March 29th, 2010
06:39 AM ET
3 years ago

Republican: We need to respect anger about country's direction

ALT TEXT

Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, and Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, discussed the need for a more civil political discourse on Sunday's State of the Union. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Washington (CNN) – Commenting on the high-temperature political rhetoric of the last week and some incidents of violence and threats against lawmakers, a leading Senate Republican walked a fine line Sunday.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said “ugliness” ought to be condemned. And, at the same time, the Tennessee Republican said the nation’s leaders needed to “respect” the anger some have about the direction the country is headed in.

“There's no doubt there has been - the anger today is more visible,” Alexander told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “You can go to any Web site and see ugliness. It used to be beneath the surface and it's on top now, and it ought to be condemned.

Related: Anger over health care bill a sign of the times?

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March 28th, 2010
05:42 PM ET
3 years ago

Republican: We need to respect anger about country's direction

ALT TEXT

Sens. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, and Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, discussed the need for a more civil political discourse on Sunday's State of the Union. (Photo Credit: CNN)

Washington (CNN) – Commenting on the high-temperature political rhetoric of the last week and some incidents of violence and threats against lawmakers, a leading Senate Republican walked a fine line Sunday.

Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said “ugliness” ought to be condemned. And, at the same time, the Tennessee Republican said the nation’s leaders needed to “respect” the anger some have about the direction the country is headed in.

“There's no doubt there has been - the anger today is more visible,” Alexander told CNN Senior Political Correspondent Candy Crowley. “You can go to any Web site and see ugliness. It used to be beneath the surface and it's on top now, and it ought to be condemned.

Related: Anger over health care bill a sign of the times?

“But there's also a lot of real anger out there about the direction of the country. And we need to respect that and then conduct ourselves in a civil way, which I think we United States senators are capable of doing and did do this week.”

Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Maryland, agreed with Alexander and had detailed advice about how to cool down the country’s political rhetoric.
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March 28th, 2010
02:09 PM ET
March 28th, 2010
01:45 PM ET
3 years ago

Alexander: 'What it's called is checks and balances'

Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said Sunday that the president's plan for recess appointments has thrown 'fuel on the fire' at a time of already angry political debate in the country.
Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander said Sunday that the president's plan for recess appointments has thrown 'fuel on the fire' at a time of already angry political debate in the country.

Washington (CNN) – A leading Senate Republican said Sunday that his chamber’s failure thus far to act on a number of President’s Obama’s nominees was consistent with the constitutional scheme of government intended to keep the executive branch in check.

Obama announced plans Saturday to appoint 15 nominees while the Senate is in recess. Among the 15 is one especially controversial pick for the National Labor Relations Board, the federal agency that weighs in on those labor-management disputes governed by federal law.

Related: Obama to make recess appointments

Asked on CNN’s State of the Union about Democratic claims of Republican obstructionism in the Senate, Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said his party was helping to fulfill the Senate’s traditional role in a divided government.

“What it’s called is checks and balances,” said the chairman of the Senate Republican Conference. “And what the president has done here is throw fuel on the fire at a time when the civil – when the debate about politics is a very angry debate to begin with.”

Related: Anger over health care bill a sign of the times?
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March 27th, 2010
11:21 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama: 'This was a momentous week for America'

Washington (CNN) - In his weekly Internet and radio address, President Obama discusses the changes to the federal student loan system that were enacted as part of Democrats' health care legislation.

"This reform of the federal student loan programs will save taxpayers $68 billion over the next decade," Obama says. "And with this legislation, we’re putting that money to use achieving a goal I set for America: by the end of this decade, we will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world."

Republicans responded quickly to Obama's weekly address. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, the chairman of Senate Republican Conference, issued the following statement Saturday:

“Nineteen million college students aren’t going to be happy when they find out that the federal government will overcharge them an average of $1,700 to help pay for the new health care law and other government programs. In this latest Washington takeover, the government will borrow money at 2.8 percent and loan it to students at 6.8 percent and spend the difference on more government. Any savings ought to go to students, not the government.

“This takeover will deprive 19 million students of choices, add half a trillion dollars to the federal debt, and throw out of work 31,000 Americans who today help students apply for loans. The motto of the Obama Administration should be: ‘If you can find it in the Yellow Pages, the government ought to be doing it.'"

(Read Obama's full remarks after the jump)

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Filed under: Education • Health care • Lamar Alexander • President Obama
December 1st, 2009
08:55 PM ET
10 months ago

Bash: Alexander is on message

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said he supports the mission change, but he has concerns about the exit strategy.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said he supports the mission change, but he has concerns about the exit strategy.

(CNN) – Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said he supports the mission change, but he has concerns about the exit strategy.

"My major concern is that the administration is more focused on an exit strategy than a success strategy," Alexander said. "An exit strategy should come only after we've achieved success."


Filed under: Afghanistan • Lamar Alexander
September 2nd, 2009
04:55 AM ET
5 years ago

GOP senator warns of 'minor revolution' over health care

Sen. Alexander warned Tuesday against Democratic attempts to overhaul the nation's health care system without support from congressional Republicans.
Sen. Alexander warned Tuesday against Democratic attempts to overhaul the nation's health care system without support from congressional Republicans.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A top Republican senator warned Tuesday that if Democrats try to overhaul health care without Republican support, "it will wreck our health care system and wreck the Democratic Party."

"The intensity on this issue across the country is like nothing I"ve seen in a long, long time," said Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate.

After a month of town halls back home, Alexander said it's clear to him and other Republicans that Americans are "scared to death" about the sweeping policy changes coming from Washington this year and the massive debt they are creating.

Alexander warned there would be "a minor revolution in this country" if Democrats try to "ram" a health care overhaul using a legislative tool called reconciliation, which would allow a bill to pass with 50 votes instead of 60.

Alexander also complained the White House has cut Republicans out of talks.
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Filed under: Congress • Health care • Lamar Alexander
September 1st, 2009
07:40 PM ET
5 years ago

GOP senator warns of 'minor revolution' over health care

Sen. Alexander warned Tuesday against Democratic attempts to overhaul the nation's health care system without support from congressional Republicans.
Sen. Alexander warned Tuesday against Democratic attempts to overhaul the nation's health care system without support from congressional Republicans.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - A top Republican senator warned Tuesday that if Democrats try to overhaul health care without Republican support, "it will wreck our health care system and wreck the Democratic Party."

"The intensity on this issue across the country is like nothing I"ve seen in a long, long time," said Sen. Lamar Alexander of Tennessee, the third-ranking Republican in the Senate.

After a month of town halls back home, Alexander said it's clear to him and other Republicans that Americans are "scared to death" about the sweeping policy changes coming from Washington this year and the massive debt they are creating.

Alexander warned there would be "a minor revolution in this country" if Democrats try to "ram" a health care overhaul using a legislative tool called reconciliation, which would allow a bill to pass with 50 votes instead of 60.

Alexander also complained the White House has cut Republicans out of talks.
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Filed under: Congress • Extra • Health care • Lamar Alexander • Popular Posts
April 25th, 2009
04:33 PM ET
4 years ago

GOP goes nuclear in policy pitch

Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said Saturday that the U.S. should embrace nuclear technology.
Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, said Saturday that the U.S. should embrace nuclear technology.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Lamar Alexander, chairman of the Senate Republican Conference, made a strong push Saturday for investment in a power source commonly used in France: nuclear energy.

“Now the debate in Congress is shifting to the size of your electric and gasoline bills and to climate change," the Tennessee Republican said in the weekly GOP address Saturday. "So guess who has one of the lowest electric rates in Western Europe and the second lowest carbon emissions in the entire European Union. It’s France."

Watch the full address

Nuclear plants provide 80 percent of France's electricity, according to Alexander, who added that the country even sells "electricity to Germany, whose politicians built windmills and solar panels and promised not to build nuclear plants."

“So you’d think that if Democrats want to talk about energy and climate change and clean air, they’d put American-made nuclear power front and center. ... We say find more American energy and use less ... and one place to start is with 100 more nuclear plants," he said.

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Filed under: Energy • Lamar Alexander • Republican Party
March 19th, 2009
12:39 PM ET
6 years ago

GOP senator backs Coach K on Obama's basketball picks

President Obama did not pick Duke to advance to the Final 4.
President Obama did not pick Duke to advance to the Final 4.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – Duke basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski has become a Republican talking point.

After it was revealed that President Obama left Duke out of the Final Four in his NCAA brackets, Krzyzewski remarked Wednesday that the president should focus more on the economy than on his basketball picks.

Related: Coach K disses Obama's basketball picks

That quip caught the attention of a Republican senator, Lamar Alexander, who summoned up Coach K's comments at a GOP press conference on Thursday.

"The AIG bonuses make the president subject to the charge that he's living above the store but he's not minding it," Alexander told reporters. "He's even found time to fill out his NCAA basketball brackets, which is a healthy thing to do in my opinion."

Alexander continued: "But he picked North Carolina and he caused the Duke coach, our Olympic coach, Coach K, to say, respectfully, you might be spending less time on the brackets, Mr. President, and more time on the economy. I think that's what we'd like to see, with respect."

Alexander's home state of Tennessee is well-represented in the tournament, with four teams having earned bids. And Obama is predicting that one of those squads - Memphis - will return to the Final 4 this year.

Texas Sen. John Cornyn took a much harsher tone Thursday in a floor speech, saying that Obama might want to spend less time making basketball predictions and more time filling the many job openings still at the Treasury Department. Having more hands on deck, he said, might have led to better oversight of the AIG situation.

"I appreciate that President Obama has completed his 'March Madness' Tournament Bracket," Cornyn said. "Yet the organizational chart of his administration still has far too many open slots."


Filed under: John Cornyn • Lamar Alexander • President Obama
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