September 20th, 2013
03:36 PM ET
1 year 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. Tampa Tim

    Al Qaida has to be taking notes on how the republicans took down the US of A.

    September 20, 2013 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Rudy NYC

    By not funding part of THE LAW OF THE LAND, did not House Republicans break the law of the land?

    September 20, 2013 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. $$$$

    If this is such a great program why are corporations and unions trying to opt out of it?
    From the beginning, none of the polling has indicated that a majority of Americans have ever wanted this fiasco.
    This has been shoved down our throats. We are now fighting back.

    September 20, 2013 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  4. Sniffit

    ""We are not some banana republic,""

    Indeed. That's precisely what frustrates the GOP/Teatrolls and their plutocrat masters so thoroughly: they're desperately trying to turn us into one and they haven't been able to YET.

    September 20, 2013 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    Give a republican a banana and they will peel it with their feet. Pooh flinging is all they got.

    September 20, 2013 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  6. Tampa Tim

    What is the next law of the land that the republican domestic terrorists will chose to shut down the government with if they do not get their way?

    September 20, 2013 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    This tactic by the Republicans goes to show only one thing. The Republicans don't want to govern, they wish to rule.

    September 20, 2013 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  8. anonymous

    obama and the democrats are scared sh$%less that the republicans have the american people on their side. this is not the same as the other fight in the 90's. the american people want obamacare gone. they need to stick to their guns and stick together to win this fight for the american people and to save our healthcare system.

    September 20, 2013 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "This has been shoved down our throats."

    Yeah, and everyone knows the only thing the Teatrolls allow to be shoved down there belongs to the Koch brothers'.

    September 20, 2013 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. Drink Tea not Koolaid

    And he would know about the Banana Republic. Let's take a look at Obamas "success":
    1) Record Breaking 46.5 million in Poverty
    2) Record breaking 47,760,285 participants on Food Stamps
    3) Lowest Job participation rate since 1978
    4) Ben Bernanke says economy would face a "substantial risk" if the Fed tightened monetary policy. What about the "Recovery" we keep hearing about.
    Certainly sounds 3rd world socialist country to me. Give that Community Organizer a banana.

    September 20, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  11. don in albuquerque

    I thought the AntiChrist was supposed to be one person, not a whole political party. The GOTP's tenure has come to an end and it is time for Americans to take them down and out.

    September 20, 2013 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  12. Wake up People!

    My man Sniffit!!!!

    September 20, 2013 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  13. Sniffit

    "Unlike the sleazy democrats, the republicans are willing to stand for what is right to protect Americans, and deal with the heat. This president can't even do that – he's a coward."

    Yeah, because enacting the ACA and then dealing with a completely enraged and unhinged GOP/Teatroll base, 40+ repeal bills, a non-stop filibuster festival, obstruction like never seen before in our country's history, demagoguery, impeachment threats, the electoral difficulties, GOP refusal to govern and attempts to hamper economic recovery, and the general destroy him at all costs GOP/Teatroll partisan platform etc., that enacting it caused....that wasn't at all like doing what he and millions upon millions of other 'Murkins believe was the right thing to do and then taking the heat for it.

    September 20, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  14. don in albuquerque

    @anonymous–Just which Americans are you speaking for? South? Time is now to end the lies and BS of the right.

    September 20, 2013 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  15. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    "This is not a deadbeat nation. We don't run out on our tab."
    ------------------------------------------
    Isn't it ironic how republicans are lecturing us on getting jobs, when they have one and won't do it. They're collecting a check for doing a BAD job. Time to give them the pink slip. By the way, no more pensions for outgoing congress people. And that goes for both sides of the aisle. Stop living off the government teat. Isn't that what they're telling millions of poor people?

    September 20, 2013 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  16. rs

    Drink Tea not Koolaid

    And he would know about the Banana Republic. Let's take a look at Obamas "success":
    1) Record Breaking 46.5 million in Poverty
    2) Record breaking 47,760,285 participants on Food Stamps
    3) Lowest Job participation rate since 1978
    4) Ben Bernanke says economy would face a "substantial risk" if the Fed tightened monetary policy. What about the "Recovery" we keep hearing about.
    __________________________
    Despite your delusion, you seem to have forgotten the (R) President G.W. Bush Administration. Let's review:
    * Cut taxes and spend"
    * Two un-budgeted wars
    * An economic crash- 2008 (perhaps you heard?) wherein all those people lost their jobs, their homes, their 401 (k)s, etc., and wound up on Food Stamps.

    Now since then, while the GOP toiled on legislating the female reproductive system, the Democrats, and the President without any help at all from the GOP have got us back on solid ground. The GOP's response? "Let's crash the economy again".

    The GOP is worse than Al Qaeda when it comes to the best interest of America. Got that?

    September 20, 2013 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  17. 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

    "Raising the debt ceiling doesn't increase the nation's debt" POtuS Barack Obama

    September 20, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  18. rs

    obama and the democrats are scared sh$%less that the republicans have the american people on their side. this is not the same as the other fight in the 90's. the american people want obamacare gone.
    _______________________
    Well 24%- as of the polling this week. I'd hardly call that affirmation for wrecking the economy again, would you?

    September 20, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  19. Rudy NYC

    Drink Tea not Koolaid

    And he would know about the Banana Republic. Let's take a look at Obamas "success":
    1) Record Breaking 46.5 million in Poverty
    2) Record breaking 47,760,285 participants on Food Stamps
    3) Lowest Job participation rate since 1978
    4) Ben Bernanke says economy would face a "substantial risk" if the Fed tightened monetary policy. What about the "Recovery" we keep hearing about.
    Certainly sounds 3rd world socialist country to me. Give that Community Organizer a banana.
    ----------------
    So what. The economy hasn't dug itself out from the ditch that the conservative policies of the 2000s pushed into, which is probably because the conservatives have done everything they could to keep in the ditch, including risking shutting down the government.

    September 20, 2013 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Data Driven

    @Drink Tea,

    And all those factors you list are the result of over 30 years of inexorable changes in modern economic life. As a liberal, I don't blame one President for all of them, not even Dubya, though the tax redistribution to the wealthy inaugurated under Reagan hasn't helped matters. Google the Berkeley report, and you'll find backing for claim that there's no recovery– not for you and me there ain't. That's because 95% of the recovery wealth has gone into the pockets of the top 1%. Wealth redistribution to the rich. Do you blame Obama for this?

    Do you blame Obama for automated processes replacing human labor? Do you blame Obama for all the "free trade" agreements allowing American companies to ship production to slave-labor nations like China?

    It took years to get here. And we will never entirely get out.

    September 20, 2013 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    "This has been shoved down our throats."
    ---------------------–
    Yeah, the right wing media keeps pushing that lie about the ACA was passed by reconciliation, when in fact it had 60 votes.

    September 20, 2013 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  22. Lisa P.

    Drink Tea not Koolaid

    And he would know about the Banana Republic. Let's take a look at Obamas "success":
    1) Record Breaking 46.5 million in Poverty
    2) Record breaking 47,760,285 participants on Food Stamps
    3) Lowest Job participation rate since 1978
    4) Ben Bernanke says economy would face a "substantial risk" if the Fed tightened monetary policy. What about the "Recovery" we keep hearing about.
    Certainly sounds 3rd world socialist country to me. Give that Community Organizer a banana.
    September 20, 2013 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm
    -------------------------------–

    Food stamps? Really? You think banana republics give out food stamps? You have no conception of what a banana republic is, do you? If 46.5 million people in a banana republic were in poverty you could make a pretty good guess that the entire population of the country is something like 50 million, not 350 million. And "monetary policy" is that the richest 1% hand themselves bonuses and tax breaks without any interference from those pesky government regulators and representatives of the people. But then that's the dream of the shadowy manipulators behind the Tea Party curtain, isn't it? The dream of the real would-be tin pot dictators: a country where money is the only power and the rich can do whatever they please, to heck with the rest of us. The GOP merely wants to give their masters what they want.

    September 20, 2013 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. justanaverageguy

    The bottom line with all this "chaos" in Washington. It's theatre for media and public consumption. It's all being staged.
    The purpose of which is to create an atmosphere of great fear and uncertainty in order to hoodwink the public into passively accepting major cuts in Social Security and Medicare in order to Save the Country.

    People: we're being played for fools. Yeah, the gov't may shut down for a time. But rest assured, the debt ceiling will be raised.

    THIS IS ALL ABOUT CUTTING, THEN DISMANTLING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE.

    September 20, 2013 04:27 pm at 4:27 pm |
  24. American

    Well, we didn't used to be but the last two presidents have been monkeys so that's going to be 16 years of rapid decline and mounting national debt.

    September 20, 2013 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  25. jinx9to88

    Got to hand it the GOP they got the but kicked on this issue 40+ times and keeps coming back. LOL

    September 20, 2013 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
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