Senate Republicans strike back at President
June 30th, 2011
02:28 PM ET
3 years ago

Senate Republicans strike back at President

Washington (CNN) – A day after President Obama testily blamed Republicans for blocking a debt deal, a Senate Republican struck back, calling the president's words "disgraceful" and saying "he should be ashamed."

"I respect the office of the President of the United States," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, in a speech on the Senate floor. "But I think the president has diminished that office and himself by giving the kind of campaign speeches that he gave yesterday."

Cornyn heatedly objected to the president's charge that Congress has been lackadaisical in addressing the looming debt crisis, which comes to a head when on August 2nd when, the Treasury Department says, the debt limit is set to expire.

A day earlier Obama had scolded Congress for taking too much time off and said "at a certain point, they need to do their job."

"They're in one week. They're out one week. And then they're saying 'Obama's gotta step in..."' the president told reporters Wednesday. "You need to be here. I've been here."

On Thursday morning Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced the Senate would cancel its planned recess next week to work on a deal saying he hoped Republicans "for once, put politics aside and help Democrats to fulfill Congress' sacred responsibility to the American people."

Speaking on the Senate floor, Reid also painted a dark picture of the consequences of a U.S. government default.

"It would plunge the United States not into recession but into full-blown depression, without a doubt. Without exception, the respected financial voices of our time have said the effects of a default crisis would be felt across the globe. I repeat: this would create a world-wide depression," he said.

House Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to turn the tables on the president, issuing an invitation for Obama to come to the Capitol for lunch with Republicans to hammer out a plan.

"That way he can hear directly from Republicans why what he's proposing won't pass," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "The President says he wants to get working, wants us to get working. I can't think of a better way than to have him come right on over today. We're waiting."

Cornyn, who heads up the Senate Republican campaign operation, followed up the invitation by slamming Obama for not taking a more active role in securing a solution, and faulted him for spending time on the campaign trail. The president will travel to Philadelphia today to attend two fundraisers for the Democratic National Committee.

"I wonder if he's going to cancel his fundraiser in Philadelphia tonight to meet with Senator McConnell and Speaker Boehner to try to work on this threat that he was so emphatic about yesterday," Cornyn asked. "I predict he won't cancel his fundraiser in Philadelphia tonight to get to work on something that only he can do, which is to negotiate a grand bargain with Republicans and Democrats that will solve this problem."

White House Spokesman Jay Carney responded to the remarks by reeling off several "listening sessions" the president has had with both McConnell and Reid and House and Senate Republicans at the White House on the debt issue.

"[McConnell] invited the president to hear what would not pass," Carney said. "That's not a conversation worth having. What we need to have is a conversation about what will pass."

As for the prospect of Obama cancelling his evening fundraisers, Carney demurred.

"We can walk and chew gum at the same time, as the president said yesterday," he said.


Filed under: Republicans • Senate
soundoff (84 Responses)
  1. AZ DEM

    Republicans are only making President Obama's case...how is it that this man is in their mind a "complete failure" of a president YET it takes HIM coming over to the Senate to actually broker a deal between the two parties...listen to their hypocrisy I mean it IS very often that we hear and see the GOP saying one thing and doing another but at some point we have got to hold them AND DEMOCRATS responsible for even letting the country get to this point.

    June 30, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  2. CB FLA

    They like to dish it out but they can,t take it! Where are the jobs that you promised?

    June 30, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  3. Elysian

    Since when is Mitch McConnell the House minority leader?

    June 30, 2011 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  4. C. Howe Yulikit

    Whiners. You criticize the President at every turn and when he dares to raise his voice to you, you whine and complain. Cornyn is complaining about diminishing the office? How bout some quotes Johnny?

    Let's try some fear mongering bigotry:
    But I do think it's unwise, and it – to build a mosque at the site where 3,000 Americans lost their lives as a result of a terrorist attack. And I think to me it demonstrates that the – that Washington, the White House, the administration, the President himself seems to be disconnected from the mainstream of America.

    But last year there were 540,000 people, roughly, detained coming across the border illegally. Forty-five thousand of them came from countries other than Mexico, demonstrating the fact that Mexico itself now is a pathway into the United States for people all around the world, and we don't know what their intentions are.

    How bout pandering to the crazies:
    But I think the – what the tea party movement demonstrates, and I think the, the, the enthusiasm that we're seeing from independents and Republicans, is that if Washington isn't going to change itself, then we're going to change Washington. And I think that's what we're seeing.

    And how about some out and out hypocrisy:
    If there is a nuclear tactic being used here, I submit it is the use of that obstruction where a willful minority blocks a bipartisan majority from voting on the President's judicial nominees.

    Give it rest GOP.

    June 30, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  5. WiredwierdinSF

    There was so much to hit back at. This incompetent, inept, union toady gangster needs to go back to Kenya and resume his position as village idiot. Absolute dunce, what else could he be when the corrupt unions tell him what to do? His only previous job experience was hanging posters on a telephone poll for the SEIU.

    June 30, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  6. Rob in MO

    Republicans cannot handle the truth.

    June 30, 2011 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  7. Ted

    The President is a D**K.

    June 30, 2011 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  8. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on America

    The President should accept McConnell's offer, IF TV cameras are allowed in. I want all of America to see and hear those GOBPbaggin' tax cut cultists explain why the filthy rich can't lose their tax breaks. Then I want the President to ask those teatards what sacrifices they think millionaires and billionaires should make for this country. I predict a deafening silence from the Greedy Old Pigs in response to that question.

    Game, set and match to the Dems and the country.

    June 30, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  9. Lynne

    Oh give me a break!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Name one single jobs bill they have put forth!!!! Didn't they campaign on jobs bills? Didn't they campaign on helping the average Joe? Instead they want to help big oil, big banks, big money people that keep them in office and screw those of us that work for a living.

    They have yet to be willing to compromise on one single thing...they just WANT, WANT, WANT, WANT, WANT...and as long as the President will let them they will TAKE, TAKE, TAKE, TAKE, TAKE, until there is nothing left.

    They want SMALL government where it helps them, and BIG government where it helps them! Small government when it comes to regulating campaign funds and taxes for the ultra rich. And Big government when it comes to my UTERUS! HYPOCRISY!!!!

    June 30, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  10. Tony

    "That way he can hear directly from Republicans why what he's proposing won't pass," McConnell said on the Senate floor. "The President says he wants to get working, wants us to get working. I can't think of a better way than to have him come right on over today. We're waiting." – Sen McConnell that is the problem you have been waiting and doing nothing. Again this man's comments stick of him being insult by not being invited to the White House.

    June 30, 2011 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  11. keeth in cali

    Which branch of government holds the purse strings and votes on the budget? Congress. Nuff said. Get 'er done.

    June 30, 2011 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  12. Anthony

    Unfortunately, the Wall Street will have to remind Republicans who is in charge. Republicans may believe that a short-term default would not hurt the markets or the economy, but if that were the case, what makes them think that Democrats would give in to their demands? Remember, it is the executive branch that decides how to prioritize payments if there is a default. Obama's Treasury Secretary would need to choose what payments to make, because the Treasury would not be able to make all of the payments. These payments include social security checks and military paychecks. Yes, even Republicans receive these checks. Good luck to those people who think a default would not affect them. Once voters realize that they are collateral damages in a political fight that was totally unnecessary (the debt ceiling was raised 7 times during the Bush Administration without any fuss from the Congress), the Republicans Party is doomed in 2012.

    June 30, 2011 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  13. aaron in MN

    Who's "four and the door"? He's an idiot CNN! he says republicans want to deal with the tax code after raising the debt ceiling. this idiot actually thinks republicans deliver on what they promise! LOL Remember when they ran on job creation in 2010? Where are the jobs bills four and the door??? Remember 2000 when they ran on smaller government? Four and the door they grew it! Just like every other republican president before George Bush! Spending creates jobs, PERIOD! Yet republicans want to cut spending? You'd almost think they don't care about the country other than the top 1%. LOL I kid, I kid, republicans are worse than terrorists. more people die per year from lack of health care than have died in the history of the United States from terrorist attacks. Raise taxes on the rich and watch unemployment drop. GUARANTEED! how do I know? History! Raise taxes and spend on infastructure, state aid, food stamps and housing subsidies for the poor and watch the economy grow! When taxes have been at 39% or higher GDP has averages 3.7%. When taxes have been under 39% average GDP has been 3% during those times. Maybe we should raise taxes to 39%. But since all the wealth in concentrated at the top, let's raise it to 70% on all earned income over $1 million? Oh god, then GDP would go up and unemployment would go down, oh the horror!!! Four and the door please move to China.

    June 30, 2011 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  14. Liberal Elite = Anyone with an education...

    Yeah, I'll bet the GOP would just LOVE it if the President didn't run a re-election campaign, while all the Teapublicans are out there running against him...are they calling on Bachmann to stop running too? When will the Teapublican hypocrisy end?

    June 30, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  15. Bill from GA

    Congress should try to grasp the FACT that the debt ceiling is money already spent, or committed to be spent, through laws passed by the duly elected Congress. This should not be a hostage-taking situation. Pass the debt ceiling, as it was done numerous times under w and other Presidents. Control spending with the budgets. You bunch of idiots.

    June 30, 2011 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  16. Rickster

    "As changes to collective bargaining powers for public workers take effect today, the Kaukauna Wisconsin Area School District is poised to swing from a projected $400,000 budget shortfall next year to a $1.5 million surplus due to health care and retirement savings. The Kaukauna School Board approved changes Monday to its employee handbook that require staff to cover 12.6 percent of their health insurance and to contribute 5.8 percent of their wages to the state’s pension system, in accordance with the new collective bargaining law, commonly known as Act 10. “These impacts will allow the district to hire additional teachers (and) reduce projected class sizes,” School Board President Todd Arnoldussen wrote in a statement Monday."
    ----------------------
    Democrats...WRONG AGAIN! One school district projecting savings of almost 2 million dollars thanks to Republican Governor Scott Walker and, contrary to what all those idiots that protested at the Wisconsin capital were saying, the school district will hire more teachers and reduce classroom size. Democrats are always proven to be wrong and then the story quietly goes away. Democrats will somehow try to take credit for this.

    June 30, 2011 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  17. AJP

    I am from Texas and Cornyn is nothing to write home about.

    He is a typical catfish, all mouth and no brains.

    June 30, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  18. TomInRochNY

    "I predict he won't cancel his fundraiser in Philadelphia tonight to get to work on something that only he can do, which is to negotiate a grand bargain with Republicans and Democrats that will solve this problem."

    Only he can do? What's your job description? Both sides were in negotiations with Biden et al until the Rs pulled out because the Ds were asking them to do what most of their constituants want them to do, end corporate welfare and lookholes. Who do you work for Cornyn? Us or big business?

    June 30, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  19. Weezie

    I think the Republicans are afraid that if they for once in their sorry lives, give in to helping the very people that voted hem into office, their money benefactors will cut off their funds. I hope President Obama sticks to his guns because these type of people don't care about anyone but themselves. President Obama, PLEASE don't give in to them, they are pathetic.

    June 30, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  20. Beeman

    CNN hardlly ever posts my comments. If you are one the regular liberals on here it can be pretty much profane but if you have conservative postings its a waste of time as they will not post it. Farwell to CNN and the ticker.

    June 30, 2011 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  21. JoeyMaz

    Total pr piece to generate an audience for a lame show. If you watch the video it's so scripted and planned out it's obvious it was done to try get a buzz going for this show.

    June 30, 2011 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  22. MarineVet

    The GOP economic terrorists say "the President is the only one" who can negotiate a tax deal to go with deficit increases??
    Why didn't they say so when Vice-President Biden spent 3 weeks negotiating with them??????????
    Did they just realize, after Cantor bailed out, that everyone will blame them if the government shuts down?????

    June 30, 2011 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  23. Senor Ed

    Still waiting to hear anything from the Republicants other than "NO". It looks more and more like they want they economy to fail so they can blame Obama.

    June 30, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  24. Ken in NC

    Wel Senator, if you can walk and chew gum at the same time, why didn't you take the silver wrapping off first? You claim the President should be ashamed of himself. Well if Republicans can never be shamed, why should the President.

    June 30, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  25. Rudy NYC

    Spell Check: Change House to Senate.

    *House* Minority Leader Mitch McConnell sought to turn the tables on the president, issuing an invitation for Obama to come to the Capitol for lunch with Republicans to hammer out a plan.

    June 30, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
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