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. elizabeth10

    Gibbs flip answers blaming everyone else is getting old. WE DO NOT HAVE TRANSPARENCY,

    January 20, 2010 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  2. elizabeth10

    Gibbs flip lip-service of blaming everyone else is getting old. I beg to differ, THERE IS NOT TRANSPARCY in this current administration. We may know AFTER the fact. It appears that if you don't agree and blindly follow the current administration goals and wishes, one is not serious about bipartisanship. Gibbs, wake up, you are becoming just as unpopular as OB and we don't believe you either.

    January 20, 2010 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. davis harbour oregon's water is poisoned

    bi-partisanship doesn't mean selling out your core beliefs and agreeing with what the other side wants.

    gibbs you are a joke.

    January 20, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  4. StevieB

    Yeah, we noticed that years ago when they started to flat-out refuse to even talk to a democrat. About anything.

    January 20, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Glenn Koons

    Gibbs is a dunce like the rest of the leftist Dems and their MSM cohorts. Sure, there can be help from Pubs if: trash the present Obamacare bill. All of it. Do not even think of the Cap and Tax faux climate bill. Drop it. Stop all amnesty. Stop higher taxes and spending. Now. No deals. No deals or comprises. There , that is bi-partisan and we can all start from scratch. Then common sense may occur. I don't think the Dems will do it because they are socialist pacifists. Period. Keep that ways boys and girls so the voters can throw you all out.

    January 20, 2010 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. Roger

    Gibbs get lost. Your so-called news session today was a complete flop. Can't you answer even a simple question?

    January 20, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  7. Illinoistom

    Ask Rep. Cantor how serious Obama is about "bi-partisanship." This Administration is a sick joke.

    January 20, 2010 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  8. C Spurgeon

    Gibbs nice guy but talks way too much....Just answer the question or don't..You seem to feel you have to answer everything and then explain the answer. All the sharks are only trying to get you to say some thing controversial so they can use it, distort whatever. Media is not a respected profession like they used to be...

    January 20, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  9. Future expat

    The American experiment has failed. I say we just let the GOP finish running the country into the ground, then we go from there.

    January 20, 2010 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  10. John

    Can we get a better spokesperson than Gibbs, please! The guy is like milk toast and obnoxious to boot. He does not come across as smart. His best attribute is evasiveness.

    January 20, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  11. Gerry NH

    This guy would not know the truth if it hit in the face. He stated today on TV that the Obama white house is the most transparent white house in history. He is probably the only person in America that belevies this crap.

    January 20, 2010 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  12. Sasha

    Indeed. The only time the Republican party ever bothers to reach a hand out to the other side of the aisle is so that it may then extend its middle finger.

    I really wish the so-called liberal media would bother to point out how frequent that is.

    January 20, 2010 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  13. John P.

    So, bipartisanship means republicans going along with democrat ideas, but no democrats going along with republican ideas? Don't forget, ALL democrats voted FOR the health care bill. How is that bipartisan? The pot calling the kettle black.

    January 20, 2010 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Willy Brown

    Gibbs how do you like your tea? 1 or 2 lumps?

    January 20, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  15. Tiller in Texas

    Who cares what the Republicans say they are going to do?? They have proved they are lairs and thieves.

    Thank God we have another couple of years of NON-GOP.

    January 20, 2010 07:26 pm at 7:26 pm |
  16. Hammerer

    Ask Gibbs if he knows what bipartisanship means. It is not if you don't agree with me and do as I say you are not partisan.

    January 20, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  17. m smith

    They won't work with the Democrats and the election of pin u boy Brown will not make it better but worse. They are a bunch of hipocrats . The american people want health care and jobs. What have the repos said they would do to create jobs and provide health coverage????

    January 20, 2010 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  18. ib

    Since when did Obama want to work with anyone except his far left buddies. My way or the highway is Obama's method of working together. Guess what now the people are telling Obama to get on the highway just look at yesterdays results. GO BROWN.

    January 20, 2010 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  19. obama the liar

    and all this time i thought obama was the clown and then comes Gibbs....

    January 20, 2010 07:36 pm at 7:36 pm |
  20. Howard

    I think Gibbs needs to talk with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid about reaching across the aisle. I am sure Reid did not offer the bribe he gave to Sen Nelson (D) Nebraska to any of his Republican Senators. (after all, he just needed one vote, it did not have to be a democrat)>

    January 20, 2010 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
  21. usualone

    It is pretty clear that the current crop of Republicans will never work with the Democrats....unless perhaps America is attacked again, and that would be an awful way for us to work as one country. They smell "blood" now after the MA event. Sad sad leaders, who only think about themselves. They only say "no" to everything the Democrats propose, without "constructive" suggestions and criticisms. What they have done in recent years has affirmed my idea that being a Republican would be a disastrous choice for middle class or others than the rich.

    January 20, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  22. Jenn, Philadelphia

    Let's see, the Democrats put the bill together by themselves, because as Nancy Pelosi put it "we won, we get to write the bill". Then they reject every one of the over 100 suggestions from the Republicans, and then when it's time to put the final touches on the bill, they totally eliminate the Republicans (but special interest groups "come on in") from imput. And Robert Gibbs says the Republicans have no interest in working with Democrats? When Obama said he was going to reach across the aisle, who knew he meant to smack the Republicans in the head.

    January 20, 2010 07:40 pm at 7:40 pm |
  23. Shelly

    Gibbs is right.... the President extended his hand early on in his Presidency but the Repubs showed immense arrogance and bitterness and continued to obstruct everything. Even a blind man could sense their anger.

    January 20, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  24. Another Reformed Republican

    McConnell says that the Refuseniks are willing to meet Democrats in the middle for truly bipartisan solutions. All McConnell is saying is that he is an accomplished liar and when has he ever offered a solution? Can you say senile, angry old man?

    January 20, 2010 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  25. Celine

    This is true. I don't believe Republicans ever intended to "meet anyone in the middle and work for bi-partisan solutions". Their sole objective was and is to destroy President's Obama's agenda and prevent any legilative progress from occuring as long as he (or any other Democrat) is President. Unfortunately, we the American people, are the losers.

    January 20, 2010 07:44 pm at 7:44 pm |
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