trying to ruin the country. Lying that this stimulus bill wouldn't help, when only realizing that the dimmest of Americans believe that, is just the same-old typical Republican ploy. Republicans want programs to be cut and taxes to be cut. That's just stupid. You don't make Americans richer by taking away their livelihood and replacing it with temporary cash. Obama should've never invited this dumb-witted Republican aboard Air Force One and he should have never tried to put any focus on bipartisanship. Republicans aren't interested in fixing the country. They're the ones who ruined it in the first place (them and the spineless Democrats that went along with their schemes).

    February 15, 2009 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  18. Scott

    Good Work Representative!

    February 15, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  19. Dexter in Houston TX

    Schock = Tool

    Obama/Binden
    2008/2012

    February 15, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  20. Rachell

    This is RICH:

    "Bipartisanship is not one party writes the bill and we all vote for it. Bipartisanship means you truly meld together both sides ideas and come up with a compromise bill,” Schock told King. “That didn’t happen in this case and ultimately, that’s why I voted against it.”

    Glad to see the WATB caucus is conveniently forgetting the past 20 or so years in which Bipartisanship was defined as giving the republicans everything they want. No matter how many times democrats were given the shaft by the Bush administration, one never heard protests about republicans not being bipartisan enough. Attention republicans: you are now a minority party (for good reason), you don't get to strongarm the country and the will of the people any longer.

    Also, its hard to be bipartisan when one side is just completely bonkers.

    February 15, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  21. elsie

    He is lying. He did what he was told by Boehner. Or it was Karl Rove calling the shots from his shadow government.

    February 15, 2009 05:29 pm at 5:29 pm |
  22. elsie

    Oh and another thing, CNN, how about some Democrats or real economists on these shows once in a while. Your bias is screaming.

    February 15, 2009 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  23. Billy

    I'm sure he's just trying to help.

    February 15, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  24. jaye

    Every single republican (with the exception of 3) is following suit in their effort to NOT support Obama. It's so obvious that its pathethic.
    They're not fooling anyone (other than themselves).
    I find the republicans whiney, complainers, crybabies, obstructionist, and laughable.

    February 15, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  25. ran

    The republicans are making a very big mistake not working with Obama on the economic plan. We the people want solutions not the games of the past. Obviously bipartism for the Republicans is: do it our way or we take the ball home. I say do what ever it takes to get the job done and if the republicans want to continue being obstructist then find ways to work around them and by 2010 we will have 60-80 Democrats in the senate for sure.

    February 15, 2009 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
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