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. Kevin -- Evansville, Indiana

    The GOP, on the other hand, is looking like a bunch of toddlers.

    I've never seen such sore losers. They have no plan, except "sabotage." Like they are trying to prove to the public that government doesn't work, by breaking it.

    How they think this will translate into election success is mind boggling. They've already lowered taxes to irresponsibly low levels, there's not much more they can do but obstruct the people trying to fix things.

    Grow up, losers!

    August 5, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  2. alvino

    All the wing nuts appear to have anger issues. They need to get together for a group hug.

    August 5, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  3. pat c

    think what you want but we democrats will never abandon our president! uglyness and lies are just making the GOP shrink daily so yes we will have the last laugh sir! there are more of us than the handful of you left standing and it is getting smaller as i type.

    August 5, 2009 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  4. OldSchoolVet

    Just more proof the Republican agenda is not the needs of the people, but the destruction of the President. How sad.

    August 5, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  5. Lisa in FL

    Excuse me Sen. Cornyn. It was the right wing (your party's leaders), you know Limpballs, Hannity, Levine, Beck who gave the President the label of "the annoited one", "the messaih", etc. I know of no Pres. Obama supporter who ever referred to him in those terms or who believe these pharases accurately describe him. To us he is the man who the American people elected to fix your party's mess after 8 years of failed economic and foreign policy that brought this great nation to its knees. The President is a pragmatist and a realist.

    August 5, 2009 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  6. Right Leaning Independent

    People are just getting to know our President. Obama's liberal spending habits along with the fact that he finally has to take a position as President(something he did not do as a senator)have made his approval ratings crash. Just wait until the bill comes dues for this massive spending. The folks on "Main Street" are really going to be crying! I do believe that the Republicans are poised to take back several seats. It is easier to get to the top than it is to stay there.

    August 5, 2009 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  7. Jennifer

    The only thing contentious and ugly is the size of John Cornyn's head.
    This guy's a windbag and he's still upset that a Dallas news investigation blew the lid off his huge travel expenses (the largest of all 100 Senators!) and John's only excuse was "well, Texas is a large state." Really? I had no idea...I've only lived here my entire life! He's a crybaby who's still upset that so much of Texas is going Democrat (yes, they really are).

    August 5, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  8. phoenix86

    No, Obama is looking like a fraud.

    August 5, 2009 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  9. Wake-me-when-it's-over

    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."

    Keep your eyes and ears open... If reconciliation is attempted as a means of passing a health care bill...we must be proactive and take positive actions as American Patriots.

    August 5, 2009 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  10. Ron in Ohio

    Republicans don't just have a near majority of opposition to the President, it also includes us. Pick any area- military, foreign policy, economy, education, the environment, health care, energy and so on, and if you are an imformed person, you see that they turn everything against us for their use. They destroy what they touch. At the next election, we need less of them so that we can heal more and be true Christians. Republicans hate when they don't have power and do what they can to get it back no matter what and really dislike when any of their own tactics are used against them. Beware of them, they do not serve us. They are good at fostering hate and fear, not serving the country ethically. In fact the word "Republican" is evolving to mean the same as hate.

    August 5, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  11. M-AZ

    Obama will succeed!

    August 5, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  12. Some republican guy

    Gravity? Isn't that, like, science? I thought Jesus power kept us stuck to the planet.

    August 5, 2009 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Milligee

    Only Republicans thought the President was something other than a human being and pushed it. I don't know any supporter of the President who thought otherwise. So, who are they kidding? Time to put the country first.

    August 5, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  14. Kelby

    Obama always was a mere mortal. The people who support him never elevated him to the level of deity. The only people who have ever refered to Obama as a 'saviour' or 'messiah' or 'chosen one' were his opponents, people like Cornyn.
    I see now that the Repuglican philosophy is, if you can't compete with the ideas and solutions, compete with the person. You can always beat the person. That was true until they faced Obama and lost.
    What they don't seem to understand is that it's not the messenger that beat them, it was the message.

    August 5, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. ANGIE IN PA

    No one ever said he was god, I belive the Leader Rush started that as well as fixed news but he is an Intelligent Hard working Man with commonsense something we havent had for 8 years can we enjoy thanks!

    August 5, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. Some republican guy

    Oops! I forgot to say have a nice day!

    August 5, 2009 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  17. Nevada dude

    "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."

    DOESNT THAT SAY IT ALL?? if the GOP cant lead, they wont play. is this "Country First"? I dont think so.

    Obama has always been a 'mere mortal' to us democrats–albeit a very smart one. But i can see why Republicans see him as superhuman, because none of their idiots come close in intellect and capability. for them its all guns and bible thumping.

    August 5, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  18. JS007

    I find it fascinating just how open the GOP is about their true motivations: politics. Who cares about people who are going bankrupt because of medical bills, right? Just oppose Obama on everything, sabotage progress, do nothing, and watch the country burn as long as you think it means that you will be re-elected in 2010. Disgusting. I hope the voters will see through this.

    August 5, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. gl, From Pittsburgh

    I guest by the 2012 the Repubicans would have called this President every name in the Dictionary.

    August 5, 2009 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. George

    Too bad the GOP didn't have good insurance. They have a huge condition now that can't be cured. Maybe their Messiah Joe The Plumber can cure their ills. Or maybe Sarah the govorner who quit that is not a quitter can help.

    August 5, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  21. sharon

    This is the GREATEST Pres we have had yet !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Nope.............you did not win.

    The more you slander/the worse you look.

    Get over it.

    If you can not bring this country forward with the Democrates and all the others joining behind Pres. Obama ............get OUT OF THE WAY >

    August 5, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  22. Gene

    Obama has always been a mere mortal. The GOP just couldn't get the fact that people can be attracted to someone because they have charisma and not because they're holy.

    August 5, 2009 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  23. B Lewis in Austin

    If Obama were a Republican, do you think Cornyn would be saying the same things? One of their problems, is that they have no one on the horizon that can hold a candle to Obama and that aggravates them to no end. Everyone needs to get used to the GOP's "scorched earth" policies as they will be using them thru 2016 when Obama will be stepping down. Get over it folks-you lost.

    August 5, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. Hugo

    I am sure that he could use some divine inspiration right now for a solution other than the usual option of tax and spend! Liberalism and Conservatism are both the problem, when the American people start looking at our leaders for who they are instead of which party the represent or the color of their skin, maybe then we will come out of this economic hole of disaster. How many of the blogger's on here actually understand the concepts of liberalism and conservatism? I would venture to say, not many! For those that really think this economic disaster is over, you better think again and learn some macroeconomic
    skills! Obama has sealed his fate, please have a nice trip back to lefty liberalville!

    August 5, 2009 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  25. John in Austin, Texas

    Sen. Cornyn and his "Christian Cronies" who cheat on their wives at their C-Street Church, model themselves after Hitler, call themselves prophets, pad their pockets on the war driven industry, are a pathetic bunch of hypocrites. I am embarrassed that he calls himself a Texan.

    August 5, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
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