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. Texan

    Just more BS from the Republicans. I believe the President used the right words to describe the tactics used by the Republicans. I have a message for the John. I know you have done little to improve the education in Texas. You have been too busy trying to obtain power at all cost and have donated the future of our kids as collateral damage. However, my mama did not raise a fool and I will not be fooled by your BS. American is drowning in its BS and your tactics is a perfect example to prove the case.

    June 30, 2011 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  2. The Greedy Old Pigs have declared class war on US

    So are there on GOBP supporters on this site? Can you tell us what sacrifices the ultrarich should be making for their country during these rough economic times?

    June 30, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  3. Viet.Vet

    Waaa Waaa, give those repugs a towel, we will fix the President we will propose an ammendment to the Constitution for a balance budget, thats what I am talking about, wait a minute, I have to lay off that koolaide, this have as much chance of passing as throwing gasoline on a fire to put it out and they know it however, throw the smoke screen in front of the fathfull base and they will be distracted from the real problem and their lack of action.

    June 30, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  4. J

    What about passing a jobs bill that gets more people working and in turn generates more tax revenue? Thought the repulicans were all about jobs...guess not.

    June 30, 2011 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  5. Ray E. Georgia

    Well,
    Lesssee. The Democrats, when they were in Charge of the Congress, refused to pass a Budget. Now why was that? Now Obamer wants the Republicians to stand up and do what's right? No kidding.Can anyone say Greece. Can anyone say Depression. Can anyone say 9.1 (Official) Unemployment. Can anyone say 14.5 Trillion in debt. And the Democrats want to extend this Fiasco given to us by FDR, LBJ, and now Barrack. Have a job? Wanna keep it. Vote Obamer out next Election.

    June 30, 2011 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  6. carmelle

    PPUUUUUHHHHHHLEEEASSSEEEEE

    You guys are MAKING AMERICA A THIRD WORLD COUNTRY FOR POLITICAL GAINS!! You rather cripple this economy just to say that Obama doesn't know what he's doing and did so much damage to this country, and you are talking about downgrading the office because he told you TO DO YOUR JOB???!!!

    GTFOH!!

    June 30, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  7. Sylvia Saint

    Oh please – – save your outrage – – GET TO WORK and earn your overly inflated $3,400 PER WEEK paycheck.

    I support the President.

    June 30, 2011 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  8. once upon a horse

    I think the GOP got called out and are embarassed byt what the president said more than anything. The public is tired of them protecting corporations, the upper 2% and Big Oil while the middle class is trying to make it. I think they were used to seeing Obama being "Mr Nice Guy" and when he came out guns blazing it caught them by surprise. Now start working for US and stop just working for the guys who keep sticking money in your wallets.

    June 30, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  9. Rudy NYC

    "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 doubt it. Boehner is out of town on vacation, as you well know.
    McConnell is busy attending his own fund raisers, as you well know.

    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. I can't think of a better way than to have him come right on over today. We're waiting."
    ------
    This is called being facetious on the part of Sen. McConnell. If he were serious he would have extended the invitation before lunch was already over and done with. In fact, it would have polite to extend the invitation prior to today. Besides, the Senator knows that he is obligated to work around the Presidents's schedule, not the other way around. Just ask Gov. Perry.

    June 30, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  10. Name king

    All you thinned skinned repugs who dishes out insult to the president 24 hours a day and don't expect him to defend himself are living in a dream world. This president is being scrutinized and ridiculed on every thing he does, even repugs policies that they've been defending all this time. You guys are like a laughing stack to the country, you really expect that the country is not seeing how you guys disrespect the seat of the presidency, are you kidding me.

    June 30, 2011 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  11. Marie MD

    cornyn, you DO NOT RESPECT THE PRESIDENT so please STFU and do the work you were elected to do. It's not just about your rich friends and corporations that pay you to do their bidding.
    The President does not have to go visit these clowns at the Capitol. The rethugs are wrong and if they are not listening to the real Americans who are hurting I hope all of them starting with the weeper and ending with turtle man are thrown out on their butts in 2012 (if they are running). Of course, even without a job they won't have to worry about medical insurance or their pensions will they?

    June 30, 2011 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  12. David

    The republicans should have gotten more than a tongue lashing, they need a good old fashined spanking for all of the dirty political games they have played since the dems crushed them in the last general election. This is a no brainer anyway, it is the GOP that are trying to add pork and keep existing pork for their corporate masters that is slowing things down.

    June 30, 2011 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  13. Charles

    GOP fools has no shame.Obama has more sense than all of those GOP reps and senators combined.

    June 30, 2011 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  14. a in austin

    Cornyn is so bought and paid for....He respects the office of the President of the US. Quite different than respecting the man who is the president of the US. Republicans want everything on the table – until it comes to revenues. HYPOCRITES. I'd like to see a list of all elected officials who receive farm subsidies or any government subsidy at that. I'm sure Michelle B. won't be the only hypocrite to be listed!

    June 30, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  15. Billy

    Republicans only care about rich people.

    June 30, 2011 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  16. SOUTHERN HOTTIE

    Whine, whine, whine. Do Republicans have any real solutions besides attacking what the President says and does?
    I'M SICK OF THEM! Tax cuts for big oil and corporate jets–THEY are the ones who ought to be ashamed of themselves.
    Shame on you, GOP. You guys are royal pains. Period. GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

    June 30, 2011 03:48 pm at 3:48 pm |
  17. John K.

    Obama is better suited to being the host of a talk show rather than the President of the United States. Even when he was a legislator in Illinois, his voting record contained many votes for "present" instead of "yes" of "no", all in an attempt to avoid taking a position on an issue for which he might be later criticized upon. It is time for President Obama to stop voting "present" and start leading.

    June 30, 2011 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  18. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    That way he can hear directly from Republicans why what he's proposing won't pass,"
    -------------------------------------------------–
    NOT that it won't WORK, but that it won't pass. Do you job and hammer out something that will WITHOUT using the middle class as the sacrificial lamb while you protect the tax-breaks to your Big Business cronies.
    Moving on....
    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."
    -------------------------------------------------–
    These mental midgets don't even know how to negotiate. Who comes to the tale pontificating about what WON'T work? I'll tell you who: those who are NOT willing to compromise in the first place.

    Lastly:
    We can walk and chew gum at the same time, as the president said yesterday," he said.
    -------------------------------------------------–I
    Yes HE Can and no dice in getting him to cancel his commitments a la John McCain. Whenyou have done YOUR job and hammered out something substantive, and show a willingness to negotiate in good faith he'll be there, as he's always been guaranteed. Until then, get your arses back to work.

    President Barack Hussein Obama for a second term in 2012.

    June 30, 2011 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  19. Ed

    I guess ignorance is truly bliss with a lot of comments here. Mitt's specialty was gutting companies, not building them. He also created RomneyCare. Like it our not, George Bush's economic policies helped put us in the state we are in and neither war was paid for or his wealthy people tax cuts. There was a surplus when he was elected (just 10 years ago). Clinton's biggest mistakes were Nafta and the repeal of Glass-Stegall. I'm not a fan of all of President Obama's ideas, but at least he is reasonable. You can't turn around an economy (over night) that was on the brink of collapse just two years ago. The president did act and he saved the auto industry/labor. If that were Romney, GM and Chrysler would be out of business. Folks, let's get real and stop the partisan BS. Any reasonable person knows that you have to put all entitlements, defense spending and corporate welfare on the table to balance a budget – all the "sacred cows" as the president put it. It astounds me that middle class folks will constantly vote against their own self interests. I'm no union fan, but if collective bargaining goes, the middle class will disappear and the corporations will control everything (they basically do now). Wake up folks; don't be so ideologically narrow minded. The Supreme Court has virtually assured the country that the corporations are in charge – how can a corporation be a person? Every politician from here on out is bought and paid for. The solution: Term limits! If he president can only allowed to serve two terms, every other elected official should be in the same circumstance. The founding fathers warned of career politicians and the power of corporations and the military industrial complex (Dwight D. Eisenhower said that and he was a republican).

    June 30, 2011 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  20. Dr Matrix

    When Eisenhower, a Republican, was President, he raised the top tax rate to 90% and built this country and helped create long term prosperity. I know tea partiers can't accept this and that he was a Republican. Then their god, the second rate actor and worse President tried supply side economics, also know as trickle down and the destruction of our country was under way.

    June 30, 2011 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  21. Four and The Door

    So Obama overspent to the point of breaching the federal debt ceiling and now he wants to reach deeper into the pockets of hard working Americans ( yeah, the $250k/ year 'billionaires') and extract more money to blow on his favorite charity...big unions.

    June 30, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  22. Republican Robber Baron

    Obama is right. The Senate and House need to WORK and get the job done. Fundamentalist or wing-nut extremism is not a serious political agenda. You govern from the center. Leaders need to lead, not make excuses or play Partisan games.
    The Senate in particular is totally dysfunctional and possibly the most corrupt group of goons its history.

    June 30, 2011 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  23. Sandra

    So Republicans think the President is always supposed to take their never ending blasts and stupid remarks but he is not allowed to hit back. They just make me sick to my stomach. Regardless of whether I agree with every thing the President says or does, Republicans are absolute hypocrites.

    I'm almost getting to the point that I don't even want to read CNN and I definitely don't listen or read FOX news.

    June 30, 2011 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  24. vic , nashville ,tn

    "But I think the president has diminished that office and himself by giving the kind of campaign speeches that he gave yesterday." Sen. John Cornyn,

    What Sen,Cornyn heard yesterday was our voices that is not campaign speech

    This year we have to come up with $400 more for gas
    This year we have to come up with $ 250 more for utilities
    This year we have to come up with $125 more for property tax
    Say groceries $ 225
    Seniors and Middle class lived in fixed income they need $1000 to balance the budget
    $1000 is big amount for us
    Same time republicans protecting corporate and Oil companies who make billions of profit

    June 30, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  25. Mikey

    @ terry,va – We get it. Some people, like you, just hate OUR President; and you present no logical arguments to support your ridiculous, ignorant, disrespectful comments. And for the record, it's MR. PRESIDENT to you.

    June 30, 2011 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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