President Obama blasts partisanship in weekly address
August 13th, 2011
11:06 AM ET
2 years ago

President Obama blasts partisanship in weekly address

Washington (CNN) - President Barack Obama railed against partisan politics Saturday during the presidential weekly address.

“There’s nothing wrong with our country,” he declared.

“There is something wrong with our politics.”

Citing “brinkmanship” as an obstacle to growing the economy and creating jobs, the president criticized “the idea that making it through the next election is more important than making things right.”

“That’s what’s holding us back,” he said. “Some in Congress would rather see their opponents lose than see America win.”

Listing ways Congress can get the economy on track, the president proposed extending the payroll tax cut, cutting “red tape” in the patent process so that entrepreneurs can get ideas to the market more quickly, and finishing trade deals to boost the sale of American-made goods around the globe.

Obama owned his own frustration and called on those feeling the same to hold their elected officials accountable.

“I don’t think it’s too much for you to expect that the people you send to this town start delivering,” he reasoned.

“If you agree with me-whether you’re a Democrat or a Republican or not much of a fan of either-let them know.”

Obama admitted “we’ve still got a long way to go to get where we need to be” because “we didn’t get into this mess overnight and it’s going to take time to get out of it.”

But for the president, that’s “no excuse” for inaction.

“America voted for divided government, not dysfunctional government,” Obama resolved.

“When we come together and find common ground, there’s no stopping this country.”

And though Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey agreed that the president “inherited a weak economy” in the Republican weekly address, he also accused Obama of making the economy worse.

As the president blasted partisan politics, Toomey slammed the president’s economic policy.

“His administration told us passing [the] stimulus bill would keep unemployment below 8 percent. Instead, since the stimulus was enacted…the unemployment rate has averaged over 9 percent,” the freshman senator said.

“Clearly, the policies of this administration are not working.”

Toomey blamed the troubled economy on “job-killing regulations” enacted by agencies like the Food and Drug Administration, National Labor Relations Board, and Federal Communications Commission.

“With so many burdens and the threat of new obstacles in the future, it’s not hard to understand why job creators are leery of assuming the risk and costs that come with starting a new business or expanding,” he said.

While Toomey, who was recently appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction - a “super committee” tasked with recommending ways to reduce the deficit by the year’s end - insisted “government has to get out of the way,” he also admitted some regulations are needed to “keep us safe.”

Calling for necessary regulations to be “enacted in a thoughtful manner,” Toomey sought to eliminate those that are “most harmful” such as health care reform.

He pledged to use his “super committee” service to develop a proposal that will reduce government spending and “help to create an environment where entrepreneurs can thrive.

“Our strength doesn’t come from a bigger government controlling our economy,” Toomey said. “It comes from a free enterprise system and the hard-working, honest citizens who make it run.”


Filed under: GOP weekly address • Pat Toomey • President Obama
soundoff (40 Responses)
  1. RS, CA

    There's more than "something" wrong with YOU, Obama! You never should have been elected - empty suit since Day One! Sad day that was for our country!

    August 13, 2011 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  2. Rich

    Obama.....blame blame blame.......................get on with leading. Small minds speak of people and blame large minds speak to ideas and leadership.
    When you have no plans or ideas for moving this country forward the only thing you have left is to blame/blast/condemn people.

    August 13, 2011 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  3. realist

    I am sick and tired of people accusing President Obama for every little thing that goes wrong. He is not incompetent, he is a great leader, he has worked hard for the middle class and he care about our needs but until he get real cooperation from both the House and Senate there is nothing more he can do. Grow up haters and place the blame where it truly belongs. Everyone had their opportunity to do the right things for this country instead of posturing to their political bases. You Obama haters arenothing but rude, discusting, winning losers who can't get over yourselves.

    August 13, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  4. diridi

    this nation is totally uneducated. GOP made this nation "Uneducated" to play their politics, and become richer and richer out of uneducated. It is Truthful statement. IDIOTS NEVER REALIZE. o.k, It is not Obama, it is people to be blamed, idiot....it is GOP greed apart from Uneducated....o.k, You think, GOP will feed you, absolutely no....o.k, idiots,

    August 13, 2011 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  5. ThinkAgain

    Please, Mr. President, we all understand that Republicans are putting party before country.

    Repubs may have our country's best interest at heart, but their policies are all PROVEN FAILURES. They don't know diddly about the economy, they work day and night to divide our country and although they ran on jobs, they haven't introduced one bill to create them.

    Please accept the fact that this current bunch of Republicans have got it ALL WRONG. Just do what needs to be done; lead and if they choose not to follow, tough!

    August 13, 2011 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  6. Hammerer

    Now partisan politics is a problem with Obama. Why now? Last year when Dems rammed Obamacare down the throats of America where was the outcry? Not only was obamacare a backroom middle of the night bill, votes had to be bought and threats made and then only Dems voted for the bill.
    Where were the negotations then? Obama would not allow any input from the Repubs.
    Now he screams partisan politics is the ruin of America. He is right, but at the same time he is the master of the partisan style of politics.

    August 13, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  7. realist

    I am sick and tired of people accusing President Obama for every little thing that goes wrong. He is not incompetent, he is a great leader, he has worked hard for the middle class and he care about our needs but until he get real cooperation from both the House and Senate there is nothing more he can do. Grow up haters and place the blame where it truly belongs. Everyone had their opportunity to do the right things for this country instead of posturing to their political bases. You Obama haters arenothing but rude, discusting, whinning losers who can't get over yourselves.

    August 13, 2011 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  8. Ibamaliar

    Obama sure got that right. There is something wrong with our politics, HIM.

    August 13, 2011 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  9. realist

    The GOP if given the opportunity will completely distroy this country in less than one year.

    August 13, 2011 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  10. ThinkAgain

    "When you have no plans or ideas for moving this country forward the only thing you have left is to blame/blast/condemn people."

    That's precisely what the Republicans have been doing for the last4-6 years. Why? Because all of their economic, military and foreign policies are PROVEN FAILURES.

    August 13, 2011 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  11. ThinkAgain

    "Last year when Dems rammed Obamacare down the throats of America where was the outcry?"

    Health care reform was debated for over a year; there was nothing "ramming" about the process.

    You're just another sore loser Republican who's willing to destroy our country because you can't get your way.

    August 13, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  12. realist

    Hammerer

    Now partisan politics is a problem with Obama. Why now? Last year when Dems rammed Obamacare down the throats of America where was the outcry? Not only was obamacare a backroom middle of the night bill, votes had to be bought and threats made and then only Dems voted for the bill.
    Where were the negotations then? Obama would not allow any input from the Repubs.
    Now he screams partisan politics is the ruin of America. He is right, but at the same time he is the master of the partisan style of politics.

    Hammer are you serious? Republicans had every opportunity to work with this administration on healthcare reform. Their solution was to obstruct and blame. That is what cloned them the party of "NO" and you know it.

    August 13, 2011 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  13. Fair is Fair

    Where was your desire for bipartisanship when you spoke the words, "they [the republicans] can come for the ride, but they have to sit in the back of the bus."

    Where was it then, Obama?

    August 13, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  14. diridi

    rs, ca, if it was sad day, ask people who were denied insurance for having cancer, or other stuff....I am glad, we passed health care, it is Obama, credit goes....well, we should have had, public option, but Pennsylvanian, idiot, Joe Sestak the worst idiot, opposed, resulted his defeat and saw political death to that bastard.....o.k, true...true...I am glad it passed with Fin. Reg. Reform...o.k,

    August 13, 2011 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Regarding health care reform: "Obama would not allow any input from the Repubs."

    Do a little research while you're sitting at your computer, will ya? Several Republican ideas were included in the final bill.

    Don't believe me? Ask GOP Senator Chuck Grassley: "“This bill, except for the five to 10 things that weren’t resolved, has been put together with some Republican input.”

    August 13, 2011 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  16. Laweegee

    Not partisan as in "I won get over it"

    August 13, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  17. Republicans - The Not Intended To Be Factually Accurate" Party

    I`m reminded of the movie, "A Soldier`s Story" where a drunken Adolfo Ceasar – "Sarge" – tells Denzel Washington – "Peterson" – "THEY STILL HATE YOU"!

    Mr. President, you could cure Alzhiemers, Cancer & AIDS and a minority of Republicans would never work with you in a bi-partisan manner.

    I`m just glad to know that so many of my none black colleages have witnessed the way you have been treated compared to other President. Many of these folks thought we lived in a "post-racial" society. However, by the example of your experience, they see how some folks will only work to make you fail, even if it means taking the rest of the country down with them.

    I call on on clear minded, thinking Americans, be you Democrats, Republicans or Independents, to reject the unprincipled hatred that the rightmost, Tea party faction is showing through words and deeds. Vote a straight Democratic ticket. Thrown these obstructionists out. Teach them that lesson. I promise you, America will be better for it.

    Give the President fillibuster-proof super majorities in the House & Senate. Then, if by 2016, the Democrats haven`t fixed the mess(es) of Bush`s EIGHT YEARS, fire them all.

    August 13, 2011 11:36 am at 11:36 am |
  18. Rick McDaniel

    Precisely why Obama is the biggest liar in Washington.

    Obama, himself, is the absolute biggest partisan, in Washington. The only ones who even come close, are his own personal political advisors, and party leaders. They have also been chosen, for their blind partisanship.

    The Dems lie to the public, the Dem friendly media, feeds the lies to the public, and the uneducated public swallows them, hook, line, and sinker.

    That's how you build a monarchy.......but now, the people are beginning to see, how badly, they have been deceived.

    August 13, 2011 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  19. ThinkAgain

    "Obama sure got that right. There is something wrong with our politics, HIM."

    I bet you're one of those "will of the people" Republican lackeys, right?

    What about the WILL OF THE PEOPLE that elected President Obama and a majority Democratic House and Senate in 2008?

    Where do you and the rest of the GOPers get off obstructing the will of the people for the last 2.5 years?

    You've done NOTHING to help our country, and EVERYTHING to help your party regain control, even though your track record on the economy (Clinton budget to Bush deficit), military (two wars started with no plan for executing them) and foreign (all the worldwide 9/11 good will up in smoke!) is the PITS!

    In my book, you are nothing but a bunch of traitors, taking our country down the toilet for the sake of money.

    August 13, 2011 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  20. ThinkAgain

    Fair is fair: In October 2010, President Obama said, "Obama said of the GOP, “they can come for the ride, but they have to sit in back.”

    Meaning: Republicans are going to ride in the back and the middle class will be in the passenger’s seat.

    Why the analogy? Because Republican policies drove our country into a ditch; they don't DESERVE to drive (heck, I wouldn't even let them in the car, with their track record of failure).

    August 13, 2011 11:44 am at 11:44 am |
  21. L4Legend

    to the GOpers and all the foolish who call themselves t-tards, you should take a simple lesson from the smallest of God's creation, the ant. Just observing how they work together for the good of their colony. President was elected as President of the United States. Some are to dumb to realize/admit that Bush took this country over a cliff. McCain & and Foolish Palin were willing to take it into the gutter. The same said gopers are willing to see America destroyed, and President Obama won't be the one who destroys it. It will be destroyed by the money-grabbing, power-hungry folk of your own kind. Learn a lesson before it's too late!!

    August 13, 2011 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  22. vic , nashville ,tn

    President we understand your frustration because we are going through same here with local republicans and their tea baggers

    More seniors live in this suburb they seen their property tax gone up by 100% and water bill gone up by 100% but company creating nearly 20 jobs get $ 200 000 tax break

    2010 seniors never thought elected official go after them

    August 13, 2011 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  23. Annie, Atlanta

    Partisanship? Heck, I'd be blasting more than that if I were the President. S&P lowered our bond rating because, and I quote:

    “That a country even has such voices, albeit a minority, is something notable,” he added. “This kind of rhetoric is not common amongst AAA sovereigns.”

    We have a faction in the Republican party, with the rest of the party going along, that is willing to hold us hostage to get what they want. Partisanship, Mr. President? Seriously? I've heard some call it terrorism, hostage taking, treason, and the like. Personally, I think it's sedition.

    August 13, 2011 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  24. B

    Stop blathering about things that everyone already understand and Start getting Congress to put a JOBS Package out NOW.

    Recall the worthless Congress back to work and stop screwing around with meaningless platitudes!

    I voted for Obama, but I wish he would just DO something even slightly extraordinary right now..

    August 13, 2011 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  25. denice

    Why would the President want to negotiate with a Split Party,who doesn,t even know how the financial system works??? A "Pack of uneducated "Lunatics" who care nothing for working class citizens!!! Corporations are People?? Pay no Taxes,send jobs and factorys overseas, cut Healthcare for workers,making them pay 90% of their premium???? Cut full time to part-time? You tea-nuts are Beyond Insane!!! Obama will make "FOOLS" out of all of you in the debates!!! South Carolina and Texas will not lead America, Garanteed!!!! Obama 2012

    August 13, 2011 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
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