November 18th, 2010
02:46 PM ET
3 years ago

Hoyer blasts Republicans for postponing meeting with Obama

Washington (CNN) - House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer blasted Congressional Republicans on Thursday for forcing the White House to postpone a bipartisan post-election meeting with President Obama, which the White House had announced was scheduled for Thursday.

"I can never remember an instance when President Bush asked me or a Democrat in leadership to come down to meet with him that we did not accommodate our schedules to that request. I think that is not only respectful of the president of the United States, but it also furthers the ability to solve problems confronting our country," Hoyer said during a session with reporters on Capitol Hill.

Hoyer said he hasn't met with House Republican Leaders since the election, but said, "I am hopeful we will find common ground with our Republican colleagues, who have been given by the American people the authority to set the agenda."

The Maryland Democrat was elected Wednesday to serve as Democratic Whip, the No. 2 leadership position, when Democrats become the minority party in the new Congress.

One reporter asked Hoyer if the House Democratic leadership lineup was too old, with its top leaders - Nancy Pelosi, Hoyer and Jim Clyburn - all over 70, while GOP leaders are younger. Hoyer used the question to take a jab at the House GOP leadership for lacking diversity. "I want you to look at the Democratic leadership and then I want you to a look at the Republican leadership. Then I want you to look at America. You tell me which body is representative of our country."

The top three Republicans in the House - John Boehner, Eric Cantor, and Kevin McCarthy - are all white males. Democrat Clyburn is African-American.

Hoyer argued Republicans have repeatedly refused to work with Democrats on major legislation, but he told reporters both parties have a responsibility to get beyond the election year mindset.

"Both parties need to extricate themselves from this two-year psychology that we have been put into, understandably, by a two-year election cycle. We cannot afford, either the Republicans or the Democrats, to think in a two-year cycle. The challenges confronting our country demand a longer term vision."

Looking back, Hoyer admitted that Democrats made a mistake by not stressing to the public what Congress had done to address the economy. "Health care took a long time and they forgot that the first thing we dealt with was jobs."


Filed under: Steny Hoyer
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. independent

    Let's be clear on one thing. The Republicans have said from the beginning that they would do whatever it takes to get President Obama out of office, even if that means doing nothing at all. They will do nothing. They will not compromise. They will let 'Rome' burn, unemployment lines lengthen, economy slow, international financial crisis boil, etc., until they get him out of office. The good ol boys can't accept who is sitting in the President's chair.

    November 18, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  2. ingrid

    Absolutely. The republicans better respect the office of the President. They do not have to agree with President Obama, but Americans want our congress to show respect to the office!!!

    November 18, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  3. Indie Woman in Denver

    The Repubs' "scheduling issues" are just another excuse to disrespect this President. Wake up, guys, and get a clue about what most/Americans want, and it's not another handout for the rich folks. What we need is some relief for lower & middle class folks who lost their jobs/homes/etc because Wall St screwed up and Washington wasn't regulating them anymore. Time to start working with your cohorts across the aisle to solve some real problems.

    November 18, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  4. doug

    I can never remember before Obama, a US President calling Americans the enemy simply because they didn't vote for him.

    Source, Obama's Univision interview, he clearly states that all Americans right of center are the enemy, a feeling echoed by every Democrat in America.

    November 18, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  5. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    The party of "apartheid" (Republicans) are just getting started. If you don't know what that is read about Nelson Mandela and you will see the same similarities happening in our society today, start with their fight for the 2% rich.

    November 18, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  6. Sandy Carey

    Understand something - the Republicans have NO INTENTION of any sort of cooperation - not on their agenda. Their ONLY goal is to beat this President any way they can, the country be damned. REMEMBER THIS, Dems – and get your ever-lovin' ACT TOGETHER!!!!

    November 18, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  7. Former Republican, now an Independent

    This is typical of the current republican party. It has been coquered by fanatics who have respect for nothing but their political agenda, and they will cooperate with no one that doesn't conform to their extremist views.

    November 18, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Patricia

    I agree with Hoyer. The Republicans are entirely too big for their britches and too disrespectful of the President. I am so disappointed in the lack of decency among these people. Nothing positive comes from this type of game.

    November 18, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  9. Right Leaning Independent

    Oh, Obama wants a meeting and the Repubs are supposed to jump through hoops!! Well what about all the times that Repubs were shut out of the White House the past two years!!! You reap what you sow and Obama and the Dems are now faced with Repubs that they have ignored and blasted for the past two years!! Republican ideas were not even considered on most bills so they said NO. Thank god someone had sense to say NO to the Dems agenda!! Looks like the majority of Americans agreed with Repubs on November 2nd!!! I know my vote was against Obama and the Dems agenda!!

    November 18, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. Reggie

    it does seem like total disrespect to tell the President of the United States that you are too busy to meet him. I guess if you spend months saying he is dangerous, socialist, un-American, etc . . .you're not going to be in a rush to meet with him.

    November 18, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. Right Leaning Independent

    Please, you had to make a postion(still unknown) for Clyburn.. Pelosi was just afraid of the race card being played on her own party...

    November 18, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Rick McDaniel

    Perhaps it is the President, who needs to demonstrate a willingness to cooperate, since up to this time, he has been totally unwilling to reach across the aisle.

    November 18, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  13. Dutch/BAd Newz, VA

    Thank you for stating what needed to be said Steny. These fascists republicans are pompous pricks with no respect.

    November 18, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  14. stevegee

    Perhaps Steny didn't read the newspapers on November 3rd: Republicans won! Now you Democrats have to ride in the back of the car.

    November 18, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  15. Realistic

    Republicans disrespect the President and the oval office by their conduct. Welcome Americans to "up yours' america, we,the GOP are now in charge of congress and we don't care what you think or want.

    November 18, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  16. lforlegend

    Most of these repubs will be out of office in 2012, Americans are going to awake from their deep sleep and vote them out. Enjoy it while you can. Gridlock and indifference to our needs ain't gonna work, repugs.

    November 18, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  17. Liggins

    Gotta throw the old race card out there as a faithful Democrat. This kind of useless sniping is all we heard during the Bush years and with it starting again I think it is going to lock up the system for the next two years. Gridlock doesn't bother us so go ahead.

    November 18, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  18. Lando

    What do you expect from Republibans....

    November 18, 2010 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  19. Irma in North Carolina

    It is about time some one comes out and tells what the republicans are and what they are doing. All they want is to take the president down. This should be known all over the world what the republicans are doing to out country. And yet the american people vote them in. I think now over half of our country's people are racists. You can always blame Palin for starting all this with her hate rallies. And every time she opens her mouth nothing but hate and lies coming out of her and shutting down the president. And now she wants to run for president and thinks she can beat the president.There surely must be someone or something that can stop this woman she is very dangerous to this country.

    November 18, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  20. Trythefacts

    Let's see, if I remeber right, the democrats had complete control for four years . . . does this mean they do no know how to lead . . . but I guess they did know how until Obama took over and showed what no leadership is in the goverment.

    November 18, 2010 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  21. DIANA

    Politics as usual for the Republicans. Or are they afraid of getting their butts handed to them again like the last time he met with them? I wish they played the first meeting he had with them when he wiped the floor with them.

    Hey orange man, saying no won't get you anywhere this time, you're the majority, we expect results.

    November 18, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  22. anthony

    All i can say is these republicans are the most disrespectful group i have seen in a long time. These guys dont stop campaigning, and really should get to work, instead of playing partisan politics. I hope America takes note of this behavior, because if this was a professional working environment, these guys wouldve been fired with a quickness. Thank you America for your short term memory to put these guys back in power slightly, expecting to get different results. This is an example of whats more to come...

    November 18, 2010 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. usualone

    The Republicans are feeling invincible and therefore they are not going to accommodate the Democrats at all. They continue to show they do not care for the American middle class and those who are poorer than middle class. This President must stop trying to placate to them at this point. He looks weak even to Democrats as did Jimmy Carter. Enough already. He needs to get very specific in his anger and his party has to back him up completely. The Republicans call the administration elitists and arrogant. The Republicans are playing games with everyone and that has to stop now and only can be stopped by the Democrats pointing out every time they try stuff such as postponing meetings.

    November 18, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  24. Milton

    I saw this same story of Fox News the other day and the headline read: "Whitehous Delays meeting with party leaders". Fair and Balanced, yeah right!!!

    November 18, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  25. Chas in Iowa

    I think the GOP leaders refusing a meeting with the President is a good telling indication of how they will act over the next two years.
    If you think the GOP were obstructionists in the past you will be surprised at the new level of no cooperation to move the country forward with the new GOP.

    November 18, 2010 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
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