August 5th, 2009
02:21 PM ET
9 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. vette gal

    ...and this is what's wrong with our country. We have two politcial parties that both care more about winning for their own interests. There should be no republicans or democrats. There should just be people that care about our country and it's citizens. That way there would be no voting for party lines but voting based on the candidates themselves.

    August 5, 2009 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  2. GOPer

    Cornyn said people should express whatever they feel, huh? So he condones hanging effigies from these right wing fringe groups? Nice.

    Vote these GOPers out..

    August 5, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  3. Once You Vote Black

    Obama announces $2.4 billion in grants for cleaner cars! Does that sound like the action of a mere motal?

    August 5, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  4. Moderate Democrat

    Just admit it Republicans.

    Democrats made him President. Republicans made him look like God. Then again, anything looks like God compared to a republican.

    August 5, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  5. Neilz

    No. Now he just looks like a Republican.
    Or Buffalo Soldier.

    August 5, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. Lori in St Pete

    Sen. Cornyn, as someone who voted for him, I never believed President Obama to be anything other than a mere mortal. Come to think of it, nobody that I know who voted for him feels anything different and ever did. It's the haters who call him "the messiah", "the chosen one" among other things. Thanks again for proving what sore little losers your team mates are.

    August 5, 2009 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  7. gl, From Pittsburgh

    One thing I have learn today is the Republicans have taken the minoirties voters for granted and continue to dimissed the minority one too many times and they are going to pay in 2010. Most of the Repubicans that voted against Sonia SotoMayor are in the states they have the most Lations. It is time us minority stick together and 2010 and vote these racist fools out of office for GOOD!

    August 5, 2009 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  8. Zero.

    More like a smeared-mortal..

    August 5, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  9. MC

    Yes, certainly the President is a mere mortal. I believe it was the GOP who started rumors that he was something else . . . how long did the rumor about him being the anti-Chr*st float around? It just can't get much lower than that. It is dangerous and offensive to casually throw around allegations like that. The same tactic was used by the Dole senate campaign against Kay Hutchinson, and Dole lost her lead and the election. Thankfully the GOP can rely on ex-Gov Palin who quit her office to follow "a higher calling."

    Obama has proved to be a good, caring man with a great intellect. He happens to care about the 47 million americans without access to health care, but those poor souls probably don't have much to donate to campaigns and may not have ready access to polling stations and are therefore completely unimportant to folks like the Sen. Cornyn.

    The Republican message is pretty clear – no health care for uninsured Americans at any cost.

    August 5, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  10. Jeff M.

    Funny, the GOP s spending a lot of time and energy trying to "take down" a mere mortal.

    August 5, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  11. JonDie

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

    Is Cornyn such a moron that he didn't know that Obama is a "mortal?"

    And what does Cornyn offer?

    Sarah Palin.

    No (his answers to solving our problems).

    An angry, old white man who hates Hispanics, including those that make up a large part of his constituency.

    August 5, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  12. MEL IN florida


    After eight years of your royalty......Bush

    Now we have a President that he really cares about this great nation.

    PRESIDENT OBAMA!!!!!!!!! YOU ROCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    August 5, 2009 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  13. Joseph, Los Angeles

    Yes, President Obama is a mortal; A great one at that.

    August 5, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  14. Aviate

    Senator Cornyn, if you and your GOP colleagues were to ever show any signs that you are actually human beings, "mortals" as it were, it would be a gigantic step up for the lot of you.

    August 5, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  15. history repeats

    obama has ALWAYS been a mere mortal to us. the republicans are the only ones that call him a messiah. and the reason they see him as a superstar was because THEY COULD DO NOTHING TO DEFEAT HIM. he was a complete mystery to them, their fear mongering and patriotism nonsense HAD NO IMPACT for the first time in a very long time. we saw him as an educated man that could get his message across. he was involved in his community and he campaigned on issues that affect the people and NOT of war and terrorism like the republicans did. and NOW the republicans want to discuss health reform. ONLY because the democrats want to FIX it. did we even hear about health care reform while bush was in office!?

    August 5, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  16. doug

    If you really want judge how BoBo is doing, just look at one number...The unemployment one! You cannot community organize employment, therefore, his experience is directly on par with the unemployment number. It really does not matter what you think of BoBo, he IS on pace to have one of the lowest, if not lowest, approval ratings and will be an afterthought shortly. However, I pitty the next president who has to reverse all the DAMAGE this stooge did to this ONCE great nation.

    August 5, 2009 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  17. Wake Up

    "cooperation rather than competition"? huh? so a democracy means bow to the president and ruling power?? Wake up and analyze what's going on and what it means for the future. Stop drinking the Obama kool-aid. You Obamabots are so funny it's disgusting.

    August 5, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  18. doug

    Be careful what you vote just may get it!

    August 5, 2009 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  19. Some one had to do it

    President Obama is the bravest president in my life time, that is attacking issues that will bring this country off the brink of the abyss and back to where our place is and that is a leader in the world. Someone has to make the tough decisions. I would vote for him again in a heartbeat.

    August 5, 2009 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  20. EG

    Republicans are amusing.

    They createt all that mess and now brainwashing ordenary folks that
    they now have the answers.

    But nothing usefull comes out of their mouth.

    Republucans are toastr for many years to come because they are trying to hang on to old and corruptive ideals;

    Thanks God most americans see it.

    August 5, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  21. Lauren

    He always did look like a mortal to me, he is human just like the rest of us. I don't think people voted for him because they thought he wasn't mortal. (repubs please stop talking, now)

    August 5, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  22. Dishonest Barry

    I prefer to call him lying mortal. He has lied about taxes, earmarks, lobbiests in cabinet, transparancy, just to name a few.

    August 5, 2009 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  23. Denis

    Obama is and has always been a mere MORTAL which is absolutely refreshing. Obama has done and is doing a great job considering the fact that I have some serious concerns about the lack of productive effort and conduct of a number of Republican Politicians and the RNC regarding Congress's efforts to modernize our Healthcare system to the standards that all other industrialized countries in Europe and Canada enjoy.

    August 5, 2009 03:39 pm at 3:39 pm |
  24. The Voice

    The Republicans are the party of "no change", the economy will improve and we will be out of this recession. They oppose everything the Democrats do and that's okay, because they will continue to loose elections and seats in congress.

    August 5, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  25. yoyolite

    The party of "NO" lives up to its name. I hope thye get beat to dust in the next elections.They are definitely headed down the drain. No one wants thugs anymore running this great country. Under Obama we are getting back to being the great country we were. God bless America and may God bless Obama.

    August 5, 2009 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
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