September 20th, 2013
03:36 PM ET
10 months ago

Obama: 'We are not some banana republic'

Liberty, Missouri (CNN) - President Obama warned Congress on Friday that shutting down the government would halt any economic momentum the country has established, telling a crowd at a Ford plant here that "our recovery still needs to build more strength."

"Right now the debate that is going on in Congress is not meeting the test of helping middle class families," the president said. "It is just – they are not focused on you. They are focused on politics. They are focused on trying to mess with me. They are not focused on you."

Hours before the president took the podium, House Republicans set up a potential shutdown by approving a resolution to fund the government contingent upon defunding the president's signature health care law. Both Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have said they will not support such a measure, creating a potential impasse.

Comparing the House Republicans’ strategy to hostage-taking and breath-holding the president urged his opponents to end their unwillingness to budge “if you don’t get 100 percent of what you want. Nobody gets 100 percent of what you want.”

"I don't mind them disagreeing with me," Obama said. "If they don't like the Affordable Care Act, they'd rather have people not have health insurance. You know I'm happy to have that debate with them. But you don't have to threaten to blow the whole thing up just because you don't get your way, right?

Funding the government is the first of two major deadlines Congress will face in the coming weeks. If lawmakers are able to reach an agreement to keep the government open beyond September 30, they will quickly face another fight over whether to increase the nation's borrowing limit.

On Friday, the president repeated his refusal to negotiate over the debt ceiling.

"We are not some banana republic," Obama said. "This is not a deadbeat nation. We don't run out on our tab. We are the world's bedrock investment. The entire world looks to us to make sure the world economy is stable. We can't just not pay our bills and even threatening something like that is the height of irresponsibility. What I have said is I will not negotiate over the full faith and credit of the United States."

The president said he's ready to work with members of both parties who are willing to negotiate to solve these problems, but they are being held up by a "faction on the far right" who won't cooperate without dismantling Obamacare.

"They are not talking now about spending cuts," Obama said. "They are not talking about entitlement reform. They are not talking about any of that. Now they are talking about something that has nothing to do with the budget – right? They are actually willing to plunge America into default if we can't defund the Affordable Care Act."


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (41 Responses)
  1. jenn,philadelphia

    I like all the "law of the land" comments. Did you make these same statements when the President decided he wasn't going to implement all aspects of the "law of the land"? If this Administration can get to decide which laws they will enforce, defend or can delay, then Congress should be allowed to decide which laws or parts of law they want to fund

    September 20, 2013 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  2. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    They are actually willing to plunge America into default if we can't defund the Affordable Care Act."
    -------------------------------------------------
    Get it out there Mr. President.
    Get on every tv channel and radio show that you can and tell the American people in plain language, a la Bubba if you will, exactly what you just said.
    Tell them that we will lose our credit rating, our word, our honor in the global community because of the Republican's willingness to hold the country hostage.
    There is one thing that the Republicans really fear from you and that is that when you speak WE, Americans, LISTEN.

    September 20, 2013 04:40 pm at 4:40 pm |
  3. rs

    Richard Long

    "The fact that we are here today to debate raising America's debt limit is a sign of leadership failure. It is a sign that the US Government can not pay its own bills. It is a sign that we now depend on ongoing financial assistance from foreign countries to finance our Government's reckless fiscal policies. Increasing America's debt weakens us domestically and internationally. Leadership means that "the buck stops here." Instead, Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better." – Sen. Barack Obama
    ____________________________
    Good quote. However it was made before the GOP Bush crash of '08, so all bets are off. Raising the debt ceiling was a no-brainer under Reagan (first time it had to happen), Bush Sr., Clinton or Bush Jr. that just begs the question "why"?

    Oh, yeah, the GOP thinks its time to down grade our credit rating and have tantrum #41 over the poor getting some access to healthcare.

    Anything about that seem creepy to you?

    September 20, 2013 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  4. Drink Tea not Koolaid

    The rich have gotten even richer in Obamas jobless "recovery" while the middle class has gotten much smaller. Obama owns this economy that is not on firm footing as pointed out by Bernanke. At least the GOP can see this and is trying to support the public opinion as shown by CNN's own poll ( 39% for / 57% against) with regards to Obamacare. Way to go House, stand your ground for the working class.

    September 20, 2013 04:48 pm at 4:48 pm |
  5. $$$$

    Obamacare is liked only by low-information Obama supporters. They know that it is the extent of his "legacy". If Obamacare goes down, he goes down with it.

    Then again, you could make the argument that dumping Obamacare is the best thing you could do to support Obama in the long run. Let this abortion go in to effect for about twelve months or so and then see how popular Obama is with the electorate....just in time for the November 2014 election..

    September 20, 2013 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  6. freedom

    Time to impeach.

    September 20, 2013 05:01 pm at 5:01 pm |
  7. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Lynda/Minnesota

    Well, OK, then, by all means Ted Cruz (R-Canada) ... fight on. Frankly, though, you bore me.

    @Dominican mama: I'm headed over to Data's. You in?
    -------------------------------------------------
    A bunch of us are already here!
    Bring some ice!!
    Be safe my friend.

    September 20, 2013 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. $$$$

    Liberals, Democrats:
    Think about this for a minute. How many Tea Party types do you think might have gotten themselves overextended in the credit bubble prior the the crash in 2008. I'm guessing not too many of them because they are fiscally conservative by nature. Maybe that goes along way toward explaining their views on government spending.

    September 20, 2013 05:06 pm at 5:06 pm |
  9. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Time to impeach.
    -------------------------------------------------
    How many times do we have to tell you that your meds won't work unless you take them?

    September 20, 2013 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. Tampa Tim

    Richard long – size problem?

    September 20, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  11. Data Driven

    @freedom,

    "Time to impeach"

    No. Time to wait your turn. Next Presidential election is November, 2016.

    September 20, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  12. Sniffit

    "Time to impeach."

    For what? Please be specific. I'm pretty sure "argle bargle Kenyan usurper blah blah birf surtifikate herpa derpa socialist ruining our country" is not a "high crime and misdemeanor," so you'll have to articulate something a little more, shall we say, coherent and rational.

    September 20, 2013 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "Did you make these same statements when the President decided he wasn't going to implement all aspects of the "law of the land"?"

    Except he didn't. Have you read the ACA? Are you familiar with the parts of it that allowed him to do what he's done? Are you so thoroughly familiar with the ACA in general that you can definitely confirm that such parts do not exist?

    FACT: You haven't the slightest clue what you're talking about and neither does anyone else who's regurgitating that right wing nutjob claptrap.

    September 20, 2013 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  14. rs

    Drink Tea not Koolaid

    The rich have gotten even richer in Obamas jobless "recovery" while the middle class has gotten much smaller. Obama owns this economy that is not on firm footing as pointed out by Bernanke. At least the GOP can see this and is trying to support the public opinion as shown by CNN's own poll ( 39% for / 57% against) with regards to Obamacare. Way to go House, stand your ground for the working class.
    __________________________
    you are connecting two non-sequiturs. Yes, this economy is Mr. Obama's. The Republicans have done nothing for 5 years except delay and obstruct. The fact it is going in the right direction essentially proves the mistake of the GOP's: "lather the rich" and "trickle down" economics. Second- your stats. They do not relate in anyway to the economy, and BTW only 24% want the ACA done away with. Most Americans just want it fixed or improved. Something the GOP will not do.

    September 20, 2013 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  15. rs

    Liberals, Democrats:
    Think about this for a minute. How many Tea Party types do you think might have gotten themselves overextended in the credit bubble prior the the crash in 2008. I'm guessing not too many of them because they are fiscally conservative by nature. Maybe that goes along way toward explaining their views on government spending.
    ____________________________
    The TEA Party (wholly owned and created by the GOP) are comprised of two types- very wealthy libertarian types, and poor, ill-educated rubes they have dressing up with tea bags, tri-fold hats that wear guns in public. The prior are rich enough (and getting richer) to do as they please, the latter had no credit, 401 (k)s, or anything else- they are the 47% in the red states most likely.

    September 20, 2013 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    We might not be a banana republic at present but we are fast moving towards that dubious honor in the eyes of the world and in real life.
    The tea tards just want to destroy our President even if it means bringing down the whole country with him. DOW down 167 points today. We need to vote these fools out folks. We need to vote in every election against folks who have forgotten about separation of church and state. The so called christians who will all burn in heck because I can't believe that any god, regardless of your religion, would want his flock to die of hunger or without medical insurance thanks to the repugs.

    September 20, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
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