Obama's policies 'maddening,’ RNC chair says
April 28th, 2011
10:13 AM ET
4 years ago

Obama's policies 'maddening,’ RNC chair says

Washington (CNN) - Chairman of the Republican National Committee Reince Priebus attempted to pivot the political conversation Thursday from President Barack Obama's birth certificate to the president's policies.

"We're borrowing four and half billion dollars a day and this president is more worried about birth certificates, Oprah Winfrey and fundraisers at the Waldorf Astoria," Priebus said on "CNN Newsroom." "It's maddening and I just wish the president would engage in the real issues that are affecting America."

Obama released the long-form version of his birth certificate Wednesday, seeing to put an end to persistent rumors that he was not born in the United States. He said the country was focusing on the "silly" debate instead of the country's economic obstacles.

But Priebus said it's the president's priorities that are out of whack.

"We've got a president who's not talking about the issue," Priebus said. "We've got him going to Jonas Brothers, golfing, doing everything except figuring out a way to save Medicare that's going to go bankrupt in nine years."

Although he said he has been a steadfast opponent of the so-called "birther" movement, the newly elected chairman told CNN's Carol Costello that it's not his job to dictate topics to potential 2012 presidential candidates. For the past two months real estate mogul and possible GOP White House contender Donald Trump has frequently questioned whether the president was born in the U.S.

"It's not my job to play police officer with the candidates," Priebus said. "It's up to the voters to play police officer and go into the voting booth."

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Filed under: President Obama • Reince Priebus • RNC • TV-CNN Newsroom
soundoff (67 Responses)
  1. Wes B.

    This man's job is to attack the president.

    April 28, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  2. Cheri

    Nothing that President Obama does will EVER satisfy Republicans.

    April 28, 2011 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  3. gary

    After Trumps statements yesterday," I would like to know as an American,"Why is it Legal to stand up to the world and make Slandering statements About our President,with Deep Overtones Of Race! If there is,nt a law against it,I have to say "I,m Embarassed as an American? wow?

    April 28, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  4. al in memphis

    We hear more from this party leaders ( who only job is fundraising, running commericals, and entertaining special interest groups) than we here from the actual politicians. We only hear about 3-4 legislative bills every year, but we hear from this clowns everyday.
    There really can't be that much to talk about. Where do they spend time researching solutions or listening to their constituents.
    Our political system may have the best structure, but daily we see how it fill with the worst people.

    April 28, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  5. Russ

    You freaking idiot. Obama tried to keep it off the table and ingnored it too long. It's you tea party birthers that won't let the birth issue go. Obama hasn't talked about it until now. This should once and for all put it to rest. But, no, you morons keep bringing it up. Now you argue it's a fake. Or he has duel citizenship. You Republicans need to shut up and get to work. The Democrats have tried and you continue to say no, no, no and continue to question his citizenship and bring nothing new to the table but a budget balancing the debt on the backs of the poor while you continue to protect your rich friends and corporations. You are the ones that need to get beyond it.

    April 28, 2011 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  6. Expat American

    Who has been more worried about birth certificates....? Not the President. The ones who have been worried about his birthplace have and has always been the uneducated, untraveled Poor White Trash fringe of the Mass Murderer Republican Party of Genocide Over Policy (GOP).

    April 28, 2011 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  7. Joshua Ludd

    I guess Rancid Priapus doesn't quite remember who actually got us into record debt territory with a tanking economy and two wars.

    April 28, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  8. musician

    This knucklehead is acting like Obama somehow created the birther disease. There are a lot of sick, perverted individuals with a compulsive hatred for blacks, liberals, intellectuals, anyone who is educated, anyone with a rational mind, yankees, jews, gays, foreigners of any kind. They attack over and over with the same thinly disguised crap. They are sick. They need professional help.

    April 28, 2011 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. DYLANSDADDY

    What we need is a republican that will only focus on issues that affect the prosperity of this country, and the heck with any social issues. That would make a good leader.

    April 28, 2011 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  10. rusty155

    You Republican keep bring the birther thing up all the time. If you wanted It to stop you could have say something to Donald Trump, Michele Bachmann, Sara Palin and so on. And If you Republican think the Paul Ryan Plan Is want the American people want you are crazier than I thought you were. Because the Paul Ryan Plan Is only going to help the Rich get Richer. And the President as the same right to fundraisers ,just like your Republican people do. Michele Bachmann Is a Congresswoman you haven't say anything about her doing It. You Republican have double stander, And that not right. And It Is your Job , you are the chairman of the Republican Committee are you not. And you Republican are not trying to stop medicare from going bankrupt, you are trying to do away with It all together. you Republican need to stop all this spreading of hate and RACIST and most of all stop Lying to the American people we are a lot smarter than you give us credit for. That OK because everything Donald trump Is saying Is Hurting you Republican more than anyone else.

    April 28, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  11. jimbaround

    I love how the left keeps talking about the lack of a jobs bill coming from the republicans.... It must be because the republiucans are racist. By the way, where's the democrats' jobs bill?

    April 28, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  12. Dan

    You must have to be mentally challenged to be a be a member of the gop, I am amazed at what comes out of the mouths of these people. For two years we have had a congress that does nothing except try to destroy social programs that their masters do not like and have not introduced a single jobs bill. Was that not what they ran on? They will all be wondering what happened to them in 2012.

    April 28, 2011 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  13. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Priebus is talking to the wrong people, the Speaker of the House John Boehner does have the responsibility to "play police officer" of the Republican party, that's his job and not the voters, but he failed to do so. This guy is a total idiot.

    April 28, 2011 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  14. usualone

    If it is not his job to play police officer to the Republican candidates, one would think he would advise them on issues that will help his party win the presidency. When the birthers speak out, down go the monies to the RNC, and isn't that his job, to get them monies? The President went on Oprah's show to reach people to see that he is very human. The Republicans call him high and mighty and when he comes up with programs such as national health care, saving car manufacturers, I'd say he is the people's president.

    April 28, 2011 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  15. William Jefferson

    Since 2007 republicons have flogged this phony issue, and this rich white tool of oppression dares suggest that this is somehow President Obama's doing? And as for "maddening" – a party that wants to give to the rich from the pockets of the old, the oor, and the young is not just maddening, but immoral and a disgrace.

    April 28, 2011 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  16. Fair is Fair

    "We're borrowing four and half billion dollars a day and this president is more worried about birth certificates, Oprah Winfrey and fundraisers at the Waldorf Astoria,"

    Couldn't have said it better myself.

    April 28, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  17. Realistic

    Mr.Pubis has a life history of being wrong. First, elections are around the corner so the president, like other presidents has to attend fundraising events because it takes money to run. Second, so he does interviews, wow, impeach him now. And finally, the president is taliing about important issues because the republicans are trying to create a nobility class with their trickle up monetary scheme and the president will not allow it. So the president is talking about important issues as the republicans are trying to enrich their masters and we the people are watching which party is for the people and which is not.

    April 28, 2011 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  18. jimbaround

    It's as if all of the responses on this comment board coming from the liberals are written by the same person. Can any of you make an insightful meaningful comment without going on an insult ridden tyrade about how racist the person you disagree with is?

    April 28, 2011 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  19. ART

    Whats maddening is that there are still such racist idiots in the Republican party

    April 28, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  20. skitownrefugee

    It's like Obama is trying to drive this train over a difficult section of broken up railroad track with lots of twists, turns, hills and broken trestles ahead of him and the Republicans are standing all along the rail lines and just keep throwing rocks at him in an attempt to derail him instead of pitching in and fixing the track. They’ve been running against him and trying to do him harm ever since he was elected. “He should have produced the birth certificate immediately”...”Why is he wasting time addressing this birther issue”…”He should have gone after Gadhafi sooner”…”He shouldn’t have gotten involved in Libia” and on and on – criticism at every turn no matter with the issue and which decision he makes. I’m sure that there are some in the GOP that really believe that he was responsible for the recent earthquake in Japan and the resulting tsunami. No there’s something new for Trump to sink his dentures into.

    April 28, 2011 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  21. Sniffit

    No, what's "maddening" is trying to pronounce this dude's name while figuring out which eye he's using to look at you.

    April 28, 2011 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  22. Chris

    For two years, the Republicans tacitly encouraged the the whole Birther sideshow nonsense to run amuck. The whole thing grew into a monstrous distraction. And since the President released the long form, now they attack him for the whole fiasco that they themselves created.

    Republicans say Obama should be more focussed on jobs. Well since he took office, they has been a record number of new jobs created. The GOP ran their 2010 campaign on JOBS, JOBS, JOBS – and what have they done to address the problem since gaining the majority? They've taken on abortions, teachers, NPR, unions, gay marriage, tried to redefine rape – in short done absolutely nothing about it.

    April 28, 2011 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  23. sue

    Hate in the Heart makes a person blind to all reality........and that disscribes the Party of the GOP, Birther's, Tea Party and all others that support them.......The President isn't avoiding his responsiblities, he had to try to stop the madness that is distracting them from doing the jobs the American people put them in office to do......he has shown he is trying to work with the other party but he will not and I hope he sticks to his convictions that he will not give into the idiots that want to take away the monies that will help the elderly and less fortunate and still give the rich all the advantages and tax cuts and credits

    April 28, 2011 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  24. Sniffit

    And, of course, he conveniently ignores that Obama wants atxes to be raised on the ultra-wealthy and corporate loopholes closed and oil subsidies jettisoned. Medicare runs with 3% overhead. Guess what the overhead is for a private insurer who pays it's upper management and executives 7-figure salaries. Go ahead...guess.

    April 28, 2011 10:59 am at 10:59 am |
  25. jpmichigan

    It is not whether born in the SA or not, itis a question concerning transparency. Obama presents himself, by not showing for years his long form certificate, that he just may be hidding something. Majority of American people don't really know him and for that reason questions arise. As President , he appears ashamed to show his acdemic, legisative and work record. Most Presidents are proud as to what they have done and who they are. He has fabricated himself in to what he wants us to believe he is, not actually who he is Trnsparency is NOT a strong fact of this President, it is stronger at being secretive.
    .

    April 28, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
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