Team Obama hits back at GOP
January 2nd, 2012
05:49 PM ET
3 years ago

Team Obama hits back at GOP

Des Moines, Iowa (CNN) – President Barack Obama's administration and reelection team pushed back Monday on criticism of his dealings with Congress from two Republican presidential candidates.

A senior Obama administration official said the president's first priority is to work with members of both political parties in Congress to "create jobs, grow the economy and reduce the deficit in a balanced fashion."

"Where they are unwilling to act, he will use the power he has to help the economy," the official said.

The comments follow remarks from Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich, who both accused the president of failing to work with Congress after a report in The New York Times that said the president is resigned to navigate around Congress in order to implement policies.

Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said the suggestion is "outrageously unconstitutional."

"This is like a kindergarten plan," Gingrich said at a press availability Monday in Independence, Iowa. "How are you gonna deal with anything for 12 months? I mean, I looked at the TV this morning and thought these guys are just totally out of touch with reality."

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney said the president is attempting to place blame on Congress to take the heat off his own record in the White House.

"I understand that their mantra these days is that there's a do-nothing Congress and this is all the Congress' fault," Romney said Sunday in Atlantic, Iowa. "I think he's forgetting that he had a Democratic Congress for the first two years that put in place his economic plans."

But a senior Obama campaign aide said the Republican candidates are "repackaging" the past policies that led to the economic crisis, a typical line of defense from Team Obama.

"The central question of the election will be who will restore economic security for the middle class," the aide said. "The president is fighting not only to create jobs but to build an economy where hard work and responsibility are rewarded, everyone from Wall Street to Main Street plays by the same set of rules, and there is abundant opportunity for the middle class to succeed."

The New York Times piece that started this back and forth characterized the president's 2012 posture toward Congress as a "go-it-alone approach." The report was partly based on a briefing by a White House deputy press secretary. In that briefing when a reporter asked if the president "is giving up on Congress," the White House official replied "not at all" and repeated several times that the president would work with Congress to pass his agenda. But the aide also said if Congress remains gridlocked, Obama will press his agenda through executive actions.


Filed under: 2012 • President Obama • Republicans
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Randy, San Francisco

    The blame falls on the just say NO to every thing Tea Party Congressional members and Speaker Boehner for failing to keep them in line.

    January 2, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  2. Jake

    I'm with Obama!

    January 2, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  3. ddblah

    Right, yes, we all have to wait for congress. For how long, sir?

    January 2, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. Steve-Illinois

    Team Obama hits back with the same old blah, blah, blah blah, blah! That's why the economy is still sputtering along! They still have'nt figured out government spending does not lead to prosperity! Unless you think you can buy groceries with an Obama speech, you realy should consider voting for someone else!

    January 2, 2012 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  5. gtsmoker

    Tell us something we don't already know.

    January 2, 2012 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  6. LegendRx

    Go get em Barack . . . God Speed!

    January 2, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  7. GonzoinHouston

    I wonder why the Democrats have never made a big public deal about the Republicans' abuse of the filibuster rule in the Senate. There have been more filibusters in Obama's first term than in all other presidents' COMBINED. The Democrats may have 60 senators, but if any one can be peeled away by the GOP, or is ill, or misses the vote for whatever reason, then the measure is defeated. Even with 60 senators, Obama can't get his agenda passed, and it has nothing to do with the will of the people.

    January 2, 2012 06:24 pm at 6:24 pm |
  8. Mario

    It's time for 160 million middle class Americans to recall all Republicans in Congress. It's clear that are going to raise taxes on the top 1%.They have to stick to there pledges they sign with the Tea Party

    January 2, 2012 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  9. GI Joe

    The He[[ No Caucus has voted down every jobs bill put forth, except the tiny one for returning veterans.

    They will kill the country if that's what it takes to get a republican back in the WH.

    We are wise to their shenanigans, and won't let them get by with it. We are NOT idjits like the republicans.

    January 2, 2012 06:28 pm at 6:28 pm |
  10. insight iowa

    You have my vote Mr. President... Do whatever you need to do within your power to help our Nation.

    January 2, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  11. gt

    sorry cant buy the white house bs....fighting to create jobs? why dont he let the pipe line get started... this president hates wall street... and turns his back on welders.. construction workers .. truck drivers .. thats main street who want to work from nebraska to texas on the pipe line... yep...white house bs is not playing in middle america..

    January 2, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  12. PhillyGuy

    I guess no one in the GOP wants to remember why Pres. Obama didn't get anything done the first 2 years with a democratic congress. Oh yeah, guess you guys forgot that the GOP filibustered absolutely EVERYTHING that Pres. Obama put on the table! They agreed to nothing at all. So it was a majority by congressional count/seats, but not enough for a vote to pass bills through without the GOP help.

    Which is what you're supposed to be doing in congress anyway. Both parties working together to get bills passed that will help US citizens. Not block and filibuster EVERYTHING because it goes against your idealogies and pledges made to Norquist!

    January 2, 2012 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  13. Susan Booth

    Romney hasn't shared one freaking idea on what he would do. He is all talk. Until he provides some substance, I'm not interested in hearing more from this flip flopper. Newt hasn't had an original idea other than putting poor kids to work. He claims to be a Reagan Republican....just the kind I'm not interested in either.

    January 2, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  14. catmomtx

    Oh for goodness sakes President Obama spent the first two years of his term trying to work with the Republicans in Congress. They rebuffed him at every turn. Republicans in Congress have told the world that they would not work with the President, that they would not negotiate or compromise with him. The Republicans in Congress have made it no secret that they want the President to fail, that they want him to be a one term President. The Republicans have voted no on just about everything the President has tried to do even when he has included what they wanted. Then, they flock to the media whining that the President won't play fair. Only after he began to lose the support of Democrats did he begin to tell Republicans where to go. I mean at what point do Republicans begin to take responsibility for their decision to try and destroy President Obama and our country?

    January 2, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  15. Roger

    The president continues to try working with congress, but even the own GOP couldnt agree on the payroll tax cut. How do you work with people who say no to everything and stand opposite of your positions even when they were their own position to begin with? It's obvious the GOP plan since 2008 has been to say no and oppose everything, then blame the president. Does anyone in the GOP have any sense at all?

    January 2, 2012 06:44 pm at 6:44 pm |
  16. Leopold

    Our prince Obama. His Hawaii trip cost $4 M. And he wants to create a European style social democracy where everyone is poor. A corrupt, narcisstic jerk who has to go.

    January 2, 2012 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  17. l

    I wish that the polls were more frequent so that Obama could respond quicker.

    January 2, 2012 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  18. JP

    Obama is prounion, protrial lawyer, and proillegal all these groups hurt the economy. He bashes business every chance he gets, the best thing Obama can for the economy is resign.

    January 2, 2012 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  19. billy davis

    We all have seen the Republican in unison voting against everything the President proposes even routine things like the debt ceiling, filling positions in his administration and even if the POTUS takes a bathroom break the GOP is opposed. Yes, it's the GOP's fault for this gridlock. Rush told them in 2008 make this President fail and they have done evrything the could to make that a reality and by extension making America fail.

    January 2, 2012 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  20. Gothaze

    Looks like nobody cares anymore. For almost 4yrs now this campaign to overthrow the current adminstration seems to be working. Not! I see signs of growth everyday. We dont hear about it, because that would mean the adminstration is doing something right. Numbers dont lie. Would be nominees do!

    January 2, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  21. C Rogers

    Comprehensive Tax Reform is required and President Obama needs to act like a President that does what is best for the country and not just for Democrats. His inability to work across party lines highlights the biggest reason he is unfit to be President. in this article he backpedals from story planted in NT Times by the Democrats Address real issues and stop campaigning 7×24. Obama's job is President and it requires he does what is best for all citizens

    January 2, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  22. Rick McDaniel

    What Obama is dong, is what a dictator would do.........not a President. He is controlling Congress himself, through Reid in the Senate, to make the Congress look ineffective, when in fact he simply is blocking anything other than what HE wants, from getting through.

    That is so totally PARTISAN, it is almost like he isn't really American. He behaves like a petty dictator in a foreign country.

    January 2, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  23. Fair is Fair

    "I understand that their mantra these days is that there's a do-nothing Congress and this is all the Congress' fault," Romney said Sunday in Atlantic, Iowa. "I think he's forgetting that he had a Democratic Congress for the first two years that put in place his economic plans."
    ------–
    So true, Mr. Romny.... so very true.

    January 2, 2012 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  24. Beth

    Republican policies and actions under Bush II landed the US in these dire economic straits. If people think going back to that same-old, same-old approach will solve the problem they're either delusional or in denial. Probably both.

    January 2, 2012 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  25. A Texan

    Lots of luck !!! The Republicans will let the economy go to hell before they let any improvement happen.-– They only want to wipe Democrats off the face of the earth.

    January 2, 2012 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
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