August 5th, 2009
02:21 PM ET
5 years ago

Cornyn: Obama is 'now looking like a mere mortal'

Cornyn: 'President Obama is now looking like a mere mortal, as opposed to someone who previously exceeded gravity'.
Cornyn: 'President Obama is now looking like a mere mortal, as opposed to someone who previously exceeded gravity'.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. John Cornyn dismissed the idea that congressional Republicans' near-united opposition to President Obama's agenda could backfire if economic conditions begin to improve significantly before voters head to the polls in 2010. "I would say in some ways our choices are limited" by minority status, he told reporters at a Wednesday briefing. "…We can't set the agenda, just state our opposition."

The National Republican Senatorial Committee chair said the climate was shifting, and noted the summer slide in the president's approval ratings. "I don't have to tell you about the general environment," he said. "President Obama is now looking like a mere mortal, as opposed to someone who previously exceeded gravity."

That development has contributed to the GOP's recruiting success, he said. The party's landed Gov. Charlie Crist for the Florida Senate race, and brought Rep. Mark Kirk into the race in Illinois while the Democrats' top prospect in that race – state Attorney General Lisa Madigan – opted out.

Less successful: the party's hunt for a challenger to take on Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and his massive campaign war chest in Nevada for a "Thune-Daschle type race."


Cornyn wouldn't commit to backing Sen. John Ensign, who recently admitted an extramarital affair, should the Nevada senator decide to run for re-election in 2012, saying any statement would be premature.

"Sen. Ensign and his family and everybody involved have been through a very tough time, and I think all of us have tried to give him and his family and all involved the space to work through that," he said.

Besides, he joked, "…I may get ousted in a coup d'etat as chairman of the NRSC in 2012."

Cornyn denied that rising expressions of anger from some members of the conservative base, particularly at Democratic town halls, would play a significant role in the GOP's 2010 electoral strategy. "It's part of the process…part of the grieving process," he said jokingly, pointing to the stages of grief. Republicans had moved through denial and fear, he said, and had reached anger. Besides, "it's part of our political process for people to express ... whatever they feel" without being "demonized," said Cornyn.

The Texas senator brushed off questions about whether Republican votes against Sonia Sotomayor's Supreme Court nomination would short-circuit the party's chances of making headway with Hispanic voters, since economic issues may continue to dominate well into next year.

He also said that if Democrats opted to use reconciliation to avoid a filibuster of the health care bill, "I assure you [the process] will be contentious and ugly."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (125 Responses)
  1. arivera

    And you Senator a mere republican criminal trying desperately to rob hard working Americans blind. But we have your number and you are going down.

    August 5, 2009 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  2. Donna

    Dem's can't see the forest for the trees evidently...well the fire's that's been lit will only gonna get hotter! Obama has spent more money than any president...ever...when you start paying the tab, don't think you're gonna like it.

    August 5, 2009 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Tommy

    And republicans of Cornyn's ilk are sub-human.

    Aim high!

    August 5, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. dominican mama 4 Obama

    There is but ONE GOD and President Obama is not he. But I will tell you that our President walks with the righteous, is not an adulterer, is not lining his pockets with insurance companies' monies. He is a man of good. Yes a community organizer, who will, I pray, in the course of his presidency teach us about taking care of each other.

    The hate, the sheer hate of this man, not his policies, not healthcare, but him as a person who is our president...is palpable. I can almost touch it, and smell it.

    Good God in heaven.

    August 5, 2009 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  5. Some one had to do it

    "The unemployment one! You cannot community organize employment, therefore, his experience is directly on par with the unemployment number."

    Doug, the unemployment #'s are a LAGGING indicator of the overall economic situation. They may continue to get worse before better. Unemployment figures are not a great indicator of President Obama. They are still reflective of the past president.

    August 5, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  6. dave

    BO is just getting treated the same way dems treated Bush and reps treated Clinton. Why would you expect anything different? I'm sure all of the dems feel they treated Bush very well.

    One question: What will it take for the dems to stop blaming everything on Bush?

    If everything improves, it will be BO that gets credit (rightfully so), but if things get worse, I bet dems will continue to say it is still all Bush's fault (which is wrong).

    August 5, 2009 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  7. Evan

    It continues to amaze me how many people are charmed by a smooth talker. Where is any critical thinking – the ability to discern reality from our president's pie-in-the-sky promises? i often liken our president to a teenager running for high school president – promise everything to everyone (except the so-called "rich"), with no way to pay for it. How will we keep paying for all of this? Oh yes, take it from the rich...

    August 5, 2009 03:49 pm at 3:49 pm |
  8. GOP = Party of Tolerance

    Instead of seeking consensus to solve problems Cornyn sees everything through a political prism and politics as a game. Repukes will do and say anything to cause Obama to fail in his efforts to solve the serious problems facing America, without offfering any constructive ideas or working in a bipartisan manner. At least Cornyn was being honest about his purely political modus operandi.

    August 5, 2009 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  9. CF

    Nobody on the left ever proposed that Obama was immortal, Jesus, or Superman. These were interpretations planted by the Right!

    Instead of trying to destroy Obama (which would in turn destroy our country!) why don't you Republicans put up or shut up - start working together with us, engage in real discussion with us, and HELP!

    August 5, 2009 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  10. Gee

    Actually, to those that think the Dumbocratic party elected Obama....It was the Independents that had a temporary bout of insanity that pushed him over the top and now most of them are regretting their decision...BOBO is not invincible and you Dem's can continue to fool yourselves into thinking that mainstream America agrees with you or you can move from the left to the center where someone might listen to you....otherwise, when you lose in 2012, instead of just threatening to move to Canada like you did from 2000 to 2008, DO IT!! don't spend four to eight years trying to undermine the government like you did for the 8 years the Republicans were in the majority....

    August 5, 2009 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  11. Gary

    No just mortal but rather flawed. The deficit is will cripple our economy. The car companies, AIG and the banks should not have been bailed out. The "cash for clunkers" program is Obama's latest economic disaster. The "stimulus" bill was nothing by Democratic pork. The Dems don't want to compromise with Reps. The healthcare reform proposal was nothing more than a government insurance option to try to ruin our system by moving us to a socialized healthcare over a few decades. They won't even discuss medical malpractice reform. Even the "cap and trade" bill amounts to a tax increase without clear environmental benefit. The afghanistan war is worsening, closing guantanimo and putting crazy jihadists on our territory??? What were we thinking electing President Obama? We need to vote him out of office before he ruins our country.

    August 5, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  12. Geralyn

    Cornyn states " We can't set the agenda, just state our opposition."

    That is what the republiCANT"S are doing and that is all they are doing- stating their opposition. How about coming up with some ideas!!!

    Stupid people.

    August 5, 2009 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  13. ED

    Obama was, is, and always will be a fraud - NOTHING more than a political illusion created by David Axelrod.

    August 5, 2009 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  14. Tom in FL

    Republicans have gotten themselves into a position of hoping for bad things, hoping for failure and misery for the country, so that they can take advantage of it. And they're not above creating failure and misery whenever there is an opportunity to do so, as this advances their "agenda". Clowns like Limbaugh manipulate their idiot base with false rumors and comspiracy theories in a desparate attempt to hold on to some support. This country needs a second party, but not the Republicans. They are totally bankrupt.

    August 5, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  15. Tulsa

    Ya know, we who voted for him know the President is a mortal. Maybe the Republicans don't want to admit it, but the people who voted for Obama are smarter than the ones who didn't.

    Yes, the Republicans will again turn to dirty tricks to try and win an election. Yes, I believe some people will actually try and assassinate the President because of the Limbaughs and Becks egging them on. The Republicans are to blame for this. They don't have enough backbone to tell the people any different.

    August 5, 2009 03:57 pm at 3:57 pm |
  16. carlo

    Just because Republicans worship, revere, fear Limbaugh like he's God doesn't mean we do the same thing with Pres. Obama.

    August 5, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  17. Ruty

    When will the Republicans ever admit they lost the election because they act like snotty nosed children? I still think the problem is you rich old white repubs can believe an African-American got to be president. GET OVER IT.

    August 5, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  18. Laidetea

    I never considered President Obama to be inmortal. The GOP/RNC are mere cartoonish because of their tactics of trying to make people do what they want people to do for them. The GOP party is still the party of "NO" and they will be the party of "No" in this century and the next.

    August 5, 2009 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  19. Claudia in Houson

    When the GOP stop talking about President Obama then we can say he is a "mere mortal" until then, keep talking Cornyn.

    August 5, 2009 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  20. Tom

    Obama is not immortal, but the GOP are immoral. They care about nothing but their own power.

    August 5, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  21. Grace

    "mere Mortal" Hey that's a nice compliment coming from Cornyn himself. He should know, he looks like someone out of a bad Star Wars movie.

    Republicans really need to put the comic and coloring books down and READ more intelligent books.

    This is WHY Republicans are proving to be nothing but a bunch of OBNOXIOUS and DESPERATE BULLIES who do nothing but go around busing folks to Town Hall Meeting to cause NOTHING but chaos because they know they DON'T HAVE ANY SOLUTIONS OR ANSWERS!

    THE GOP IS A PARTY OF NO SOLUTIONS BUT LOTS OF MOB FEARING-N–SCARING BULLIES!

    August 5, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  22. You lose all credibility when you say Palin is smart

    Another Republican who is helping Americans by providing ideas and solutions.

    Good job Republicans! We salute your creative ideas and solutions to America's problems. You guys are so focused. I am so proud of your ideas!

    Good effin job!

    August 5, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  23. Proud Member..Party of No

    He looks like a mere clown to me.

    August 5, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  24. Melissa

    Nobody ever said he wasn't mortal. The Republicans just like to say that people have said it, while totally forgetting that they always treat their Republican Presidents like they are a god, and condemn anyone who ever says anything against them by calling them unAmerican, or even "traitor". They're like children that simply can't handle any kind of adult mindset.

    August 5, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
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