January 20th, 2010
03:56 PM ET
5 years ago

Gibbs says Republicans not serious about bipartisanship

White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that Republicans are stalling on major legislative issues.
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said Wednesday that Republicans are stalling on major legislative issues.

Washington (CNN) - Republicans talk about working with Democrats but don't follow through, stalling progress on major issues, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Wednesday.

"They've got to want to work," Gibbs told reporters. "It has to be heart-felt."

Gibbs cited a GOP attempt to filibuster the defense spending bill last year, followed by an 88-10 vote in favor of the measure that included support from most Republicans.

Earlier Wednesday, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told reporters that his party is ready to work with Democrats on finding middle-ground solutions for major issues.

"We're prepared to meet them in the middle for truly bipartisan solutions to the problems the American people sent us here to grapple with," McConnell said.

In response, Gibbs said: "I watched Mitch McConnell, whose party unity score in voting was 95 percent, talk
about being bipartisan - an interesting message."

Democrats and Republicans on the Senate Finance Committee spent months working on a health care bill that included amendments proposed by Republicans, Gibbs noted. When the Senate eventually voted on a final health care bill that included much of the Finance Committee measure, no Republicans supported it.

"You can talk and you can meet and you can extend a hand, but if what you construct working with the other party, the other party is then unwilling to support, … you can't do that," Gibbs said.


Filed under: GOP • Mitch McConnell • Obama administration • Robert Gibbs
soundoff (190 Responses)
  1. Dennis

    Considering the source that's pretty funny. Gibbs is a weasel.

    January 20, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
  2. Steve, New York City

    "Neither side" seems to be serious about bipartisanship . . .though in the case of the Republicans, maybe it's also been harder to work with them, now that many of their moderates are out of office (Chris Shays, Governor Weld, etc.) . . .and some of these centrists have been replaced by "Rush Limbaugh" clones.

    Hopefully Senator-elect Brown will mark a resurgence of the more moderate (northeastern) GOP.

    January 20, 2010 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  3. sherry

    All the repubs care about is big bussiness....they want the big Insurance companies to still monopolize the healthcare and stop people from getting healthcare with pre-exsisting illnesses from getting coverage...It is wrong and cannot for the life of me see why they can not see through the hypocrisy of the situation......Everyone deserves to be able to take of themselves to be healthy .....Repubs to me dont seem to care about the least unfortunete ...Shme on you.

    January 20, 2010 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  4. Fitz in Texas

    Why on earth does Gibbs think the American people believe half of the stuff that comes out of his mouth.

    Gibbs is as good at the blame came as Obama is. Guess his boss taught him well.

    January 20, 2010 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  5. What??

    Oh really??? And the democrat leadership is? Is that why they block republicans from their closed-door meetings in back rooms to hammer out secret deals?

    January 20, 2010 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  6. T'SAH from Virginia

    "...Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, told reporters that his party is ready to work with Democrats on finding middle-ground solutions for major issues..."

    I predicted this would be the Republi-CAN'Ts plan from DAY ONE........ SAY NO to everything President Obama wants and when it seems to TURN against President Obama and LQQK somewhat GOOD for them then WORK with the Democrats. This would make it seem as if it was the REPUBLICANS that turned it around!!!

    We're NOT stupid!!! The American people know better than that. YOU should have been working with the Democrats all along and chose not to!!!

    January 20, 2010 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  7. Independents Request A Truth Scorecard

    The GOP seems to tell so many more lies than the Democrats

    Americans need someone whose job it is to expose the biggest liars.

    It can't be the office of the President .... nor can't be anyone that is a formal part of the administration ... otherwise the population at large will discount the expose'.

    In American society, it's SUPPOSE to be the "Media" that exposes political distortions & lies. That is why we allow them the 1st Ammendment protections.

    But if the media isn't exposing GOP lies on an regular basis, then they don't deserve all the latitude that "Freedom of the Press" grants them.

    Because the GOP lies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, 10 years per decade and 10 decades per century .... the Media needs to apply that "Truth Meter Approach" ... normally saved for campaigns ... continuously.

    Apply it in a fair, balanced but hard hitting manner and then keep a running score of who the biggest liars in politics are.

    January 20, 2010 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  8. Scott, Tucson

    And what does Gibbs say about the democratic backdoor meetings on heath care which they shut out any participation by the Republicans and the hundred million sweetheart deals to buy off votes for obamacare. And why does obama surrounds himself with buffoons like Gibbs and Napolitano?

    January 20, 2010 08:19 pm at 8:19 pm |
  9. D.D.

    ...And we can't repond positively to our own partisanship.
    People need to realize there is an invisible wall of polticians in Washington that will not support the President. They feel they can't and won't follow someone younger, less experienced and of more color. Now prove that I am lying.

    January 20, 2010 08:22 pm at 8:22 pm |
  10. You are Mrs. Doutfire

    No one wants this radical agenda.

    January 20, 2010 08:23 pm at 8:23 pm |
  11. Right Leaning Independent

    Gibbs, you are a lunatic!!!! The Republicans tried to stop a wasteful stimulus plan that has turned out to be – WASTEFUL!! They are trying to stop a healthcare plan that the majority of Americans do not want – can you believe that??? The problem with you is that you are arrogant enough to believe that we do not see exactly what is going on with this administration. You claim to want bipartisanship and than you craft a bill that supports the Dems special interest groups only and can not believe it when Repubs do not jump on board. I think you should have to pass some sort of test to get a job running our country.....!!!! You would surely not have made the grade...

    January 20, 2010 08:31 pm at 8:31 pm |
  12. jp,michigan

    What does Gibbs know about bipartisanship? It the Obama way or the highway.

    January 20, 2010 08:34 pm at 8:34 pm |
  13. Teena in Denver

    when has the party of NO ever tried to practice compromise? Even now one of their senior members is screaming to seat their newest member immediately, this after stopping the acceptance of a minnesota senator for 6 months. come on repubs, stop saying one thing, doing the opposite, and then spinning it to say you are working with the democrats!

    January 20, 2010 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  14. Squigman

    The republican agenda: No: 1, Take complete control. No: 2, Ignore all input from other party. No: 3, Remember, all lies, are only lies if brought to light by the media. No: 4, Convince the population that the media is biased, if they happen to disagree with our agenda. No: 5, Pander to the morons by claiming to have their interest at heart, while selling out to the largest corporate boards, I.E. Health Care, Insurance, and Energy Companies. Remember, you only have to worry about number 4, if your caught doing number 3..

    January 20, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. vwrtb

    Republicans are nothing more than a union for corporate greed...

    January 20, 2010 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
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