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. vic , nashville ,tn

    Conservatives are saying this Mitt Romney won’t “Restore Our Future” we don’t want Romney
    Republicans better focus on their domestic issues

    January 2, 2012 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  2. twh

    Get this man out of the White House ASAFP!

    Ron Paul is the ONLY chance repubs have at doing this. All other repub candidates wouldn't stand a chance against Obama.
    they are typical, corrupt, establishment politicians.

    January 2, 2012 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  3. George Hale

    It is the Democratic controlled Senate, led by Harry Reid, that blocked every legislative attempt at passing meaningful bills. Not even Obama's bills were presented to the Senate by Mr. Reid. I was told by a credible source that both harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi told Obama he was President because they allowed and because of no other reason. That is a key point. Obama is President because, along with Mr. Reid and Ms. Pelosi, we allowed it. It does not have to be this way.

    January 2, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  4. dj98

    Beat the GOP/TEA party in the head Obama.......

    January 2, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  5. steve

    The president bent over backwards to deal with the tea party nuts in the house. They are the reason the govt. can't get anything done

    January 2, 2012 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  6. Leon

    Maybe if obama said we rather than I all the time he could get something done. He is like a 2 year old kid everything has to be my way or I will whine and blame ypu for all my mistakes.

    January 2, 2012 07:25 pm at 7:25 pm |
  7. Valerie from Raleigh

    President Obama has tried in good faith to work with the Republican House but to no avail. They have stated the day he was elected that their mail goal was to make him a one term president -- their goal was not to help the country out of the disaster left by the Bush Administration -– but to do everything possible to make the President fail even at the cost of the country. For this reason, this Independent voter will not support a single Republican candidate. The Republican behavior has been shameful, disgusting and had done great damage to this country. It is my hope that every Tea Party Republican is sent back to their district and are replaced by the statesment the once-proud Republican party had as their representatives. The Tea Party has been a disaster to our country.

    January 2, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  8. izy

    honestly im siding with Obama on this, sorry but Repub track history has already proven republican failure in the past, present and definitely in the future, repub party is old fashioned and bias. and will do anything to take power once again, even topple the economy.

    January 2, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  9. Tony T

    OB is desperate. Someone needs to remind OB that the Dems control half of the Congress, and in the Senate Dirty Harry is blocking all bills passed in the house. It is funny how OB never demands that Reid holds votes on bills that would help this country out.

    January 2, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  10. Butter My Butt And Call Me a Biscuit

    I am a tree-hugging fire-breathing bleeding-heart liberal progressive devout DEMOCRAT and PROUD OF IT. I will be joining the fight on these boards to fight the TEAPUBCONs. Go Dems! Go Obama/Biden 2012! Go Hillary 2016

    January 2, 2012 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
  11. Ann Marie Heaney

    President Obama knows how to handle the Republican Party's blaming of little economic progress. It is obvious that the Congress with its Tea Party fanatics was/is impossible to work with. Congress is the reason that little economic progress exists. The Republicans are just looking for an excuse to make themselves look better. I hope that the nation as a whole will come to this same conclusion.

    January 2, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  12. Dale

    Obama is NO Bill Clinton…. Clinton had enough sense to work with both parties and we had a great run. Obama thinks he knows everything, he thinks the Europe life is what we all want. None of them own their own homes there. They rent forever, they give everything to the gov and it does as it see;s fit.

    NO THANKS OBAMA

    January 2, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  13. onlyfacts

    Funny how the religous GOP tell lies so the unimformed will dislike Obama. What a crazy mixed up world we live in!

    January 2, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  14. Kare

    Team Obama still playing "It not my fault and pointing fingers to blame somebody else. I haven't seen him try to united squat instead of dividing the field.

    As much as I despise the republicans. They are right that he had congress for two years and didn't do much on jobs and budget. Both side sucks and deserve to lose big.

    January 2, 2012 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  15. L. R. Long

    The republicans gained control of Congress in 2010 by promising to focus on jobs. Now, they want the White House, saying they will focus on jobs. Well what were they focused on for the last 2 years?! Obama's demise. The republicans have demonstrated their understanding of ONE aspect of politics: The president takes most of the blame for a bad economy. So their stated mission was to bounce Obama from office, but their unstated mission was to do that by sabotaging our economic recovery, even if it meant punishing the middle class. At the end of the day, Obama is a politian that wanted healthcare for all and the idea that he doesn't recognize that he has to do whatever is necassary to save the economy, in order to get re-elected, is outrageous. Republicans didn't care about the middle class when they let Bush send most of them to war, all while enacting tax cuts, and they sure don't care about them now. Wake up, the recession is OVER, Osama's dead and the auto industry is saved. You can thank Obama.

    January 2, 2012 07:56 pm at 7:56 pm |
  16. Daniel6

    The "Uniter" has been MIA-out golfing-not "Leading" on anything. I still contend he is the most immature,arrogant, partisan POTUS in the last 50 years-

    January 2, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  17. Squigman

    The bottle neck in the progress of man, is the republican party. The republicans, defend the ones that need no defence, while placing roadblocks in the path of those that need defending. As long as K-Street pays off as well as it does, this will never change. Follow the money, find the culprets. More than likely they'll be republicans.

    January 2, 2012 08:00 pm at 8:00 pm |
  18. CAWinMD

    If nothing else, can we debunk the "Democrats had control of everything for two years" baloney? The amount of time where there was a filibuster-proof Senate along with the House and Presidency was about 6 months time, from the time that Norm Coleman finally gave up the futile fight to get steal the election of Al Franken and the time that Ted Kennedy died and was replaced with Scott Brown. It wasn't two years, it was 6 months. In that 6 months, Obama and Congress changed health care as we know it, something government has been trying to do for nearly a century. Agree with it or not, it was a consequential action that is totally beyond the collection of fools that passes for Congress these days.

    January 2, 2012 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  19. David

    Obama seems to be just a republican plant anyway, he has done more for the conservative agenda than even Bush did, and the recent defense bill signing was the icing on the cake. I always supported him but no more, he is as big a loser as all of the repub nominees, need a left leaning 3rd partty alternative as the dems and repubs are corrupt to the core.

    January 2, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  20. gutsycall@yahoo.com

    The only one that has absolutely NO CREDIBILITY on jobs is Romney. That hedge fund manager and his corporate raider buddies in banking ransacked great american companies for no greater purpose than OUTSOURCING those jobs to communists/Marxists in China. And was this done for COUNTRY!!!?? Heck no, for pure personal gain. Everything that went wrong with capitalism over country is found in the Romney legacy. Hey Romney, try this on for size -RUN FOR CHINESE PREMIER!!!

    January 2, 2012 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  21. gutsycall@yahoo.com

    Romney has one great talent to teach american workers something. What is it? How to fill out first time unemployment t applications to get on the government dole. Any company he and his $100 bill banker buddies who profited from the bailout do is OUTSOURCE capitalist middle class jobs to communists in China. He deserves to go to China and run as Chinese Premier, NOT American president.

    January 2, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  22. C. K. Justus

    I have to agree with Obama, Boehner, Cantor and McConnell said they were going to make Obama a one term president and would not bulge on their demands, which is like a dictatorship than a democracy.

    They would not even discuss raising taxes by 1.9 percent on those MAKING A MILLION DOLLARS OR MORE AND THEN THEY TRY TO SAY THEY WOULD WORK WITH THE PRESIDENT==HORSE MANURE!!!

    January 2, 2012 08:14 pm at 8:14 pm |
  23. ed fl

    If anybody knows anything about a kindergarden plan it would be porky pig Gingrich. This overbearing blowhard just keeps talking to the wind. His failure even in plain life terms is atrocious.His attempt to make money before he drops out or doen't qualify is so obvious even Newt can cover it up.

    January 2, 2012 08:18 pm at 8:18 pm |
  24. us1776

    We are going to vote all of the Norquist-pledge traitor obstructionists out of the Congress in 2012.

    Then maybe we'll get back a functional government that we lost in 2010.

    .

    January 2, 2012 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  25. ardee123

    President Obama should run on his record for 4 years rather than demonizing his opponents and critics

    January 2, 2012 08:24 pm at 8:24 pm |
1 2 3