January 20th, 2010
03:56 PM ET
4 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. PA Patriot

    Listen to what Gibbs speaks for the Democrats is much like listen to the clown president from Iran speak. He can explain when the Democrats were ever bipartisan with the Republicans. Typical Democrat who can do no wrong and there is nothing a Republican can do right. Does he even know what bipartisan means. Another clown from the current administration.

    January 20, 2010 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Jason the Saj

    That's because the Democrats and Obama Administration's idea of bi-partisanship is "Vote the way we want."

    Of course, one could probably do an very interesting statistical study on the number of articles the mainstream media publishes accusing the Republicans of partisanship versus the number of times the media accuses the Democrats of partianship.

    In fact, I am not sure that I've ever seen the media accuse the Democrats of partisanship.

    The term bi-partisanship/partisanship for many conservatives equates to:

    Bi-partisanships: A few republicans sided with democrats.
    Partisanship: Any time the Republicans vote on an issue.

    January 20, 2010 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. Soaponarope

    Hello! Wake up! These new Republicans are clever and also predictable. They have never and will never be bipartisan. I wish the president and congress was more LIberal. This is not 1933. People don't have patience. They want their jobs created in 1 year after living high and ignorant for 8 years. I predicted this backlash the day our president was elected.

    January 20, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  4. johnnyj

    Its soo funny to me that when i read these blogs, the Dems keep blaming Bush and the Repubs for everything that is going wrong in our government today. However, they couldn't come up with a health care bill that they could all agree on either. At least not without giving special people with special states a little extra something for their vote. Now there has even been talk of pushing something, anything thru as fast as poss. before Brown is seated. I think that there has been just as much under handed things and lies in this administration as there was in the last. Dosent matter whose in charge, its going to happen.

    January 20, 2010 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  5. Donkey Party

    Wow Gibbsie, it only took you until now to realize what the rest of us figured out 364 days ago? Better late than never. Now can we please move on without the Righties and just leave them in the dirt where they belong?

    January 20, 2010 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  6. Minnesotan

    The issue is not that they don't WANT to work with the Dem's. Its that they want their power they lost back and they know that what ever it takes they will do what is necessary to get that power back. The GOP thinks derailing anything and everything the Obama Administration wants to try to do will help to defeat him in 2012. So that is where they are coming from. The American people can go to heII for all they care, just as long as they get power back.

    January 20, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  7. John

    that goes both ways, Mr. Gibbs.....

    January 20, 2010 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  8. Republicans - Wrong about everything, Wrong for America (and GW Bush was the worst President ever)

    Republicans not serious about bipartisonship. Duh. They want to play both sides of the fence. Take Peter King, for instance. He puts millions of dollars of spending into the Stimulus bill, and then votes against it because he says it is too expensive. That way, he can tell his Republican constituents that he followed their wishes and voted against it, all the while telling everyone about how he got them money for their pet projects. Brilliant!!!!

    January 20, 2010 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  9. Dex, Houston TX

    When is the Democratic Party going to realize that Van Jones was right about the Republicans....and they should be treated as such!

    January 20, 2010 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  10. stevegee

    Robert Fibbs is at it again!

    It's the White House and the Democrats who wouldn't work in a bipartisan way - they ignored Republican ideas on healthcare throughout 2009. And now, they're scrambling to save face.

    Wait till November when voters across the country hand out pink slips to all the liberals.

    January 20, 2010 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  11. mike,iowa

    No kidding.. why do you think nothing has gotten done so far? everyone wants to blame Obama cause he hasnt done anything well no one wants to do anything he wants to including alot of democrats. Its like people just refuse to work with him as if they want him to fail..

    January 20, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  12. terry,va

    Obummie and Gibbs holler bipartisan after Brown shoved it down their throats. Isn't it great to be able to tell those weasels, you have to listen to the Repubs now!!! Get on board or get run over by the truck!!!!

    January 20, 2010 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  13. Sue

    GIBBS is not serious about HONESTY! let's get rid of this puppet NOW!!!! you can actually see his head 'bobbing' like the marionette he is!

    January 20, 2010 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. harold

    Republicans want to kill Heath Care for all in USA.. just like they tried to kill Medicare in 1965 cause it was Socialist.. same for VA medical care and social security.. all Socialist.... Wow .. what a country.. and party the Republicans have got....

    January 20, 2010 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  15. rob

    So much for bipartisanship and trying to work together from the Administration, lets just call names and score political points. This is the same crap that failed in the election. Just more arrogance from the Dems.

    January 20, 2010 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  16. Matt

    Gibbs is a lying clown and needs to go. Last time I checked it was the idiot liberals who said "we won" and then locked the door.

    Eat it Gibbs.

    January 20, 2010 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  17. lkb

    Gibbs is not interested in bipartisanship but then again neither is the president, Ried or Pelosi. They all say they are Progressives and that means it is their way or the highway. Pelosi even said in an interview last night that the polls meant nothing to her and she would get her health bill passed. OK lady....the people know you do not listen, you kinow better than us.

    January 20, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  18. steve

    Oh come on...
    Mitch- you lie! And you prove it ALL the time!

    The only time republicans are conservative with the resources entrusted to them is when they are out of power. It's also the only time they want to be bipartisan.

    January 20, 2010 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  19. BH

    For Gibbs to even PRETEND that Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid are acting in a bipartisan manor is an intellectual insult.

    January 20, 2010 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  20. Not so

    Gibb, I'm listen to live right now, talking to Wolfe and everything you are saying is toying around, walking around the facts, not telling the truth.

    Gibbs is full of it.

    January 20, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  21. Jim

    I say let them filibuster everything. Put the bills up for votes and let them jam everything up until they are done jamming everything up. Then America will see who is stalling everything.

    January 20, 2010 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  22. Sam Sixpack

    Gibbs will not be remembered for honesty - if at all.

    January 20, 2010 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  23. Mike in MN

    Republicans are serious with working with resonable Democrats that they can find common ground with. That would be the Blue Dogs. But Obama and Pelosi and Reid are far left liberals even though Obama tries to pretend to be a centerist. In fact I believe Obama is a far left radical progressive. But in anycase Republicans can find almost no common ground with the far left. In fact Blue Dogs have had a very hard time finding much common ground with the far left progressive leadership themselves. Replace Pelosi and Reid with a couple of Blue Dogs and there will be bipartisan progress. Leave the Democrat leadership the way it is and everything will end in a fillibuster in the Senate.

    January 20, 2010 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  24. Mike in MN

    It is true Republicans tried to fix the health care bill in the Senate with amendments. But in the end the bill as a whole was still too much of a piece of crap to vote for. The American people agree. Time to start over, the current piece of crap has passed it's experiation date.

    January 20, 2010 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  25. dude palin

    i couldn't agree more.we must stand together and vote out all from the
    republican party.

    January 20, 2010 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
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