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."
There is little risk to the Republicans because the majority of Americans are not in support of the Democrats' current universal healthcare plan.
On this issue most if not all of the risk is on the side of the Democrats.
The Democrats are the ones who have tried to rush this thing through before people had a chance to digest it.
Fortunately, the people caught wind of what was happening and now people are paying major attention.
When you are portrayed as messianic reality can be devastating.
You are wrong Mr. Cornyn, You could start to offer reasonable solutions to problems. Just saying "no" is not a strategy.
Oh, please. Republicans have no ideas, no values, no vision, no credibility, no leaders and no understanding of what Americans want.
Good luck with that.
The only ones who have called him a messiah are you people.
We know he's just a man, a great man, but a man nonetheless.
I'm been a supporter of President Obama since he was a state senator, and I can assure you that we have known for quite a while that he was a mortal. He is a very intelligent, honest, hard-working mortal, but he isn't some superhero or Messiah. That is just right wing spin to set him up to fail. Quite frankly, most Americans are sick and tired of the right wing spin.
Obama got hinself elected to High-Office with the teflon-smooth talk and sure fooled a lot of people, but now that the veneer is peeling-off
and we can see the real Obama who is after-all all talk and no substance...It was real easy for Obama to get the job but he sure has a hard time delivering "Leadership" So, he ain't got and won't cut it
Obama carefully earmarked funds from the stimulus package, as well as this proposed healthcare package, that would be released in efforts to portray a "healed,' economy right around the 2010 election. He will go on the bandwagon of saying it's on the upswing, when in reality, he's going to raise our taxes, deny us adequate health care and opportunities for small business growth, and then in 2010, offer back some of the funds he took from us....the sad part is the obama supporters are too blind to see it! They're willing sheeple led to financial slaughter.
I will take Obama over Bush any day.
At leas Obama didn't run around telling everybody that he had been called by God to be president.
HEY GOP keep saying NO to everything, while the rest of the country moves on. You are making your own beds and you will have to lay in them. Your ignorance is amazing. How in the world can you be sooo stupid?
By 2010 the number of R will be less by almost half bc Obama is going to have a big success.
Health care reform truly seems to be his waterloo. Apparently, the DNC is still blaming the GOP, but I think that's starting to wear thin with the American public. Democrats=the part of blame.
The President has always been mortal, Senator. It was the RNC who made him a God. As to polling numbers: most polls are determined by a small number of people in specific locations by specific pollsters. What we should remind you is that the RNC has a tiny percentage of Black and Latino support. They need it and it simply will not happen as long as strong Democrats like Obama are in national politics. He's young, as are so many others like him, and America is better for it.
"President Obama is now looking like a mere mortal, as opposed to someone who previously exceeded gravity."
Exceeded gravity ??? What's that supposed to mean?
It was the right wing crowd's sarcasm which labeled BHO as immortal. Now they want to bring him down? BHO himself never declared he was the King, did he?
I am in Texas and cant wait to vote him out. My students and I will do all we can to have someone who thinks about americans and respects this great country. Never Republican again.
Obama is a mortal favored by almost three fifths of the people of the country. You, also a mortal, are a member of a political party that 21% of the people identify with. Love your threats though.
In America, ugly or not, majority rules. That is the reason we had to go through 8 years of GOP leadership.
Well maybe the rest of the dazed voters are finally waking up and finding that they voted for an inexperienced community organizer who is in way over his head. How can he run the country when he has zero business experience or understanding? He can't keep spending money we don't have. Tax payers (people who actually pay taxes) are fed up with our hard earned dollars being flushed down the toilet.
He always was looser. And even then he makes you look like reptiles.
We never thought that Obama was anything more than a mere mortal.
It's just that, compared to his predecessor and his competition, he SEEMED to defy gravity.
Now if we can EVER see COOPERATION RATHER THAN COMPETITION, I will have true HOPE for the world. Until then politics and money rule to the continued detriment/erosion of life on Earth.
Cornyn is an idiot. Why would anyone think different of Obama, he is a normal person. He may be highly intelligent, but so what? He's still human, and a good one at that.
BTW, for those out there that thinks Obama is going to make the U.S. a socialist nation, you're idiots too.
Ever hear of Francis Bellamy? Probably not. He's man who wrote the Pledge of Allegiance. And guess what? He was an anti capitalist, socialist.
Don't believe me? google it.
What is in the water in Texas that makes these people threaten everyone using cowboy diplomacy?
The One, The Messiah, made Chris Matthews have tingling sensation down his legs doesn't walk on water. Oprah Winfrey's false eyelashes would be falling by now. Her "the one we've been waiting for" is a complete farce who doesn't know if he's coming or going.
What did you think he was before. God? For people that claim to know God I hope you know that taking the name of God in vain is sin. Obama is among the humans that are doing extra ordinary things. More is yet to come and you guys will eat your words. Or may be you wouldn't acknowledge it then either, becuase you would write your political obituary.
Mere mortal you say? The RNC/GOP has dedicated it's resources to crushing this president. He is still phenomenal to me!